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Top tips for registering a domain name

Friday, August 8th, 2008

The domain name is an essential part of any web site, but choosing and registering it can be a tricky process.

Here are some great tips to help you through this process.

1. Choose your domain name quickly
.uk domain names are being registered at a rate of one every 20 seconds
and allocated on a first-registered, first-served basis, so a delay in decision making could mean someone else gets there first.

2. Choose a name that suits your business
You should choose your domain name so that it best represents your
company’s interests. Bear in mind the brand, what you offer, your unique
selling point and the implications of being alphabetically listed.

Think about domain names that solve a problem or names that describe
the products or services your company provides e.g. ‘marketing solutions’.
Either way, your name will help drive targeted traffic to your web site if
you take this approach.

3. Be flexible and creative in your choice of domain names
There are approximately 120-130 million domain names registered
worldwide. It may be useful to think about a few alternatives in case the
name you ideally want is already registered. Consider using hyphens and

4. Decide which Top-Level Domain (TLD) to use
Companies based in the UK usually register a domain name ending in
.co.uk, and recent independent research suggests that British Internet
users buy cialis on line are six times more likely to choose a .uk rather than a .com address
when looking for information via an Internet search engine. 72% of
respondents also said they would visit a British web site above any other.

There are however a number of other alternatives including .com or other
Second Level Domains such as .org.uk (or non-commercial
organisations), .me.uk (for individuals), .ltd.uk and .plc.uk (for Ltd and Plc companies) and .com, .info and others for generic usage.

5. Register your domain name in other suffixes
It’s not a bad idea to register several similar domain names. If you have
‘yourname.co.uk’ you could register ‘yourname.org.uk’ so no-one else can
come in at a later stage and capitalise on your brand name using another
major domain name type. You could also register your full company
name and a shorter, easier to remember version.

6. Check whether your chosen name has already been registered
You can check if your domain name is available on our home page.

7. If it has been registered, you could check if it is for sale
If your first choice domain name is unavailable the cheapest solution is to
choose something else. However, if you have your heart set on a
particular name, you could try buying it from the current registrant.
There’s no guarantee you will be able to acquire the domain, and even if
the current registrant is willing to sell, it could cost you anywhere from a
few hundred to many thousands of pounds.

8. Make sure the web address is registered in your name
This will make it easier to transfer a domain name, even if your registrar
subsequently goes into liquidation. Pay particular attention to your rights
to move your business and your domain name to another registrar, and
whether there is a charge for doing so before you sign the contract. Use
the WHOIS service to check the name has been registered in your name.

9. Make a diary note of the renewal date for your domain name
All .uk domain name registrations are valid for two years from the date of
registration; others may vary so check your domain name certificate.
Your registrar will normally contact you before the expiry date to ask if you wish to renew it for another two year period.

For .uk domain names, we will also contact you before cancelling the
registration. Be aware that ‘Notices of Expiration’ demanding payment
from sources other than your agent or Nominet may be a scam, so check
correspondence carefully and contact your existing agent or us if you
have any concerns.

10. Tell us if your contact details change
Your details must be correct for the domain name registration to remain
valid and your registrar will not necessarily prompt you. You can change
any of your contact details using our Online Service. Log on with your
account information and update the relevant details – it’s as simple as

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