How to Build a Website: Domain Names

April 5, 2012 by  Filed under: Domain 

If you’ve decided your business needs a website, the first thing you’ll need is what is known as a domain name. A domain name is the name which identifies a particular website.

When you call up a search engine online such as Google, if you look up in the top, left hand corner of the screen you’ll see a white strip of space which will display what is known as the URL of the web page that you’re currently looking at. URL stands for ‘uniform resource locator’ which basically means the virtual ‘address’ of the page you’re viewing. Within the URL will be the domain name of the web page.

You don’t ever actually own your domain name; you simply lease it from the domain name provider for a number of years – most usually two. Most businesses will use their business name as their domain name (if the name is available). However, if you’re looking for a suitable domain name for your business, you may find that the name you want is already leased by someone else, and you will have to get more creative to find one that’s available.

You can buy domain names from their current owners, or you could try to obtain them when the lease comes up for renewal. Be aware that there is a whole online cottage industry of people who speculatively buy up domain names in the hope of selling them on for lots of money.

If you can’t get hold of your exact business name, try searching for your business name but with a hyphen in the middle, or with ‘the’ at the start. Don’t use too many hyphens – it looks rather cheap and nasty, for one thing, and is difficult to type.

I would recommend that you buy name if available and the domain for whatever country you’re in – e.g. if you’re in the UK, buy the version of your domain name.

It can be useful for SEO purposes (search engine optimisation) if some of the keywords for your business are contained within your domain name, i.e. if you’re selling red hats, you might want your business to be ‘Red Hat Sellers’ and your domain name to be

By that I mean, using this domain name will mean that your website should show up in the search engines when people are searching for the keywords ‘red hat’.

Buying a domain name is super easy. Simply go to a suitable domain name provider, search for the name that you want, add it to your online shopping cart if it’s available, and buy it!

There are lots of different providers, though, so have a look and see what sort of prices they offer.

Want to know more about online marketing, social media and how to make the most of the internet age?

Webspeak for Beginners! How to Blog, Tweet, Build a Website and Market Your Business Online will show you how to build an online presence for your company; how to create a website, the easy way; WordPress basics; Beginner’s Search Engine Optimisation; How to blog and what to blog about; Email lists and newsletters explained; Social media and how best to use it; and more! Now available from Amazon:

Celina Lucas is the author of the Amazon Kindle books How to Run a Work From Home Business When You Have Small Children, How to Be a Virtual Assistant, How to Start a Business When You’ve Got No Time – Or Money and others.

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