There are many ways to purchase domain names. Some are by the book, others are inadvisable, while a few are frankly irresponsible. Yet choosing and purchasing a website address is a key stage when setting up any new enterprise or business. A website is your shop window, and its address speaks volumes about your location, professionalism and character.
To help guide UK2 customers onto the right path, we’ve compiled a list of dos and don’ts for anyone looking to purchase domain names in future…
Do ensure it’s still possible to purchase domain names that suit your firm.
Our homepage has a search facility which identifies available top level domains associated with a particular name. If the .com and co.uk TLDs are gone, you should still be able to choose from other options.
Don’t attempt to purchase a domain someone else already owns.
Cybersquatting is less of an issue than it was in the 1990s, but many sites are still parked by their owners with homepage notices listing the domain for sale. This is expensive, risky and generally inadvisable as domains owned by others can be expensive, and passing domains from one to another is tough to control.
Do ensure your domain name dovetails with your brand.
If you’re super-organised, you’ll have checked you can still purchase domain names for your new brand. If not, try to choose a name with some relevance to your firm in some way, or adopt a niche TLD. However…
Don’t select an obscure top level domain.
At UK2 we sell a wide variety of TLDs, but we only cover around a third of the total market. We ignore TLDs with weak registry agencies, ‘novelty’ domains or anything capable of harming your site’s professionalism.
Do choose a domain with specific relevance to your industry.
A generic .com or .org domain says nothing about your industry, or areas of expertise. However, whether your business involves toys, tennis, tickets or tours, there’s a dedicated gTLD that’ll instantly explain what you do.
Don’t enter a desired domain name into your browser bar and hit Return.
At best, you’ll boost the visitor statistics for an existing website. At worst, you’ll end up on a site containing malware, or trapping you in an endless loop of popups and notifications.
Do consider how long you wish to keep a domain.
Ownership periods vary from one to nine years, yet forty per cent of new UK businesses fail inside of five years. Domain ownership can be automatically renewed, so there’s no need to make a financial commitment until 2027.
Don’t try to mimic an existing competitor’s domain name.
If a company in your industry shares your firm’s name, consider rebranding. Most people instinctively enter .com or .co.uk into browser bars, which could potentially take them to rival sites rather than your own.
Do choose a name that’s brief – and easy to spell.
Nobody wants to hear you say “so, it’s Z for Zulu, y for Yankee…” when dictating a website address. Shorter domain names have greater recall and receive more traffic, enhancing their position in search results.
Don’t try to spell a word or phrase using country code TLDs.
These are meant for indigenous businesses to help them stand out against foreign rivals. Using an overseas ccTLD like www.visitportsmou.th might boost Thai search engine rankings, but it’ll hinder UK ones.
Do use UK2.
We sell hundreds of TLDs – all the ones worth having, in fact. We charge competitive prices for domain names and site hosting, and we offer loads of extra services. Popular add-ons include site building tools, domain privacy and multiple email accounts.