You need to put a lot of thought into choosing your domain name. Once your website is live and published online if you decide to change the name because its not right for some reason or another then changing the name will be a hassle and damaging to your brand, so it would be better to get it right the first time.
Choosing the extension is important and Google do take preference to .com domain names as they look professional and are international. Only choose a .co.uk domain name if the website is purely directed to UK visitors. If the .com domain name is not available then .net should be your next choice.
When choosing a domain name for your new website, you have several choices to consider:
- use a combination of the above
My domain name is a combination of my initials and the service I provide: JCMWEBSITEDESIGN. Choosing your name as a domain name is ideal if you keep changing your niche as you are free to move about in different areas. Using keywords in your domain name like I have has certain advantages as it indicates what the website is about. Back in the day keyword domain names were great for affiliate marketing and all the good names were snatched up, but since the Google updates a few years ago is now all about the content in your website and it does not instantaly get you to the first page just because you have a good domain name.
If your name or company name are not available then why not create a new brand name. Of course you need lots of thought and time to think about it as you need to get it right the first time. The name doesn’t have to reflect what the site is about and will be successful as long as you have relevant content in your website. ie: moonpig.com – this is now a successful brand but does not indicate in the name that it sells cards.
When you are ready to choose your name you need to register the name and a hosting account. If you are designing the website yourself then I recommend CloudNext as a reputable UK company. If you are using a Web Designer like myself then your web designer will register the domain name on your behalf and host your website on their own server to which you will be recharged.
Please note that if someone does register your domain on your behalf that they register it in your name at your address and not their own. When I first started up as a Web Designer six years ago I didn’t know that and have had to spend £12 per .co.uk domain name changing the name and address with Nominet. That was a lesson learned!