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Top Tips For Registering A Domain Name

You’ve got your great online idea, be it an interesting blog, an online business presence or a new eCommerce venture. Either way you’ve decided that you need a website. Before you even start thinking about web design, you need to grab your domain name. This article looks at some of the essentials of selecting, registering and transferring your domain name.

Selecting A Domain Name

There are a few considerations when it comes to selecting the right domain name.

  • Remember that people expect the domain name to match the business name and will get confused if this isn’t the case.
  • Hyphens are a contentious issue. They make it a bit easier for search engines to differentiate the words of your domain name, however they are a bit of a mouthful when you are reciting the domain name or email address down a telephone like.
  • Try not to make the domain name too long otherwise it becomes difficult to remember and to type into a browser without making a mistake. The maximum number of characters is 63 – this doesn’t include the domain extension.
  • Select the appropriate domain extension for your market. If you are a UK based company, selling predominantly to the UK, a .co.uk extension makes more sense than the .com. You may consider also purchasing the .com if it is available though, just to stop someone else from getting it. Price is a consideration when choosing the domain extension too, for example a .co.uk is likely to be cheaper per year than a .com.

Registering A Domain Name

Many companies offer Domain Name Registration. Some of the popular ones are godaddy.com, names.co.uk and 123-reg.co.uk. Use a search engine and type “register a domain name” to find the companies that are specialists in your country. These services will offer a domain name search to see if your chosen domain is available. They will usually give you alternatives if your ideal domain isn’t available and suggest alternative domain extensions too. Each domain suggestion will be listed against the price per year option. You can get your web hosting from the site that you are registering the domain with, however it’s worth remembering that this isn’t essential.

Transferring A Domain Name

If you have sold a domain name, you will need to transfer ownership of the domain. This process differs from one domain registrar to another. Typically, if you login in to your control panel you will see an option about transferring a domain name. You will need to know the new owners domain registrar and hosting information. Often the new owners domain registrar will perform the transfer for you and you may receive and authorisation email to confirm that you have agreed the transfer.

Checking A Domain Name

Once a domain name has been transferred, you will have to be a little bit patient and wait for the change to propagate across the internet. It can take up to 72 hours for the changes to be seen. You can check the progress of the transfer by checking the registered owner and the registrar are by doing a “whois” search using tools like whois.domaintools.com.

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Hannah has been working in web development for 15 years and is writing on behalf of Studio24, Cambridge Web Designers

23 Comments

  1. I was actually helping my cousin register for a domain name the other day. He was trying to use his name, but it seemed that any way he spelled or described it, it was already taken. How can you keep your domain simple, but find original ways to do it that aren’t already taken?

  2. This is realy valuable guide, i’m going to buy some domain for my site and i will follow those tips for sure.

  3. Great tips! registering a domain name is an important part of the overall marketing process and should not be taken lightly. Make sure a domain name represents your company, product and image, and you’ll be setting a great foundation for future sales.

  4. My only tip for people interested in registering domain names is to keep ’em short.

    Keywordkeywordkeywordkeyword.com is not a handsome domain, and people won’t remember it — no matter how much you’d like them to.

    /Nabil, from Sweden.

  5. Unless you’re bound to receive a brand new domain (possibly because you need to get your company name in it), a better idea would be to hit a domain auction site, like sedo or godaddy auctions. You may get a decent aged keyword-rich, possibly with traffic and google PR for nearly the price of a brand new one.

  6. Registering a domain name is getting harder and harder to do these days it seems. The popular sites are great, but it almost seems like they are running out of space. When you’re looking to register, and with a smaller company, what are some things you should look out for?

    1. >Registering a domain name is getting harder and harder to do these days it seems.

      Geez man, what are you talking about? Registering a new domain is one of the easiest thing for a webmaster to do.

      1. Exactly my thoughts. o_O How hard is clicking “register” and entering payment details?

        One problem I do however find is, coming up with the right domain. Sucks to see all good domains are taken. It can be annoying sometimes.

  7. Hi Hannah,
    when you are saying “- Try not to make the domain name too long” that is a kind of problem where you must be creative, not missing to include your niche in the domain to get better seo results.
    Regards. Tanya

  8. I have been looking at many sites and found yours extremely useful. There is clearly lots to learn on this subject,Thanks for sharing.

  9. Thanks for the tips. Been trying to find a creative but easy domain name. What’s your take on domain names that run into each other? For example: theeasyspot..

    You see how the e’s double up? Is it easier to do “theasyspot”?

  10. If your website is going to be built based on a specific keyword, then longer tailed domains are ok. That is, it doesn’t matter if the domain isn’t “memorable”, as long as it contains your main target keyword it will help it to rank quicker in the search engines. Of course, this is only the start, and quality content and good on-page and off-page SEO are critically important.

  11. Excellent tips. I’m just starting with domains. I’ll definitely employ some of the methods to get me started. I’ve visited DomainKa.com and found lots of aged domains for sale. Great work!

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