More and more people are setting up their own websites, whether you’re just starting up your own business, or you have decided to create a blog using a popular CMS (content management system) like WordPress, which earlier this year surpassed the 24% mark of all sites currently being run.
But let’s not get ahead of ourselves – the first step towards a shiny new website, or your first site, or even if you are re-branding, is choosing a domain name. Now this really is your call, obviously the name of the site has to really speak to you and how you want to come across in your online presence. However, we can offer a bunch of tips that might make things easier for you if you’re struggling with where to get started. Firstly, it’s always good practice to keep domain registration separate from where you end up hosting your site. A lot of registration sites will offer hosting along with the domains you buy, although for security reasons, we’d recommend you avoid this if at all possible. Just remember that registration is a separate service to hosting; once you’ve bought and registered a domain name it is legally your for the duration paid. It can be stored wherever you see fit to host the site.
Try to keep it short and sweet, bear in mind that the snappier your site name and the easier to remember it is, then the less traffic you’ll lose due to incorrect spelling etc. Your name has to reflect your brand and again, this is really your call, but if your company has a well established name that looks pretty long in the web address bar, then maybe consider a shorter version for online use. For example, if the company name took after the owners i.e. “John & Jane Doe Services LTD”, perhaps this could be shortened to jandjservices.co.uk, or even just jandj.com.
Next, if you have the money to spend, it may be worth buying a few of the TLDs if at all possible, i.e. janj.com, jandj.co.uk, jandj.biz and so on and so forth. This will again minimize the loss of traffic due to either mispelling or maybe mis-remembering what TLD follows the domain name for the intended site. If only one is needed then it’s crucial to think about what it will be used for. If the site is for a company that will trade internationally then .com is probably the most suitable. Although, if it’s for a portfolio site or a smaller business based in the UK, then .co.uk will be popular choice.
It would also be pertinent to consider how the domain name will look as an email address i.e. firstname.lastname@example.org. Some professionals refer to the emails address as being ‘social telephone numbers’. Email addresses are passed be tween colleagues and contacts much more frequently than phone numbers, as they are still a key form of communication for businesses big and small.