Every time I see a domain name printed on the side of a van or on some form of advertising, and it reads something like
I can’t help but think they’ve been badly advised by whoever told them to buy their domain, or they’ve not asked anyone for advice and simply blindly bought a domain name based on what they’ve read somewhere.
If you’re unsure which domain extension to go for then hopefully this article will help.
NB this applies to UK businesses only!
Firstly – stop thinking you need to buy a .com domain name! They are generally americanised and expensive and they are not the best and most important/noticed/remembered option. Choosing a .com domain name will make ranking in UK Google slightly more difficult.
There are loads of UK specific domain name extensions out there that can be purchased on any domain name registrar website, here are the main choices and i’ll note down the benefits of them next to each one.
This is the oldest and probably the most recognised UK specific domain name. Due to this fact its also where you will often struggle to find an exact match for your business name – it will probably already be registered.
This is also a common UK domain name, with the same UK ranking benefits as a .co.uk domain but this one is more suited for Organisations, Communities and Charity based entities. It doesn’t mean you cant use this for a regular business though – if it fits then great!
The ME domains were released a while ago now, and they were meant to add more choice to the basic UK domain name offerings. If you have a personal blog or are a freelancer then this may be best for you. You can also use this domain name to your advantage if you sell (for example) clothes as you could have clothes4.me.uk or something and have the whole “Clothes for me” play on words. Many of these are already gone though.
Ok so if your business name has UK in it – Dijitul Domains UK Ltd or something – And despite being UK based you want to pitch your website at everyone on the internet then why not have the best of both worlds and go for a UK.COM domain? This would fit better with my first example earlier – www.SomeWindowCompany.uk.com. I think people worry that it will be misspelled or misread but personally I think we need to give the general public more credit when it comes to these kind of things. These are the most expensive UK domain names.
Similar to the above, but NET domains were always intended for “Networks” but are generally used as an alternative to .COM’s. So if your .uk.com choice is gone then you can always opt for one of these! These are also the most expensive UK domain names (same price as .uk.com)
.gb.com & .gb.net
These domains are probably the most uncommon UK domains. You really do not see many websites with them but from what I understand there is no real reason for this apart from people not being made aware they exist. These are expensive options but not as costly as the uk.com/uk.net ones!
New Style Domains
This is the extension I have been most excited about. I actually emailed nominet in 2009 asking when they would release it and they did not know. 5 years later and I now own one! We are still testing this extension and once fully tested will (probably) be moving this site over to it (if you were wondering why we ran our site of a .com it was due to us offering our services to the whole world) but anyone that knows anything about SEO knows you simply do not move your high ranking websites over to a brand new style of domain name extension without having tested everything THOROUGHLY!
Ok, this is where (in my opinion) things are starting to get a bit silly. I can see where this *could* be used but there is already so much choice I really don’t see why we need a .london domain name extension! Be careful choosing this extension without seeking advice first as its still unclear how well they will rank in Google etc.
Scotland wanted their independence – they didn’t get it, but they did get their own domain name extension. Be careful choosing this extension without seeking advice first as its still unclear how well they will rank in Google etc.
And that’s pretty much your lot!
To summarise, you have lots and lots of choice so don’t think you MUST opt for a .com or a .co.uk domain name for your business. Please seek advice from us or from your current web company about the best name to go for to ensure you have the best chance of online success.
We can register domain names for our customers but we cannot offer prices as cheap as the likes of 123-reg and that’s who we use anyway. If you would like to search for some names and see what’s available click the banner below and start brainstorming.