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Domain Name FAQ

  knowledgebase  :: network status

Q: What is the best domainname to use?
A: A number of criteria determine the "best" domainnames. Essentially, the simpler it is to remember, the better. Names that contain misspellings, hyphens or other confusing items are inherently less valuable than names without those. Shorter names are usually more memorable. Invented words, such as google, are fine.

Q: What is the best top-level-domain to use?
A: Generally, a .com TLD is best. This has global recognition and is usually what people try first, when attempting to remember a domainname and entering it into their browser. However, your website might want a more regional or local feel; in this case, .co.uk, or the equivalent country-specific TLD for your country, is recommended. If you own other versions of the name (eg. .net) you can choose to host your site on that name, and forward your web traffic from your other names to that name. However you would normally need a reason to promote the .net version of your name - the extension has a history of use by ISPs and other tech-related sites. Similarly, .org has a history of use by earthy, grassroots-type domains.

Q: Should I register mydomain.co.uk or mydomain.org, when someone else has already registered mydomain.com and/or mydomain.net?
A: No. This is for a number of reasons:

  • you will compete with each other for traffic
  • some visitors to each site will have arrived by mistake, and will be confused
  • you may receive some of each others' email (caused by people typing wrong domainname into their email program)
  • if the other party has a poor website (for example, one filled with patriotic hyperbole) your customers may get this little thought in the back of their minds that you're somehow related...
  • if one party trademarks the name, the other is potentially exposed to litigation

The simplest way to avoid all this is to pick a name nobody else has.

Q: Should I register every variation of the name I can?
A: No. This is because if you have the .com variation, most people will find you; if you have the .net variation as well, and possibly the major regional variation (eg. .co.uk), almost everyone will find you. This means owning the other variations isn't necessary.

Q: What about .biz and .info?
A: They're great-looking TLDs, but you should definitely register the .com and .net variations and forward the traffic to your .biz or .info domain. Many people will try .com first.

Q: I can't find a name that nobody else has, what can I do?
A: What we do is this:

  1. think of two words describing the business or website, write them down on paper (eg. fast networks)

  2. think of five synonymns for each of those words, and write them down too:


  3. produce all the combinations of names available from placing each of the twelve words together:



  4. check the availability of the names in the list that you like.

Some websites such as register.com attempt to do the above process for you, as you query the availability of a name, however the results are oftentimes more humourous than useful.

Q: How can I check the availability of a domainname?
A: You can use our domainname availability checker if you like!

Q: Once I have registered the name, is there any more to pay?
A: Yes. Registering a name does not give you ownership of it for the rest of time. Rather, you are granted a lease to use it for a certain period (normally 2 years - this is selected during registration). At the end of the period, you must re-register the name, or it will be released back into the pool of available names, and someone else may register it. This mechanism is in place to prevent the namespace from being monopolised - it is required because the total number of domainnames is limited.

Q: What happens if I fail to renew my domainname?
A: (for .com/.net/.org/.info/.biz domainnames only): If you do not renew the domain during the 30 days after its expiry date, the domain will enter a period of Redemption. This starts at 30 days after expiry and ends on 60 days after expiry. During this time the domain may be renewed, however in addition to the renewal fee, you'll also need to pay a redemption release fee, which is currently £70. At the end of Redemption, and following a further five days (the Deletion period), if the domain has still not been renewed, it will become publicly available for registration.

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