I’ve transferred a couple of domain names [website addresses] recently and it got me thinking about them and what a potential minefield they can be.
When you are thinking about a domain name for your venture, there are a few things you should bear in mind.
1. Where to buy your domain name
There are a number of reputable companies selling domain names. Personally, I use 123 Reg, but you can purchase them from BlueHost, domain.com and a number of others. You can also buy via your website host if you have a Wix, Go Daddy, Squarespace or other hosted website.
2. Don’t buy any extras
Only purchase the domain name. Don’t be tempted to buy web hosting, email hosting or website design packages no matter how appealing. There will always be a deal on those later on if you are patient. Register the domain yourself, so that you can maintain control of your domain name without being tied into anything else, keeping it all very simple. If you tie your domain name to a website package but then fall out with your web designer, or want to change hosts, then it will all get very messy and difficult to unravel. Remember - keep control and keep it simple in the first place.
3. Test out your domain name
When deciding on your domain name you really need to put some thought into it. Scribble down loads of ideas and bear in mind how the domain name will look written down. Think about what your company does as well as your actual name. Run ideas past friends, maybe even hold a facebook vote.
4. Are you a dotcom?
Think about your domain name extension. Should you go for .com or .co.uk or even .org? You might find your choice isn’t available, but there are loads of domain name extensions available these days so you can pick the one that suits you. If you choose more than one, decide which the main one will be and make sure that’s the one you use on your marketing collateral. All the others can point at the main web address.
5. Do you need to change?
If you already have a well regarded website address, that performs well on search engines because you have spent time building your company’s reputation, do you really need to change your domain name? If your company name is Smith, your website is Smiths.com and you sell crisps, do you really need to change your domain name to crisps.com? Consider purchasing the url and pointing it at your site instead of changing it.