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What Is A Domain Name and How Do I Get One?

May 23rd, 2014 by

Let’s face it, ‘domain name’ isn’t the sort of phrase you’d hear down the pub. So what exactly does it mean? Why do you need one? And how do you get one?

What Is a Domain Name?

A domain name is essentially the creative part of your website address – the bit that you choose, that comes after www. and before the .com or .co.uk. It’s the ‘amazing website’ part of www.amazingwebsite.com.

What is a Top Level Domain?

In a nutshell, a TLD is a web address ending, for example .com, .co.uk, or .net. At the start of this year, new TLDs were made available on the internet, such as .guru and .photography.

Why Do I Need a Domain Name?

You need a domain name in order to have a website that’s visible to Internet users. By registering a domain name and attaching it to web hosting – basically the behind the scenes tech that keeps your website online and gives it the power to work in certain ways – you make it easier for your customers to find you online.

How Do I Choose a Domain Name and TLD Combo?

It’s worthy putting a bit of thought into your domain name. Mainly because it’s probably going to be with you for a while. The best domain names are those that hint at both your business sector and your brand. SEO Moz were a good example of this. They’re known as just MOZ now, because they have reached the level of renown that they needed to drop the SEO part, which originally described that business sector they stood for.

Whatever name you choose, you should keep your web address short – because it’ll be easier to type – and easy to remember. Also, try to make it as distinct from your competitors’ domain names as possible, to avoid your customers mistyping and ending up on a rival’s site.

Finally, bear in mind that you won’t always be able to get the first domain name you come up with, especially if you want a .com or .co.uk. This is because a lot of them already belong to other companies or individuals. Come up with a few that you like to avoid disappointment.

How Do I Register a Domain Name?

If you’ve never bought a domain before, here’s a quick and easy guide on what to do…

STEP 1

Visit the UK2 website and click on the domains tab at the top – circled in red below. From the drop down menu, click on ‘domain names’.

Domain guide - step 1

STEP 2

Enter the domain name you want into the search bar – shown below. Leave out the .com or .guru at this stage and you’ll be given a list of options.

Domain guide Step 2

STEP 3

Select as many of the options as you like from the list of options, by clicking on the select button circled in red below, and they will be added to your shopping basket. If you have several domain names, it’s possible to direct all the search engine traffic they attract to one ‘mother’ website. For example, if you buy your domain name with a .com, .co.uk and a .menu on the end you can have all your search traffic directed to .menu.

Domain guide - Step 3

STEP 4

When you’re done shopping, click on the basket icon – circled in red below –  to take you to your check-out area.

Domain guide - step 4

STEP 5

Once you’re in the check-out area, you can choose how long you want to register your domain for in the area circled in red below. At this stage, you can also choose whether you want domain name privacy in the area pointed out by the arrow below. This means that people won’t be able to find out that you own the domain via the website WhoIs.

Domain guide - step 5

STEP 6

Next, scroll down the page and click on the green ‘Proceed to Checkout’ Button.

Domain guide - step 6

STEP 7

Your previous action will take you to a payments page where you will be asked to fill in your billing details. Enter these and click the orange ‘continue’ button, circled in red below.

Domain guide - step 7

Once you’ve bought your first domain with UK2, you’ll be given a CHI account, from which you can manage your existing domain and buy extras if you like. Buying a new domain on CHI is easy.

STEP 1

Click on the domains icon on the left hand side of the screen. It’s the one that looks like a globe.

Domain guide - step 8

STEP 2

When you get to the domain page, click the blue ‘GET A NEW DOMAIN NAME NOW’ tab.

Domain guide - step 9

STEP 3

Search for the domain you want in the search bar, shown below.

Domain guide - step 10

STEP 4

Domain guide - step 11

A list of options will appear once you’ve added your domain name. Simply choose the ones you like and click on the blue buy button. A drop down menu will appear now which will let you select the amount of time you want to register your domain for. Your selections will show in the cart area at the top right hand corner of your page.

If the domain you’ve set your sights on is taken, you can follow the link to WhoIS to see who it belongs to.

At the bottom right hand corner of the screen you’ll see a list of premium domain suggestions – indicated below by the big red arrow. Premium domains are domain names that have been previously registered but are now back on sale. They are premium for a number of reasons, including their previous exposure, which may have earned them a decent ranking in search engines, or because their names are particularly memorable.

STEP 5

When you are ready to buy, click on the green checkout button.

 

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