Domain Names By Clare Lawrence 11th May 2004
Domain names are relatively straightforward! Or at least that’s theory!!
The domain name is also, but technically not quiet correct, known as website address.
Using an ISP’s domain name can look amateurish in an e-mail addresses, it is much more so with websites, giving impression of hanging on another’s coat tails. The only exception being when a firm wants to re-inforce a local or professional affiliation by appearing as part of an existing site dedicated to a region or association. Even in such cases autonomy and continuity are better assured by having one’s own domain and merely using a page on third party’s site to point users toward it.
Domains are classified according to their endings or “suffixes”. As a commercial organisation a company will almost certainly want a domain ending in .com or .co.uk. Other endings such as .biz and .ltd.uk are at least to date, insufficiently familiar to users, meaning name can be too readily misremembered. Of two desirable suffixes, .com is preferable for business with international activities, and arguably gives impression of a bigger organisation, whilst .co.uk helps reassure users on largely American-dominated web that they are indeed dealing with a UK firm.
The part of domain name before suffix will usually by firms trading name, provided of course that domain name has not already been registered, (which is increasingly likely these days). If name is very long an abbreviation may be considered. Domain names are not case sensitive.
The actual registration of a domain name is a straightforward process that can be done online, either through your ISP or better still through a dedicated registration service company such as Discount Domains Ltd (http://www.discountdomainsuk.com). Renewal fees must be paid, typically every two years.