Getting Your Name On The Internet

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TeamPlayer

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A number of business, will, in time, want to have a presence on the Internet. You may choose to have just a single screen advertising your business and giving contact details. On the other hand you might want to conduct part (or even all) of your business on the web. Your site would allow customers to browse through products, place orders and make online payments. If you do have a website there are further things to consider with your business name.

Domain names

The website address, for example here-i-am.co.uk, is known as a domain name. For most businesses based in the UK, a name ending with .co.uk is suitable. Your email address will normally include this name, for example enquiries@here-i-am.co.uk. Sometimes if your chosen domain name is unavailable as .co.uk a suitable alternative could be used, such as .net or .com.

Businesses and individuals that meet certain European Community (EC) criteria can apply for the new .eu domain extension - for example www.here-i-am.eu.

If your business is active in other EC countries, the .eu domain name can help you market your company as a pan-European business. Unless you are hoping to trade outside of the UK though, it is best to stick to .co.uk. Find out how to register a .eu domain name at the European Registry of Internet Domain Names (EURid) website.

To reserve a domain name for your business, you need to register it through an agent for a small annual fee. Even if you're not going to use your domain name straight away it's normally better to do it earlier rather than later, in case your first choice is taken by someone else.


Registering your domain name


Decide on a suitable domain name for your website - if you are unable to use one that exactly matches your business name. You can use numbers as well as letters. Hyphens can be used to separate words - but you can't include spaces, full stops or other punctuation. It's a good idea to have a few alternative names in case your first choice has already been taken.

Check whether the name is available - the official registry for UK domain names is Nominet. Check whether your chosen domain name is available on the Nominet website. There are a number of other sites also which list available names.

Register the name - this is a simple process which you can carry out online with any registration agent. There are hundreds of registration agents to choose from - a good starting point is Nominet - http://www.nominet.org.uk/

"We operate at the heart of e-commerce in the UK, running one of the world's largest Internet registries and managing over seven million domain names.We maintain the register of .uk domain names. We run the technology which locates a computer on the Internet hosting the web site or email system you're looking for when you type in a web address or send an email to an address that ends in .uk."
 
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