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.