Businesses are growing more reliant on online commerce. Getting the right domain name, and the right domain name extension, is a vital part of growing a healthy online brand and becoming a strong competitor in the online marketplace. If you’re setting up a new business, a domain name is one of the most important decisions you’ll have to make.
How do domain names work?
When someone types your domain name into their browser, it’s passed to a DNS (Domain Name Server) that matches it to the IP address, which is just a string of numbers. Then, the DNS sends the visitor to the right website. If you only take one thing away from this explanation, it should be that domain names exist to make life easier for actual human beings using the worldwide web.
What does a domain name do?
A good domain name needs to do three things. First, it needs to establish your brand by linking your name to your service or clearly communicating what it is your organisation does. Second, it needs to create a strong first impression by communicating your business’s character, from fun and quirky to elegant and serious.
Finally, a good domain name makes search engine optimisation easier. The domain name should feel natural and roll off the tongue, but a bakery with “cake” in the domain name definitely has an SEO advantage over one called “Jane’s Place”.
What top level domain should I choose?
When you buy domain name from a service such as https://www.names.co.uk/domain-names, choosing your top level domain (the name’s ending, such as .com) can be one of the trickiest things to do. This list should help you make your choice.
1. .com, short for “commercial”, is intended for businesses but has become common for any type of website
2. .net, or “network” is also used by many types of website, but can feel less generic than .com
3. .edu is for schools and other educational programs; .info is a less restricted option
4. .org, or organisation, is for non-profits.
5. Country-level TLDs, such as .co.uk, open up domain names that might already be taken at the .com level
6. Specific endings like .london and .shop allow you to customise your domain name and are more affordable than more generic endings, so these can be great options for some businesses