Getting the right domain name is a crucial step in starting your business. It establishes your online presence, enhances brand identity, and helps drive website traffic. In this guide, we will walk you through the process of buying a domain name in the UK, providing step-by-step instructions, and recommending helpful websites to assist you along the way.
Before you follow this process, you should read our guide on choosing a company name as your domain name and company name often go hand-in-hand.
First, a note about domains as there are some key points to consider.
A URL or Web Address e.g. https://www.juggleoutsourcing.com/ contains two parts.
- https is the protocol, the S means the site has an SSL certificate and is considered secure, this is important as many pieces of anti-virus software won’t let people visit unsecure sites.
- Juggleoutsourcing.com is the domain, juggleoutsourcing represents our business and .com represents the TLD or Top Level Domain.
The TLD is almost as important as the company name. .com is the most popular in the world, and as such many phone keyboards are set up to predictively type it, search engines prefer it and it has the most guaranteed longevity. But most importantly, if someone is guessing, and they will, they will normally guess .com. If you don’t own it they will be directed to someone else’s website! For businesses in the UK, .co.uk is the next most important TDL, your strong preference should be to buy the .com and .co.uk if you can.
There are many, many other TLD’s out there from .club to .london and .xyz. They all have their uses but always try and pick a business name with the .com and .co.uk available.
Step 1: Choose a Domain Name. Selecting a memorable and relevant domain name is the first and potentially most important step in this process. Consider a name that reflects your brand or business and is easy to spell and remember. Use domain name generators like Lean Domain Search to generate ideas and check domain availability. Try to avoid underscores, dashes, abbreviations, or anything else that will make it harder for someone to remember your domain.
Step 2: Check Domain Availability. Once you have a domain name in mind, check its availability to ensure it hasn’t already been registered by someone else. Websites like Nominet 123 Reg or GoDaddy allow you to search for available domain names and provide alternatives if your desired name is taken.
Step 3: Choose a Domain Registrar. A domain registrar is a company that allows you to register and manage domain names. Consider factors such as pricing, customer support, domain management tools, and additional services offered. Popular domain registrars in the UK include GoDaddy and 123 Reg but there are many small businesses doing the same thing that may offer you a better service.
Step 4: Register Your Domain. Once you have chosen a domain registrar, follow their registration process. Provide your contact information, select the desired domain name, and choose the registration duration. Be sure to review and understand the terms and conditions before finalising your purchase.
Step 5: Complete the Registration Process. During the registration process, you may be asked to provide additional details, such as your business address and DNS (Domain Name System) settings. DNS settings determine how your domain name connects to your website or email hosting. Consult your website hosting provider for the correct DNS settings.
Step 6: Consider Additional Services. Some domain registrars offer additional services, such as privacy protection, SSL certificates, and email hosting. Privacy protection hides your personal contact information from public domain records, while an SSL certificate ensures secure communication between your website and visitors. Evaluate these services based on your needs and budget.
Step 7: Renew Your Domain. Domain names need to be renewed periodically to maintain ownership. Set reminders to renew your domain before it expires to avoid losing it. Most registrars offer automatic renewal options to simplify the process. Keep your contact information up to date with your registrar to receive renewal notifications.
Step 8: Manage Your Domain. Once your domain is registered, you can manage it through your chosen domain registrar’s platform. You can update contact information, modify DNS settings, and configure other settings as needed. Familiarise yourself with the registrar’s management tools and support documentation to effectively manage your domain.
Purchasing a domain name is a straightforward process that begins with choosing a relevant and available name. By following the steps outlined in this guide, you can secure a domain name that aligns with your business or brand. Remember to choose a reputable domain registrar, consider additional services, and manage your domain effectively to maintain a strong online presence.
If you get stuck or need advice, or want someone to find and register a domain for you, Juggle! is here to help, just contact us for a free chat.