Choosing a website name

Its more important than you can imagine and all too tempting and seemingly straight forward to choose your company name as your primary domain name, but read on as that is not always the best approach.

Your website address: www.companyname.co.uk is correctly termed a “domain name” or URL (Unique Resource Locator). Importantly by the way, one agrees to register a chosen name to use for a period of one or two years and the registrar will e-mail you to advise you when that period is due to expire and you need to renew. No one can buy or buy’s a domain name.

There are an almost limitless number of domains available although not only may it be the case that your company name is already registered by someone else, but the name of your company may not be the best name to choose. To help make that decision you may find the following scenario helpful.

An example:

Imagine a pizza company called … “Mario’s Italian Pizza Co” and Mario delivered his hand crafted pizza’s locally around the Reading area of Berkshire. Mario’s pizzas are so good (his Momma’s secret recipe of course) that Mario envisages his pizza company expanding and franchises opening country wide.

Now it may be the case that given the number of people searching on the major search engines for “home delivery pizza reading” that www.homedeliverypizza.co.uk is a more appropriate domain to chose from a business and promotion point of view. From a corporate stance though one would of course also want to register www.mariositalianpizzaco.co.uk.

Our recommendation would be to register both names and the Country specific .co.uk as well as the .com for both if only to prevent a competitor registering them and causing complications later (if nothing more sinister).

As Mario expanded his company, www.mariospizzs.com would be the name of the corporate website aimed at investors, banks and shareholders etc whilst www.homedeliverypizza.co.uk would be promoted on the search engines and its content written and focused at customers who will order pizza.

NOTE: if both websites are to be promoted to search engines it is critical to ensure content for each is unique to avoid either being penalised by Google for duplicate (or mirrored) copy.

The cost of registering both sets of domains is negligible in the overall picture of things.

Registering your Domain Name

Having given it thought, the next thing is to register your domain and to do so one would be well advised to utilise one of the hundreds of websites for the purpose such as www.uk2.net or www.enom.com which are perhaps 2 of the better known. Although www.net2.co.uk has an extensive list of options and (in our opinion) has quite a clean uncluttered website.

Please note though, that whilst there are cheaper providers often the saving of a few pounds will prove to be short sighted in the long term as the administration and challenges of actually using your domain can be problematic and time consuming.

Another option is to check availability and ask your web designer to register the domain, which whilst a little more expensive would save you the administration and should save you the worry of renewal.

So, use one of those companies/websites to select your domain, pay for it online using your plastic and you will receive an e-mail will all the detail your web developer will require to publish your website against your domain name. If you have any doubts about domains you could look at the United Kingdom World Wide Web’s governance body at www.nominet.org.uk.

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