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A guide to website domains for start-ups

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25 th Apr 2019

Deciding on a Domain Name
Your domain name is the name of your address on the Internet where people go to find your website. When choosing a domain name, it helps to choose one wisely, meaning a short and memorable or unique name that best represents or is associated with your brand. Try to avoid hyphens and words that can be difficult to pronounce or spell as website visitors prefer simple domain names that are easier to remember and type.

Registering a Domain Name
You can search availability on your chosen name with a domain name register which is accredited by ICANN, the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers such as 123-Reg, GoDaddy, Nominet or other. You may find exactly what you’re looking for, if not you’ll be able to see a list of alternative domain names and extensions.
Typically, domain suffixes are grouped, commonly: -

1. gTLDs (generic top-level domains)
Examples: .com .org .net .edu .gov .mil
2. ccTLDs (Country code top-level domains)
Examples: .uk .de .it .fr
3. Niche domain extensions
Examples: .Photography .Tips .Agency .Club .London
When choosing a URL extension/domain suffix choose one that is the most appropriate.

Opting for multiple domains
Having more than one domain is common for different reasons. The most common reason is to keep their competitors from purchasing domains similar to their own. Another common reason is to redirect traffic from one domain to another by pointing different URLs from different domains to a primary domain. Typically, this happens with a website migration/full domain transfer or URL change.

Protecting and securing your domain name
Typically, domain names are not copyright protected. However, there are ways to protect and secure your domain name from unauthorised transfers and related cyber-crimes. Here are some tips:

- It is worth paying the small fee to hide your email address from the public register.
- Set yourself a domain renewal alert, if your domain is set to renew automatically, check that your billing details are still valid/correct.
- Retain account access details and store safely.
- Ensure you as the owner are in full control of your domains or know who is.


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