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So you have a great idea for a website, it might be a brand new service to offer the world or it could simply be an online presence for your company. Getting the right domain name could make quite a difference to how the website will perform.
To make life a little easier we have created our Domain Name Registration Cheatsheet.
The first thing to learn about domain names is that you don’t own them as such, think about it as renting them. You can’t purchase a domain name outright, you instead buy the rental in years. I guess you could buy 100 years if you wanted!
There isn’t any advantage of buying more that 1 years rental, many places offer a deal if you register more than a couple of years but that’ it. There isn’t any SEO value to registering more than a year.

Business Websites

Obviously you will want a website name which is similar or the same as your company name, product or service. The first thing to do is check that the domain name is available and is not currently in use. Click on the banner below to check to see if the domain is available.
There are a few things we recommend that you should NOT do when buying a business domain:
  • Hyphens: Nothing looks less professional than a site like:  www.the-best-thing-in-the-world-promise.com
  • TLD: TLD stands for Top Level Domain, an example would be .co.uk , .com or .org. Domain names look more professional if the TLD is for the country you trade in or one of the US TLDs like .com, but these are harder to get as they were the first to be released. Something to bare in mind is that some people will not buy products which don’t have the countriesTLD as they feel that there is less chance of receiving the ordered product.

Trademark

If you have the trademark for your Company Name/Product and the domain with the same name is registered by someone else you maybe in a position to request a transfer of the domain, for FREE!
If you think this is the case we recommend contacting your lawyer to manage this.

Ecommerce websites

When creating an Ecommerce or shopping websites there are a few things to consider. Reputation is very important, having a spammy website name like ‘cheapest-nails-in-the-world.com’ or ‘nailsarebetterthanscrews.com’ doesn’t look great.
Ecommerce websites are about making money, so here are our top 3 things to consider:
  1. Make sure the website is easy to spell, conduct some research from your friends and ask them to spell your word. If there are mispellings then it might be worth considering either changing or buy all versions, just to make sure.
  2. Short and Sweet, the shorter the name of the site the quicker it is for your shopper to type into their tablet/mobile phone.
  3. Try and make it memorable or somehow connected with your industry so people will think of your site when they think of your industry.

‘Don’t you forget my website’ website

Finally you maybe creating a new website which requires a snappy name which people won’t forget. The aim for these websites are to try and make your snappy website a brand, some examples would be Ebay, Amazon and Twitter, those three have done quite well.
Easy eh!?
Well no not really, the Internet over the last decade has got very popular and finding the ‘snappy‘ English word is quite hard, in fact it is said that every English word has been registered as both a .com and a .co.uk.
So it is time to use your imagination, assuming you don’t want to buy an already owned domain name which can be a little costly.
Try making up your own word, eBay is a good example, many sites add an ‘i‘ or ‘e‘ to the start of the word to represent Internet or Ecommerce. Also try splitting two words up and adding together,
for example if your website is an online game that you have to guide a Rhino through the Desert you could call it www.Rhinert.com or www.Desno.com. The words might look and sound funny but then again Zoopla probably did too!
Now you have come up with your snappy names use the banner below to see if they are available. If it is available go ahead and register before someone else does! If it’s not available, get thinking again!

Buying a domain name from someone else

Sometimes there is no other option but to buy a domain from someone else. It could be that the name is perfect for you or actually want to buy the whole website to use. Some considerations to think about:
  • Make sure you are not buying over the odd for the domain name, this is very hard to value but seek advice if you are not sure.
  • This is VERY important, since 2013 some of the search engines (inc Google and Bing) not de-value websites because of the types of links to the site. The previous owner of the name could have bought 10,000 bad links and therefore Google have penalised the site. It can take a long time and a lot of time to clean these up. If you are not sure we recommend speak to companies like Juicy SEO to identify these links for you.