Before you can get any web pages on the internet you'll need a Domain Name and a Hosting Company.
A Domain name is the name of your site including the www. and the .com/.co.uk/.net/.org etc., e.g www.thesmarthand.co.uk. Your Domain Name should be easy to remember and easy to type. The best domains have the following characteristics:
- Short - People don't like to type! A short domain name is easier to type, read, and remember.
- Meaningful - A short domain is nothing without meaning. Select a domain that relates to your site in a way that people will understand.
- Clear - Clarity is important when selecting a domain name. Avoid a name that is difficult to spell or pronounce.
- Exposure - Names that are short and easy to remember are an asset. In addition to visitors, also consider search engines. Search engines index your site and rank it for relevance against terms people search for. In order to maximize your sites exposure, consider including a relevant search term in your domain. Of course, only consider this if it still maintains a short, clear and meaningful domain name.
Once you have decided on an appropriate name the next stage is to check whether the name is available. This can be done in a number of ways but the best way is to do it when signing up with an Internet Service Provider (ISP) or Web Hosting company. These companies quite often include a 'free' Domain Name in their registration process.
You can use the Domain Checker tool below to see if your chosen domain name is available.