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Top tips for registering a domain name

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  18 February 2002

A domain name is an essential part of any web site address, and the following tips from Nominet UK, the national Registry for all domain names ending .uk, are intended to guide you through the maze of registration services.

  1. Decide which Top Level Domain (TLD) to use. Companies based in the UK usually register a domain name ending .uk but other options include .com and .biz.
  2. Check whether the name you would like has already been registered. Nominet's web site (www.nominet.org.uk) has a search facility for .uk domain names on its home page.
  3. Be flexible and creative so that, if the name you have chosen is already registered, you can find a suitable alternative - consider using hyphens or acronyms.
  4. Chose your domain name quickly - .uk domain names are being registered at a rate of one every two minutes and any delay could see someone else get there first. However, ensure the name doesn't infringe someone else's rights - you may be sued if it does.
  5. Register your name through an Internet Service Provider (ISP) that is a member of Nominet, who will submit the application on your behalf.
  6. Make sure your ISP registers the web address in your name, not its own. If you don't and it subsequently goes bust, then the rights of the name remain with the ISP - as a result you may find you cannot continue to use the name or have difficulties transferring to an alternative provider.
  7. Check the Terms and Conditions of the ISP before signing up - this will help avoid problems and misunderstandings later.
  8. Make a note in your diary that the registration is valid for two years, after which you will need to pay a renewal fee.
  9. Tell your ISP if any of your contact details change during the registration period - details must be correct for the domain name registration to remain valid, and the ISP won't necessarily prompt you.
  10. Check out Nominet's free Guide to Registering a Domain Name before taking the plunge (see www.nominet.org.uk/guides or telephone Nominet on 01865 332211).