Choosing Your Domain Name – Easier Said Than Done!

Alan Gurney
By Alan Gurney
31 Jul at 17:24

Choosing a domain name is one of the first things you’ll need to do when creating your own website. You’d think this would be a piece of cake, but with the web now in its third decade it’s surprisingly difficult to find a truly original domain that hasn’t been thought up already.

Making sure you have a unique name is key. Fail that and people won’t be able to find your website, or associate it with your product or services.

There are a number of sites you can use to search for a domain name. GoDaddy.com, Names.co.uk and Fasthosts.co.uk will all allow you to check on whether your cunning creations have already been thought up, and let you buy the domain once you’ve settled on your favourite. Interestingly, your full domain name must be less than 67 characters in length.

 

Namechk.com is also very useful, as with one click it allows you to check whether your favourite name is still available on all main social media and blogging platforms.

You’ll also have to consider the extension on top of the site name. Again, the domain search sites will generally give you options for these but there are certain trends with the extension. This is not to say that all sites adhere to these but, generally speaking, .com is attached to a commercial venture, .net for internet businesses and .org for charities and not-for-profit organisations. As you’re probably aware, you can also get country specific extensions like .co.uk for good old Blighty, .fr for France and so on a so forth.

Now that you’ve chosen your full domain name, what’s next? You need a company to host your website. Essentially this is just a company with a server that will store all of your site’s data. Depending on whether your website is for personal or business use, you have different options. If it’s personal there’s plenty of free sites you can use such as Google sites (http://sites.google.com) or Weebly (http://www.weebly.com). If it’s for business, then you’ve got a bit more to think about, firstly the type of hosting:

• Onsite
• Dedicated
• Shared

Each has their own merits but the most common is the shared hosting as it’s the most cost-effective. When you are choosing your hosting method there are a lot of things to consider –speed, storage and company reputation are just a few of the factors that might influence your decision. Alternatively, you could use a blog to host your website. Blogs are a great tool to use as they are very flexible, fairly easy to maintain and can lead to increased traffic through their focused-driven templates.

To learn more about website creation and management, check out our Web Design course.