Domain names are used to access websites and online resources on the Internet. In order to run a website, you need a domain name so people can find your website online. A domain name consists of a unique name that you choose, and an extension; with many different domain extensions available that are designed for different kinds of websites.
The most common domain name choice in use today is .com. This extension is short for commercial – and while it was originally designed for business websites – it has become the de facto choice for personal and business websites online. Of course, there are many other domain extensions available like .net, .org and .info; and these different choices are generally grouped into two categories:
- Generic Domains: These are your general purpose domain names, like .com, .net, .org and .info. They are referred as generic because, while each choice is designed for a specific audience or industry, they can be registered by anyone and used for any legitimate purpose (e.g. you don’t need to run a business to own or use a .com domain name).
- Country-Specific Domains: These are the domain extensions reserved for a specific country or region, and are usually administered by an organisation or company operating within the country or jurisdiction the domain extension is designed for. For example, .co.uk is the general purpose domain choice for UK consumers and businesses. Most countries in the world have their own country-specific domain extension.
What Type of Domain Name Do I Need?
It entirely depends on what kind of website you intend to run, and there are many great choices for you to choose from. Here are the top five:
- .com: as mentioned before, this is a great all-purpose choice for personal and business websites, blogs and forums
- .net: perhaps the second most popular choice behind .com, this extension is generally used by online-only businesses, and for websites operating in the I.T. industry
- .co.uk: if you are primarily targeting a UK audience, this is a very good choice for both personal and business websites
- .org.uk: a recommended choice for UK charities and non-profit organisations; providing immediate recognition and a greater inherent level of trust
- .me.uk: aimed at UK individuals and is great for personal websites and blogs
Registering a Domain Name
Registering your own domain name is extremely easy. All you need to start your own website or blog is website hosting and a domain name. The domain name points to the website hosting provider that hosts your website. As such, it is perfectly acceptable for you to have a domain name with one company and your website hosting with another company. You would simply need to change the settings for your domain name so that it points to the website hosting provider that hosts your website.
If you register your domain name and purchase your web hosting with us directly, we can manage your domain’s configuration automatically and make sure it points to your website hosting account. In this scenario, you would simply need to place your order and wait for our team to set everything up for you.
Buying Web Hosting & a Domain Name at the Same Time
When you purchase a website hosting package with us, you will be given the option of registering a new domain name at the same time, or using an existing domain name you already have (whether that domain is with us or another service provider). If you do not already have a domain name, you will want to choose the option of registering a new domain name at the same time. In this scenario, as soon as your website hosting account is set up, your domain name will be automatically configured to point to your website hosting account with nothing needing to be configured.