Choosing your domain name

Choosing the right domain name is one of the most important things you will do when getting online, whether you’re selling, promoting your service, raising money or just telling people about yourself and what you do.


Don’t delay

A .uk domain name is registered every 20 seconds. They’re registered on a first-served basis, so waiting could mean someone else gets your first choice name.


Make sure it shows off your business

Your domain name should represent what you're trying to do with your website. So make sure it's memorable and reflects what you want to do – whether you’re selling sweets or want to show off your portfolio.


Get a second opinion

When you’ve got your ideal available domain name (or have a few suitable options) see what your friends have to say. A name which makes perfect sense to you may be difficult for others to remember. Ask yourself:

  • Is it easy to say?
  • Is it easy to spell?
  • Do you have to explain why you chose it?

Keep it short and sweet

A domain name with a maximum of two or three words makes it more likely that people will spell it correctly, remember it and most importantly pass it on.


Characters are important

When putting together your domain name, remember:

  • You can only use letters, numbers and hyphens
  • You can't use spaces and symbols
  • Domain names always appear in lower case:, not WWW.AGREATPLACETOBE.UK

Protect your name

If you can, register several similar domain names. For example, if you have ‘’ you could register ‘’ and ‘’ so no-one else can come in later and capitalise on your success. There is more information on which .uk domain is right for you here.


To hyphen or not to hyphen

If your first choice of name isn't available, you could consider using a hyphenated version. Hyphens can sometimes identify keywords to search engines more clearly, but they can also make your domain name harder to remember and communicate.


Watch your spelling

Try not to use words that are difficult to spell – it could mean people are unable to find your website. You could also consider registering other domain names with likely misspellings of your name and link these to your actual site.


Make it a long-term relationship

If you’re sure you want to keep it, registering your domain name for a longer period will save you money. You can now register a .uk domain name for up to 10 years. Also make sure your Internet Service Provider or Hosting company will remind you when it’s time to renew.


If your first choice is already taken

You can use the WHOIS search tool to check the availability of all .uk domain names If someone has already registered the name you want, they might be willing to sell it to you. The WHOIS tool is located on the Nominet website.

Choose your domain

Search belowto the right to check if your ideal domain name is available