Every website needs its own domain name before it can go online. By domain name, we mean the address your website uses, like google.com, easyjet.com and so on. You can buy national (.co.uk) or international (.com) domain names. If possible, choose a domain name that relates to your business name, or at least the focus of your website. Fairly obviously, with millions of domain names already in use, you may need to be creative in choosing the right domain name.
It's not possible to buy a domain name outright. Instead, you pay an annual fee to use it, and you have exclusive rights to the name for so long as you keep paying for it. Standard website domain names aren't usually expensive, costing as little as $10 - $15 a year, although some cost more than others. Profiteers also buy up what they think are attractive names and try to 'sell' them for ridiculously inflated prices. We've seen domain names advertised for sale for amounts up to $25,000.
If you do a Google search for something like 'Manchester Cattery' you'll notice that the first few results are often from websites with domain names that include the words 'manchester' and 'Cattery' or 'Catteries'. If you look for something like 'guest house' you'll see that the first few results on Google have domain names that include the words 'guest house'. Quite simply, this is because Google assumes that these websites are most likely to be what you're looking for.
Unless you're looking for a name that is highly unlikely to have been taken already, we suggest you draw up a list of acceptable domain names before you actually start seaching, to save time. For example, if you are thinking of getting a website for a hotel which is called 'Poppy Hotel' and is located in Canterbury in Kent, your list might include 'poppyhotel', 'poppy-hotel', 'canterbury hotel', 'poppy canterbury', and so on. Once you find a suitable name, buy it before someone else beats you to it! In terms of where to look for a domain name, we always use GoDaddy.com.
If you're looking for a domain name for a cattery of kennels, speak to us first. We often have 'premium' domain names available that will give your website a head start.