How to Choose a Domain Name for your Website

If you wish to register your own domain for your website, we have some handy tips for you. The key points you need to consider are:

1) How to Choose a Domain Name
2) How to Register a Domain Name
3) How to Configure a Domain Name

1) How to Choose a Domain Name

OK, we all agree, the best domain names have already been taken. However, if you are creative with your word selection and think laterally, you can come up with a great domain name. The following advice is particularly relevant to your business website, however you can apply the same rationale to your own personal websites and sports website.

Domain Name Tips
You may wish to consider the following tips:

Technical Constraints:

  • Do not use an ampersand '&'. Technically, it is illegal, so you should also avoid 'and'.
  • Do not use apostrophes. Technically, it is illegal and therefore the use of an apostrophe is not permitted.
  • Do not start or end with a hyphen (-).
  • The permitted characters are: abcdefghijklmnopqrstuvwxyz 0123456789-
  • All characters are lower case.

    Do Not:
  • Do not panic!
  • If possible, do not use hyphens.
  • If possible, do not use numerical characters.
  • If possible, do not use mobile phone text message abbreviations.
  • If possible, do not use '2' for 'to', '4' for 'for', 'u' for 'you' and 'ur' for 'your'.
  • Do not try to be too cool by using deliberate spelling mistakes. It's just not kool!
  • If possible, do not pad your domain name with unnecessary words like 'the', 'ltd' and 'company'.
  • Do not use brand names or trade marks which belong to other companies.
  • Do not use a limited (incorporated) company name which belongs to another company.
  • If in doubt, check out the Companies House website, perform a name check free of charge and check the directory of UK Limited Companies.
  • If relevant to your business, also consult a Company Formation agent.
  • If you use more than one word, do not end and start words with the same character. For example, is not good, whereas is much better.
  • Do not pay over the odds, because there are hidden charges to avoid.
  • For your registration service, we recommend: domain hosting providers for your web hosting service.

  • Keep it short.
  • Make sure it is easy to spell.
  • Make sure it is easy to pronounce on the phone.
  • Use simple and plain English.
  • Use real words from the dictionary.
  • Use search engine keywords.
  • Keep it descriptive! Use words which describe exactly what you do.
  • Keep it simple and don't confuse your audience. What is this? Is it 'Shoe Swearing' or 'Shoes Wearing'?
  • Cover your options and buy more than one domain if you need to.
  • Only index one domain per website on search engines, if you wish to avoid diluting your search engine ranking.
  • Choose the right domain provider. They are not all the same and many have hidden charges.
  • For your registration needs, we recommend: domain registration.
  • Use a popular and mainstream domain extension.
  • Choose the right domain extension for your market or country. For example .COM for International; .CO.UK for UK; .CA for Canada; .COM.AU for Australia.
  • And finally, check your spelling before you buy and register online.

    Domain Name versus Business Name versus Brand versus Limited Company Name
    In an ideal world, you will have one name and it will be the same name for your domain, your brand and your incorporated business name. If you assume the internet was born in 1990, then it tells us that this ideal world we are referring to was in the early 90's.

    Back in the real world, here we are nearly 20 years later. Unfortunately all of the short and snappy domain names are not available.

    Let's assume you are based in Brighton, your business is called 'The Homestead Partnership Limited' and you run a home decorating business. Then (subject to availability), you should register two or more domains:


    And not:

    With this combination, we suggest you print on your business stationery (business cards, letterheads etc) and you index on search engines, because it contains search engine keywords and more importantly, it says exactly what you do.

    If, for modern branding considerations, you have to register an abbreviated mobile phone text message style name, it is best to cover your options and register the full English version also. For example:
    Also register:

    ...but quite honestly, unless you are exclusively doing business with the hip and trendy 'text message' generation, it is best to avoid this stuff. Gr8!

    2) How to Register a Domain Name

    Enter your domain name precisely (after www.) and click ‘GO’.

  • Select your preferred domain name(s) and then click 'add to basket'.
  • Click 'continue' (top right).
  • To use our website service, please select 'Domain only' - you do not need to buy web hosting (because we are hosting your website).
  • Then, sign-up with 123-reg (for a new customer account) and register your domain name(s).
  • It's fast, simple and easy!

    Domain and Email Hosting

    Once again, enter your domain name precisely (after www.) and click ‘GO’.

  • Click 'add to basket'.
  • Click 'continue' (top right).
  • Please select ‘Add email accounts’ – if you wish to add email accounts on the back of your domain name e.g.
  • Remember to add a separate email account address for each name that you require. For example, sales@ and contact@ are 2 different email address accounts.
  • Please note that the email service is supported by 123-reg and not (we provide free help and support with your website hosting package at
  • Finally, sign-up with 123-reg (for a new customer account) and register your domain name(s) and email account(s).

    It is important that you keep your 123-reg username and password handy, because you/we need to set up your domain when the registration is completed.

    3) How to Configure a Domain Name

    When you have registered your domain and signed up to our website service, please contact us so that we can advise you on how to configure your domain name.

    There are 2 key methods of linking your domain to your site:

  • IP Forwarding
  • Web Forwarding

    We recommend the IP Forwarding technique, because of its advantage on search engines. Please note that IP Forwarding requires the 'own domain' upgrade at Quick on the Net.

    Check out our search engine tips on IP Forwarding and Web Forwarding.

    If you have several domains for one website, it is particularly important that you consult us for advice on configuration, because if you get it wrong, you can severely damage your search engine ranking and it is extremely difficult to correct it later, when the damage is done.

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