Tuesday, 4 August 2015

Roll Up, Roll Up, get your new domain name now.

There are lots of businesses without web sites, and there are lots of people with and without web sites who don’t understand the difference between domain names and web hosting.
So let’s look at domain names. A domain name is that ‘address’ everyone quotes such as
myfantasticbusiness.com, or
It’s a unique address where you can place a web site if and when you want to. It’s like a plot of land (domain) before you build the house (web site) on it.
You purchase a domain name from domain or domain name providers. There are many domain providers. Expect to pay ‘peanuts’ per year for a domain name such as something.co.uk or somethingelse.com, plus an admin fee in some cases. You can create an account with the domain provider and do it all yourself.
We have been running out of unique names – remember it has to be a unique name (address). So if it’s a common name, chances are that if you have not got your domain name by now, the name that you want to purchase has already been taken.
There is light at the end of the tunnel though – since those that run this industry came up with the notion of ‘generic’ names. So now you can purchase something.gym, something.dance, something.ski, something.london etc rather than .co.uk and .com. The world is your oyster again. However the down side is that you can’t tell where in the world that business is (unless the name is specifically location based such as .london) – so you need to make a business decision whether to use one of these or not. And indeed, if you already have a .com or .co.uk address, do you really need the .ski or .physio or .rest (for restaurants) versions too? You could spend a lot of money on this protecting your brand. It’s a cost/benefit decision.
So if you can’t get the one your want on co.uk or com, look on wiki to see the generic list and select one that might benefit you. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Internet_top-level_domains#ICANN-era_generic_top-level_domains
Domain providers tend to sell the ones they find most profitable, so if you want a name that is unusual and you really want to use it, you might have to hunt it out across several domain providers.
The down side is that the price for these is currently at a premium and you might expect to pay £20-30 or more per year for the name plus an admin fee.
And as for payment, when purchasing any domain name, you normally set up an annual recurring credit or debit payment, since if you don’t keep up the annual payments you will lose your domain name. Generally you are given a grace period, but it’s best to automate everything and have it in your calendar as a reminder each year.
Good luck with your domain name.

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