A. Nonny Mouse Design, Spain
Web Design, Web Development, Web Managment Web Design & Development
Management & Maintenance
This article, like the one below about getting people to your website, was originally written about 10 years ago. However, different from the search engines piece, this one I felt needed to be rewritten. Even though much of what I said still applies, there are a few things that I would no longer recommend and others that I failed to explain in detail, so I thought it best to rewrite.

Choosing a domain name and getting the right host.

I suggest that before you buy a domain name, you first have chosen a web developer and discussed the choice with her/him. One of the things I feel that is of prime importance and often overlooked is where to register a domain name. My opinion is that the domain name should always be registered from an ICANN accredited registrar. There are many businesses, like hosting services, that offer domain name registration but they are simply reselling the domains obtained from an ICANN accredited registrar. This can cause problems in several ways because it is ultimately them, not you, that has control of the domain name. Even though it may seem easier at the time to do 'one-stop shopping' at a hosting company that will also register a domain name for you, in the end you may regret it.

A web developer can set up an account for you at an accredited ICANN registrar and obtain the domain on your behalf, or they can assist you in doing it yourself. They can also offer useful advice as to the best domain name choice for your business.

If you choose to buy a domain name prior to choosing a web designer, then here are some things to remember.
  • It is important that your domain name be simple, memorable and reflect your business.
  • For many businesses a .com or .net are generally preferable to country specific names like .co.uk or .es for example. First because they are more memorable and second because they are generic (non country specific) and give the impression of a worldwide audience. If your business is specific to a country, of course that is not so important but the process involved in registering a country specific domain name is generally more complicated and expensive. So if you're sure you want a country specific domain name be prepared for extra work and in some cases having an address in the country.
  • A .org domain name should be obtained for non-profit organizations. If you have a non-profit organization, do not get a .com domain name because the .com indicates a for-profit company. A country specific domain name is fine for a non-profit if it is a country specific organization

Once you have a domain name and are ready to put your business on the internet, your website will need a host. Again, as with the domain name, it is important to choose a web developer prior to getting a host. The developer will have one or two hosts that they use on a regular basis which they know to be reliable and to have the systems and features needed to facilitate your website.

If you choose a host prior to selecting your web developer, you may find that the host you've chosen does not run on the right system or doesn't have the proper features for your web developer to properly set up your site. Additionally, there are many unreliable hosts and you won't know until you've started having trouble with it that you made the wrong choice.