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How to choose a Domain Name

Before any work can start on your website a domain name has to be chosen.

A domain is a URL address, basically the name that you would type into an address bar to visit your website.

Why do you need a domain name?

Without a human friendly domain name your website URL address would just be full of numbers, so from a marketing aspect it will help to build up name recognition and trust with your customers.

Choosing a domain

Finding a domain name for your business can be quite difficult. Ideally it should be memorable, easy to type into an address bar and something that will stand out.

The obvious answer for is the name of your business. However with the number of domains being registered in the UK continuing to rise, the name you might have in mind may already be taken. If you have registered your business name and have already branded your business, finding out that your name is not available can be very frustrating.

Have this problem? There are a few alternatives that you could consider:

Adding a hyphen

First is adding a hyphen. For example if your business is called Apple Computers and the domain www.applecomputers.co.uk is not available then you could add a hyphen, so it would become www.apple-computers.co.uk (assuming that it is available).  Although it may not be your first choice, in this example you still have the name of the business and the two main focus keywords ‘apple’ and ‘computers’. This would still help your website in search results and it is still in keeping with your brand.

Shortening the name

Another alternative could be to shorten your business name for the purpose of finding a domain. Using the business example, the name could be shortened to just www.apple.co.uk. However, try not to cut out any major keywords associated with your business.

Change of name

Changing the name of your business could be another alternative if you are in the early stages. Although if you have invested a lot in to branding i.e. design of a logo, business cards etc. this may be costly option.

Final Option

If the domain name you wanted is already registered with an individual or business there are ways to see the date it was registered and the date it is due to expire. You could either wait to see if the registrant will choose not to renew or contact them directly to see if they would be willing to sale the domain.

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If you’re setting up a business I would advise you to check two things before you go about naming it:

1.)  Go to: http://www.companieshouse.gov.uk – Check if the business name you had in mind is not already registered with Companies House. The Web Check facility enables you to search for company names through a database of over 2 million UK companies free of charge. You should also check trademarks and copyrights.

2.)  Go to a domain registration checker to see if the domain is available. We can help you do this if you are unsure how too.

The above steps should make it easier for you to find the right domain name to fit your business!

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