If you’re just starting out in business you know you’ll need a website, but do you get a web company to do it all for you or try and do it yourself?
You’ll need to:
- Purchase a domain name
- Set up a hosting facility
- Get your website designed
- Get content written to get your message across
- Have your website functioning efficiently
If you’re not particularly techie, you’ll probably be best to put your website in the hands of experts – you’ll get better results, quicker. However, knowing what’s going on is useful so you don’t fall into any of the common traps out there for uninformed business owners.
This article covers buying a domain name.
- You’ll need a domain name. Be careful who you buy it from. There are some fantastic offers out there – for the first year – then the annual subscription can escalate dramatically and cost you a fortune. We use 123.reg, but you don’t have to – just check the finer details before you purchase.
- If your business is UK-based a .co.uk domain name is fine, if you’re likely to operate internationally, go for a .com. However, there are many other suffixes, there’s .net, .biz, .tv, .me .energy and dozens more. If you really want your business name and it’s not available as a .co.uk or .com, consider whether people might go to whoever owns that name and you’ll lose business. If you’re in anything technical .net might work for you.
- Choose a domain name that is easy for people to type and doesn’t produce any unfortunate combinations of letters where words don’t have spaces between them. (There used to be a website called penismightierthanthesword!).
- Make sure that your domain is purchased in YOUR name. Even if your web designer purchases it on your behalf, it should be registered in your name, not theirs. Many businesses have gone to change their web design company, only to discover that getting control of their website costs a big cash payout.
- You will pay an annual fee for your domain name – make sure you tick the ‘auto-renew’ box when you purchase it so there are no gaps in your website operating smoothly. If you buy a .co.uk your renewal will be handled by Nominet, most other domain names are renewed by the company you originally purchased from.
- If you purchase your own domain name, your web designer will need the two DNS server addresses to set up hosting.
Watch out for more articles in the website 101 series.