When starting a website, one of the first things you will need to do is to buy/register a domain name.
You can actually register as many domain names as you like (providing that name is available), but you’ll probably just want to stick to one for marketing purposes. For example, what do you want your website address to be? What do you want your email address to end in? What do you want to display on your business card? eg www.mydomainname.co.uk where ‘mydomainname’ could be whatever you choose.
What is a domain name?
In basic terms a domain name is the ‘friendly’ address of your website. So for example the domain name of this website is blacksheepmedia.co.uk. A domain name can be up to 253 characters long and can be made up of letters, numbers or a ‘-‘ hyphen. You can register as many domain names as you like.
An important thing to consider is how you tell someone what your domain name is. For example we could have used hyphens in our domain to make it look nicer, so black-sheep-media.co.uk, BUT that also means whenever anyone asks for our website address we’d have to say “it’s black hyphen sheep hyphen media .co.uk” instead off “It’s blacksheepmedia.co.uk” which rolls off the tongue much easier. As such we would recommend you avoid using hyphens in domain names unless there’s is literally no other option. Think also about how you would tell someone what your e-mail address is? Keep it as brief and easy to remember as possible.. ..firstname.lastname@example.org
What domain name should I use for my business?
That’s a big question and something you will need to put some very careful thought in to. When we set up a business from scratch we generally try to make sure the domain name we want is available before committing to that business name.
The key thing to remember is that domain names are registered on a first-come-first-served basis. Once they’re gone, they’re gone. So if you find your perfect domain you might want to register it before someone else does!
We usually search for available domain names using 123-Reg’s own domain search tools. They’re very good and will suggest alternative domains if the one you selected isn’t available.
Should I buy a .co.uk, .uk or .com name or something else?
Again, that is another very good question! These things are known as TLDs or Top Level Domains. There are thousands to choose from but in the UK we generally settle for one (or all) of these:
But, don’t limit yourself to those if you’re struggling to find your perfect name. You could equally go for .xyz or .news or any one of the other available domain names.
All I would say is in the UK people are very comfortable with the three options above (.co.uk, .uk & .com). For example, for our website we registered blacksheepmedia.co.uk and blacksheepmedia.uk. We use the .co.uk as the primary name and the .uk just forwards to the .co.uk one. You’ll notice if you click on the .uk address above it takes you straight to the .co.uk address.
How long should I register my domain for?
Another tricky question! Normally you can register a domain for anything from 1 to 10 years. When you’re first starting out you might not want to commit to a long domain registration in case things don’t work out.
Having said that domain names are cheap and there are unconfirmed reports that longer registrations may boost your search engine performance. We’d suggest going for at least 2 years to start with.
What other domain services should I opt for?
When you register a domain you’ll be offered a load of optional extras that you don’t really need such as e-mail hosting and domain name privacy. Skip those for now – just register the domains.
If you’re offered ‘domain name protection’ it’s up to you whether you buy this. It adds an extra layer of protection for your domains. Not 100% necessary but depends how paranoid you’re feeling.
Obviously buy all the variants of the domain you want – in the UK we would generally suggest the .co.uk, .uk and .com variants if possible. Registering all three will offer you some brand protection for your business, in that if you register the domain names it means others can’t.
Also registering three domain names will not mean you have to create three separate websites, just one will do, you can have a primary domain attached the your website and the other two will forward onto this one.
Alternatively if you’d prefer to have someone do all the domain registration, management, website hosting, SSL certification etc on your behalf , then please get in touch with us and we’ll provide you with a competitive quotation.
Domain Name Registration and Management by Black Sheep Digital Media
Domain name registration and management refers to the process of acquiring and maintaining control over a unique web address (URL) for a website. The domain name is a critical aspect of online identity and branding as it provides a way for users to easily access a website and associate it with a particular brand, company, or individual. The process of domain name registration and management involves several steps, including:
- Choosing a domain name: This involves selecting a unique and memorable domain name that aligns with your brand and is easy for users to remember.
- Checking availability: Before registering a domain name, it is important to check if it is already taken by visiting a domain registrar’s website and entering the desired name in the search bar.
- Registering the domain name: Once you have selected and verified the availability of a domain name, you can proceed to register it through a domain registrar. You will need to provide personal and payment information to complete the registration process.
- Configuring DNS settings: The domain registrar will provide you with access to the domain name’s DNS (Domain Name System) settings, which allow you to configure how users access your website using the domain name.
- Renewing the registration: Most domain registrations need to be renewed annually or biennially to maintain control over the domain name. It is important to keep track of the renewal date and ensure timely renewal to avoid losing control of the domain name.
- Transferring the domain name: In some cases, you may need to transfer control of the domain name to another party, such as when selling a website or changing domain registrars. The transfer process can be initiated by the current registrant and requires approval from both parties.
In addition to these steps, domain name registration and management also involves several best practices to ensure the stability and security of your website and domain name. These include:
- Keeping contact information up to date: It is important to keep the contact information associated with your domain name up to date to ensure that you receive important notifications from the domain registrar.
- Securing the domain name with privacy protection: Domain registrars offer privacy protection services to conceal your personal information from public domain databases, reducing the risk of spam and identity theft.
- Monitoring the domain name for cyber threats: Regularly monitoring your domain name for cyber threats such as phishing scams and malware attacks can help prevent unauthorised access to your website and protect your brand’s reputation.
- Keeping software and plugins up to date: Regularly updating software and plugins associated with your website can help prevent security breaches and improve website performance.
In conclusion, domain name registration and management is a critical aspect of online branding and identity. By following best practices and regularly monitoring the domain name, you can ensure the stability and security of your website and protect your brand’s reputation.