- A domain name (a web address like mywebsitename.com)
- Hosting (a service that connects your site to the internet)
The domain name is essentially your company’s Internet address; the same way your company’s street address is used to find your offices, a domain name is used to find your website Owning your own domain name looks far more professional than having your site on WordPress's domain (www.mywebsitename.wordpress.com compared to www.mywebsitename.com).
The hosting service is the provision of space on a high powered computer (anywhere in the world) that is linked to the internet 24/7 on which your website files are stored.
- If you’re making a website for your business, your domain name should match your company name. For example: YourCompanyName.com
- If you’re planning to set up a website for yourself, then YourName.com can be a great option.
For this site (Geckosurfing), I chose Geckosurfing.biz
Domain names usually end with .com, .org, .org.uk, .biz or .co.uk, but in recent months, a huge amount of domain extensions (the end part of the web address, like .com) have come out, ranging from .agency to .pizza.
HINT: Avoid the weird extensions and go with .com, .org.uk, .biz or .org unless they perfectly describe what you have to offer – and even then, see if you can find a more common name.
While .com, .org.uk, .biz, .org and .co.uk are commonly used and easily remembered, the domain extension craze hasn’t really gone mainstream yet – so people may not find you if you use a really different domain extension.
Do some brainstorming to come up with a unique domain name that reflects your future website, business or blog.
- An established reputation
- No hidden fees (such as a fee for transferring a domain out to another registrar)
- Comprehensive administration capabilities (for nameserver, mail, who-is, etc. settings)
- Reasonably priced registration fees
Generally the costs are between £7 and £11 a year.
Where do I get a domain name?
I’ve mostly used www.heartinternet.com as a domain registrar for myself and for my web development projects.
Once you have bought your domain name talk to your hosting provider as they will need to link the two together.
There are few things that can help you choosing your domain name:
Is it brandable? For example, if you make a site about poetry then best-poetry-website.net is not a good choice: poetryacademy.com or poetryfall.com is much better.
Is it memorable? Short, punchy and clear domain names are much easier to remember. If your domain name is too fuzzy, too long or spelled in a strange way, visitors may forget it.
Is it catchy? You want a domain name that rolls off the tongue, describes what you (or your business) does and sticks to the head. Coming up with a memorable name can be a bit tough since there are approximately 150 million active domain names in the world right now – but don’t give up.
There’s one rule that always applies to domain names: If you like it, go for it.