A website address is really just a collection of numbers (IP address) that can be identified by computers. They usually come in three parts: the top level domain (.uk or .com – these can identify the locality of the website), the second level domain (.co, .org and others – these typically show whether it’s a business or other type of site) and the host record (your site’s name e.g. Knowthenet).
Domain names and why your business needs one
- It protects your site and your brand. Once you’ve registered a domain name, no-one can take if off you without your permission or legal action.
- It gives your business more credibility. A non-domain name (eg yourname.blogspot.com) doesn’t inspire confidence, but a domain bearing your company name gives the impression that your business is established and legitimate.
- It promotes your website. A professional-sounding email address that includes your domain name e.g. firstname.lastname@example.org looks more official than @hotmail or @gmail, and raises the profile of your brand.
- It gives you more ways to reach your visitors. You can also register different email addresses for different functions e.g. email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org etc.
- You’ll drive more traffic to your website. Search engines are more likely to find your site if you’ve registered your own domain name, especially if it includes search keywords.
- Your visitors can have more ways to find you. Registering similar domain names and popular misspellings can help you protect your brand.
- It stands out. People will be more likely to find your site if you have a memorable domain name.
- It’s cheap. For a few pounds a year you can register a domain name, and even try a few alternatives to see which works best for you.
- Be more relevant for your customers. Four out of five UK users prefer to visit a .uk domain name.
- You can take it with you. Registering a domain name means you don’t have to rely on your ISP – if it goes down, you can simply transfer your domain name to another internet service provider.