Guide to Domain Names

Getting hosting for your website is only half the battle of getting your web pages published - you also need a web address for users to type in so that they can actually find your site. If you have free web hosting then you will get a domain name as standard with your account, but it is likely to be very long and not particularly memorable. If you want a more personal and memorable domain name then you need to purchase one.

Many web hosts offer you a free domain name when you sign up for paid web hosting so that can be a great bonus, but don't go with a host just because they offer a free domain name.

You can also buy domain names separately from hosting. As with hosting, there are thousands of domain registrars out there, so the field is very competitive, and you can get some great deals.

When choosing your domain name, you want to get something that's memorable and easy to spell - don't make it so complicated that you have to explain it to your visitors; they won't remember and you may well lose customers as a result.

You may have to try a few different domain names before you find one that is available. All domain registrars have a tool which allows you to search for available domain names.

Once you've purchased your domain name you need to assign it to your web hosting account. If you purchased your domain name at the same time as your hosting then this will be done for you automatically, but if you bought your domain and hosting separately then you'll have to assign it yourself. You domain registrar and hosting company will be able to give you instructions on how to do this; it is usually a very simple process.

So once you have your domain name and web hosting there's only one thing left to do - put your files up so people can actually visit your web pages!