One of the most important parts of your online presence is your domain name. Here are some guidelines about choosing a name and registering it.
Selecting a name
First thing to consider is what to include in your name:
- Do you need hyphens?
- Use your entire company name, or just part of it?
- Include keywords?
Consider your visitors first
Are they going to be able to remember your domain?
Try to find a domain that is easy to remember and not confusing such as containing words that end with the same letter the next word begins with.
As an example www.karensschoolofmotoring.co.uk/ at the end of karens the next work starts with s for school. Often people who know about you may forget to type in the second s and get an error instead of landing on your website.
Try not to use hyphens as people forget to type them.
Come up with one or two words to start with then try three or four or longer word domains, the shorter the domain the more likely people are going to remember you, although sometimes longer domains can be easy and also obvious.
Consider the Search Engines
The search engines did consider the domain name when categorising your site, due to spamming tactics such as keyword stuffing in domain names Google may not be placing as much importance on these.
Now you need to register the domain.
Registering the domain
Use a reputable management company to register domains on your behalf or register it yourself using one of the many registration companies such as www.icuk.net, www.123-reg.co.uk or www.uk2.net
If you use a third party such as your website designer to register your domain, ensure the domain is your property and not held in your website designers name. When DRA Digital registers domains for our clients the domains are the property of the client they have full control of them, we simply manage them on their behalf.
Beware some companies register domains in their name and then charge you a monthly fee for the use of that domain. Make sure you own your domain.
Setting up the email
Once you have registered your domain you can use it for email and point the domain at your website.
You should be able to set up email accounts, forwarding accounts and web forwarding although some of these features may cost a little extra.
Forwarding email is the most common setup which allows email addresses to be forwarded to other accounts such as to a Hotmail or Googlemail account.
Actual email accounts are boxes where emails are stored until you retrieve them using an email client such as Outlook or using webmail services if available.
Catchall accounts can be set up to send all emails no matter what the address @yourdomain.co.uk to be forwarded to another account, or the catchall can be set to delete or bounce emails. DRA Digital prefer to delete catchall accounts as this reduces spam.
Setting up the website
Pointing your domain at a website can be done using two methods:
Frames show your actual domain inside a frame, this keeps your domain name visible in the address bar of your visitor's browser.
Jumping to your website is like having your domain retype your actual web address in the browser address bar.
Both methods are good if you use free ISP web space, but not so good for the search engines listing your site.