Every website needs a domain name. It is unique address that computers (and human visitors) use to find your website on the internet.
A typical domain name looks like this:
Alternatively, the end part of the name can be .com (dot com):
You have to choose one or the other. Dot co.uk names good if you want to emphasise a UK bias only. Dot com names are a bit more expensive but are considered the cream of the domain names and have an international bias. They are also slightly simpler to type. If it’s available, the dot com version of your name is usually the best option.
Once your website has been set up you need to broadcast your address to the world by putting it on all your marketing materials, letter heads and email signatures etc. to encourage people to visit your site.
How to choose a domain name – tips for authors
The name you choose depends on the nature of your website – but keep it simple! Long names are difficult to remember. The name you choose also has an influence on how easy your website is to find on Google – so keep it relevant to the content of your site. Here are a few guidelines:
– If you use a pen name, choose your pen name
– If you want to set up a website to promote a single book, choose the name of your book
– If you are a new author and have written one book, it may be best to opt for your name rather than the name of your book (as you may write more books in the future)
Many domain names are no longer available, so you may need to append the end of your name www.lizwilkinsonauthor.com
Names not to choose:
– Generally, do not choose silly or obscure names UNLESS they are directly related to the content of your site – eg the name of a book you have published.
– Try to choose a short name – longer names are more difficult to type and people may get it wrong.
– Try to avoid hyphens and numbers in a domain name.
Domain name privacy
When you register a domain name, your personal contact details go on a public database and can be found by anyone who knows how. It means that people can find out where you live and send you spam (unwanted emails and letters). If you are sensitive about having your personal contact details on a public database, you can opt for DOMAIN PRIVACY where your personal details are hidden. There is a small yearly charge for this service.