Even the best website in the world will fade into obscurity without a great domain name. Don’t believe us? Try this:
Imagine your perfect website. It can be about anything: fashion, sports, how to convince your cat to walk on a leash – anything. The website churns out great content, and it’s consistently updated. The videos make you laugh, the writing is snappy and colourful, and its layout is visually pleasing. None of those weird, jarring banners or curlicue fonts that make you want to abandon your eyeballs. This is the website of your dreams.
Its domain name? www.a-to-z-123.com.
Still feeling thrilled about your website, or would you feel compelled to defend its name every time you recommended it to a friend? “No, the name’s really stupid, but I promise it’s good!” Maybe you wouldn’t even recommend it to anyone. You’d just enjoy your unfortunately named website in secret. And that’s the power of domain names. When you buy domain names, you’re essentially deciding the fate of your website. So, you can’t just go with the first thing you think of.
But before we dive deeper into the intricacies of the perfect domain name, let’s make sure we’re on the same page:
What is a domain name?
A domain name is the address of a website. It’s the part of the URL that starts after the https:// or http://.
Our domain name is hosting.co.uk, but not all websites end in “.co.uk”. Some domain names end in “.com”, “.org”, “.edu”,“.xyz” or one of the hundreds of other domain extensions.
Why are domain names so important?
Domain names were created so that we’d have an easier time remembering websites. Every website has an IP address, which is basically a string of numbers and dots that look something like this: 00.1.2.33.444.5.
Imagine having to remember the IP address of one website, let alone the hundreds of websites you’re likely to visit in your lifetime. Because domain names exist, we don’t have to remember IP addresses. Instead of remembering the IP address 00.1.2.33.444.5, we can remember the site’s domain name: www.ladybugtrampolines.com.
Domain names aren’t just great for helping your visitors remember your website; they’re also great for attracting visitors to your website. If you don’t care for ladybugs nor trampolines, you’re unlikely to be enticed by a site called www.ladybugtrampolines.com, but if you love spotted bugs and are overjoyed at the idea of watching them bounce away on trampolines, we won’t be able to get you to stop visiting www.ladybugtrampolines.com. Your domain name tells your visitors what they’re likely to find on your website, and it helps you attract your ideal visitor – the one who’ll get addicted to your website and recommend it to anybody who will listen.
How to buy domain names
To buy domain names, you need to choose a domain name that hasn’t been acquired yet, and then you need to register your domain name.
This is a simple five-step process:
STEP ONE: Choose a reliable domain name registrar (like hosting.co.uk).
STEP TWO: Use a domain availability checker to see whether the domain you want is available. For example:
When you go to the “Domains” section of our website, you’ll see a search bar that prompts you to type the domain name you want. After that, you click the button that says: “Check Availability”.
STEP THREE: If the domain name is available, add it to your cart and go to checkout.
STEP FOUR: Register your domain name.
STEP FIVE: Verify the ownership of your domain name.
Finished these steps? Congratulations! Now, you have your very own domain name.
How to buy domain names that attract visitors to your website
The best domain names will depend on your audience. What do they like? What are they searching for? What’s their sense of humour like? If you’re in the lucky position of being both the creator of your website and its target demographic (e.g. you’re targeting thirty-year-olds who love children’s cartoons from the 70s, and you yourself are a thirty-year-old who loves children’s cartoons from the 70s), you can just brainstorm a bunch of names that would get you to click on a website.
If you’re not in your target demographic, you’ll have to do some market research. Look around at the most popular websites in your field. These are your competitors. Make a list of their domain names. Why do they work so well? Do they rhyme? Do they use slang? Do they have a keyword in the title?
When you think you have a handle on why these domain names are attracting visitors in droves, come up with a list of similar domain names that you can use. You want your domain name to be good enough to attract visitors, but you don’t want your name to be a straight-up copy of your competitors’. The first couple of names you think of will probably be obvious copies of the websites you’re competing with, but don’t give up. Dedicate a few hours just to coming up with domain names, and soon, something will click. That’s when you’ll know you’ve found your perfect domain name. If you need more specific tips on how to choose names that attract visitors, check out our guide to choosing great domain names!
How to buy cheap domain names
So, you want a domain name that’s easy to remember, attracts visitors and doesn’t cost an arm and a leg. That sounds like too much to ask for, doesn’t it? Cheap domain names that actually work?
What if we told you that you could have a great domain name that attracts visitors like a magnet and doesn’t break the bank?
It’s hard enough to come up with a good, catchy domain name. We don’t think it should be expensive on top of it. That’s why we pride ourselves on offering cheap domain names. Our domain names start at £1.99 for a whole year of registration.
Some of our web hosting plans even come with free domains!
How to know if it’s safe to buy a domain name from a website
Buying a domain name follows the same principle as buying anything else online: Don’t put sensitive information on shady, unsecured websites. When you look at a website’s URL, you’ll see a section of it that’s written either http:// or https://. Only buy from a website if it starts with https://. That “s” means that the website has an SSL certificate, which encrypts your credit card information so that hackers can’t read it.
Also, pay attention to reviews. Naturally, websites with good reviews are more trustworthy than websites with horrible ratings. And look for other indications that the website is trustworthy. Does the website have lots of helpful blog posts that show that the company genuinely cares about you and isn’t just using you to make a quick buck? Or does it look like it was hastily cobbled together last week?
Trust your gut. If you have misgivings about putting your credit card information on a website, don’t do it. Keep looking around until you find a website you trust. (Our website has been verified by Trustspot.)
Should I buy multiple domain names?
If you have a business website that you want to have a wide reach, you might want to buy multiple domain names with different ccTLDs. (This is just a fancy way of saying you probably want different region-specific domain extensions. For example, you might want one with .org.uk for the United Kingdom, and one with .fr for France.)
If your domain name is frequently misspelled, you might also want to buy up the most common misspellings, so you can redirect phonetically challenged visitors to your website. If you want more guidance on whether you should buy multiple domain names, check out our guide on that very topic!
To buy domain names, you need to understand who your audience is and what kind of names they’ll be attracted to. You also need to understand how to choose, buy, and register your domain name.
But don’t worry too much about it; it’s actually really easy to buy a domain name. And once you buy your first one, the rest will be a breeze!