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Do it yourself website – Choosing a domain name

IMG_0493Matt Miller has been building WordPress and other sites for a number of clients over the past few years. He also maintains sites for clients and provides coaching for those wishing to build on and grow their own website. Matt believes that by using WordPress you can have complete control of your site whatever your knowledge. You should be able to update it and change it as much as you wish for only the cost of your domain name and hosting requirements.

In this post Matt will be discussing domain names.  In his next post here on 15 March on we will check out web hosting.


Once you decide you are going to build a website your first considerations will be your URL (web address) and hosting for your website, these are two separate but intrinsic concerns, they also represent two unavoidable costs, which is why getting it right the first time will save much heartache.

A domain name is made up of two parts: the name of your website and the bit after the dot called the extension.

Most hosting providers also provide URL registration, buying hosting at the same time from the same vendor can make the process much easier. It’s common for people to buy URLs on a whim or to safeguard them before buying web space only to then need unnecessary technical help when it comes to setting up a website.

Choosing your URL will need some consideration. Keep in mind your web address is going to appear on printed matter and stationery and may well be used for business email addresses. For this reason, it should be memorable and as short as you can get away with as you may need to impart your web address or emails verbally.

Your company may be called: United International Sprockets Widgets and Valves Limited, but it’s going to cause you headaches when asked what your website address is. Even if you have the address printed on your card potential customers may lose interest before they have finished typing “unitedinternationalsprocketswidgetsandvalveslimited.com” into their browser for the third time because they keep misspelling it.
Finding a way of using your company name in your URL is important, consider an acronym or abbreviation if your business name is too long or unavailable.

One further consideration is to take a careful look at how your company name may look without spaces. This has led to some unfortunate URLs, the bread and butter of ‘clickbait’ comedy websites. Want to buy a pen? Why not visit http://penisland.net/. Of course, this could be part of your cunning marketing plan, but if not consider hyphenating your domain name.

You also need to consider your domain name extension. The holy grail is still .com but it’s becoming increasingly hard to find meaningful domain names to go with the extension. If you are selling goods or services or imparting information that is particular to a region, then it will be less useful.

There is a cornucopia of different URL extensions these days. .company .expert are new additions but the general public are not as familiar with them yet, and there is a potential for confusion. In addition, there are also national URLs such as .us .fr .aus
The go-to in the UK is ‘co.uk‘ but consider ‘org.uk‘ especially if your are non-profit, .org and .biz are also well known and commonly used, the upside of these common URLs is they are inexpensive. Some URL extensions can prove to be expensive and if you wish to buy a URL already registered the price can stretch to thousands. On the whole expect to pay between £5 and £10 a year for your web address unless you have your heart set on something more exotic.

On 1 March the wholesale price of .uk extensions will increase for the first time since 1999. If you choose to go with a co.uk org.uk .uk extension, now is the time to purchase before the price rise. URLs can be bought for up to ten years ahead from most providers with significant discounts for doing so.

Searching for available domain names is easy, and can be a quite enjoyable distraction. A Google search for Domain names with brings up hundreds of vendors offering various deals. http://www.names.co.uk is a good start if you are checking for availability, with different combinations of your business name and extensions.

At Quicklearn we take a different approach to building websites, Instead of just building your site we help you create your site and in the process, you will learn how to build and maintain your site. We dispel all the mystery. Don’t worry, the process is painless and not at all time-consuming. You could have a functional website exactly the way you want it in as little as four hours. We then support you as much a you need until you are confident enough to take over your website. Email now to book a no obligation conversation.

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