Securing your desired domain name is an essential step in the process of getting your business online. Creating and owning a unique website address that ideally matches your company name will enable you to create a professional brand online.
But there are a lot of questions we often get asked about where to buy domain names. From how you should go about buying a domain to where you buy one from, it can be an overwhelming process.
We’ll answer some of these questions for you here. You can also watch our handy #asktheukdomain video where we share some top tips on purchasing domain names.
In this article, we’ll cover:
- What is a domain and how do I find one?
- Who are registrars?
- Choosing a registrar
What is a domain and how do I find one?
Before we start looking at the best place to buy domain names, it’s important to understand a little bit about domains.
Domain names are the string of characters that are used to identify websites on the internet. For example, “theukdomain.uk” or “google.co.uk”.
As well as thinking about your domain name like “theukdomain” or “bettyscakes” you’ll need to choose which extension you want to use; this is the part that you see at the end of website addresses such as .co.uk, .com, .net and .org.
If you’re a UK-based business with UK customers, it’s worth considering a domain name ending in .UK. To search for a domain name ending in .co.uk, .uk, .me.uk and .org.uk you can use our domain search tool, which not only allows you to see if your ideal domain is available to buy but enables you to compare accredited registrars for .UK domains.
Search in the box below or head over to our domain search tool and type in your preferred domain name. Depending on what is available, you’ll be able to choose from .co.uk, .uk, .org.uk, and .me.uk or be offered some alternatives to search. Once you’ve chosen your domain, you’ll be presented with a list of registrars (the online companies with whom you can purchase your domain name).
If you’re struggling to know which one to choose, our next section covers the basics when it comes to choosing the best domain registrar and how to compare them.
Who are registrars?
Registrars are online retailers from whom you can buy your domain from. When you buy a domain you’re essentially ‘renting’ it from a registrar, normally for a year or longer period such as ten years. To secure a domain forever you must keep renewing through a registrar, who will also manage your domain settings.
There are thousands of registrars to choose from, each offering different services, prices and packages. As there’s such a wide range of services out there, it’s really important you spend some time researching what each registrar offers and who will work best for your requirements and needs.
That’s where our next section and video come in, whilst we can’t recommend one provider or registrar over another, we can share some of the key points and features you should be looking out for when choosing where to buy your domain.
Where to buy domain names: choosing a registrar
From price to customer service and online reviews, here are the key features you should compare and consider when choosing a registrar. Watch our video for more details or read on to browse the list:
1. Compare price and promotions
Registrars offer domain names at different prices with promotions often running throughout the year. For example, there might be an offer to buy a domain for 99p, or maybe there’ll be an offer where you can get a domain name for three years at a cheaper price.
Compare offers from different registrars, paying attention to what happens when the deal expires or you want to renew your domain for another year.
2. Consider additional services
You may find that additional services are also on offer with certain registrars. When you buy a domain name, typically you’re not just getting a domain, you may be getting a hosting package, email address or website builder too.
Make a list of the services that you’ll need in addition to your domain name and see what different registrars offer. You don’t have to buy these additional services through the same provider as your domain name, but it can make things simpler.
Don’t forget that there are web builders out there that allow you to build your website and buy a domain name through them. Examples include Wix, Squarespace or WordPress; while these aren’t registrars in the traditional sense it’s worth comparing their packages and offers too.
3. Get some recommendations
If any of your friends, family or peers have a domain name, ask them where they bought it and where they got their hosting from. If you’re buying a domain name particularly for a business purpose, don’t be afraid to ask other businesses and see who they use and how happy they are with the service.
4. Search online for reviews
By now you probably have a shortlist of registrars who you are thinking about using to buy your domain name. Make sure you search online for some reviews, paying attention to what people are saying about the quality of service and value for money.
Most importantly, listen to what people are saying about customer service. This process can be confusing so you might need some help along the way. If a registrar has outstanding reviews for customer service, you can feel more confident about purchasing a domain name with them.
Hopefully we’ve answered your questions about where to buy domain names. Don’t forget you can search for your .UK domain using our domain search tool. For more advice on domain names we answer whether you need to buy all the different domain endings for your website and share some top tips for choosing the perfect domain.