Choosing a Domain Name

We have nearly 15 years of experience in this field and can help you make informed decisions when selecting a Domain Name to represent your presence on the internet…

Like choosing a name for a new baby, the domain name you choose for the home on the internet for your business, club, charity or hobby can be critical to it’s success. And by success for domain names, we mean whether it gets used by visitors!

There are a few rules, and a few recommendations but you can’t always follow them all so choices have to be made depending upon your priorities. Just remember that your domain name and how relevant it is to what you do or what you are called is important!

1. Where possible, make sure that the domain name represents your business, organisation or group’s name. This is how people who already know about you, will search for you on the internet, without doubt. This is also the main way that local people who don’t know about you will search to see if you exist. Often, people will try to guess what your domain name might be.

2. The other alternative is to choose a domain name that reflects what you do, or what you provide. But unless what you do is very, very unique, the domain name will almost certainly be in use already. You could therefore choose to combine both 1. and 2. to create a unique name that satisfies both requirements.

3. If yours is a business, do some research on your competitor’s websites and domain names. Sometimes it pays to have a domain name that’s very similar, sometimes it doesn’t! If your new name is different because their name has a hyphen and yours doesn’t, you might pick up some extra customers but they might gain more of yours!

4. And on the subject of research: try to find out what sites are “nearby” your domain name. Don’t ever register if next door is an “adult” site. The danger here is that your customers will go to the wrong address and blame you!

5. Because of 4. above, always, always register the .com address as well as the domain name that you choose to prevent this scenario from happening! So when you’re checking domain name availability, always check the .com at the same time.

6. There is a vast array of domain name extensions available; the extension is the bit after the “.” such as or com. You are mostly free to register a domain name using any extension that you wish but beware; some of them come with restrictions and/or big disadvantages.

7. Generally speaking, avoid slang-words, quirky spellings and non-words. yes, there are lots of examples of businesses that have bucked this trend but they are minorities. Double and treble-check your spelling before you register your name; it can’t be changed once paid for!

8. Make sure that the name you choose is memorable and easy to communicate verbally. See above but use spellings that can’t be mis-typed and try and avoid using numbers instead of letters.

9. The use of hypens in your domain name depends upon your potential market. If you think that most people will type in your name to go directly to your site, then avoid hyphens; they’re slightly more fiddly to type and remember. But if you think that most people will arrive at your site because they’ve searched for you or what you do using Google (or any other search engine!) then separate the words in your domain name using hyphens.

10. Because of most of the above, never settle for just one, but register as many domain names as you can afford and “point” them at your main website. This will cover as many of the above options as possible and help to improve your presence and visibilty on the internet

We can help with the registration, management and configuration of domain names for your website and e-mail requirements. Give us a call or use the contact form to get in touch!

We have nearly 15 years of experience in this field and can help you make informed decisions when selecting a Domain Name to represent your presence on the internet…