A domain name is the address for your website. Your web address is how your customers can find your website on the internet. Websites are hosted on a web server. Domain names are what connects a website to a server. Every domain has to be unique so that the web server knows where to point the user to.
Domain names are made up of the domain extension or TLD (top-level domain) and the customer defined domain part (the ‘example’ part of ‘example.com’). When someone tries to access your website by typing in ‘example.com’ the DNS server will locate its IP address by first going to the group of .com domains, and then searching for the .com domain labelled ‘example’ to find your website.
Domain extensions or TLDs are categorised into groups. The original gTLDs (generic top-level domains) included .com, .org, .net, and .gov, and over time the list was expanded to include ccTLDs (country code top-level domains) like .uk, as well as more specific geographic domains like .london, .wales and .scot.
The list of gTLDs has grown to include professional domain extensions like .photography, .restaurant and .shop, as well as new TLDs like .ninja, .lol and .love.
Different extensions suit different purposes. For example, if your website is aimed at a UK audience, it makes sense to choose a .co.uk domain. If you want your website to have international exposure, consider registering the same domain name with .eu and .com extensions. Securing your domains with as many available extensions as possible is the best way to reach the widest audience.
Domain names can be made of up to 63 characters, and these characters can include the letters A-Z, numbers 0-9, and hyphens. However, hyphens cannot be the first or last character of your domain name. Domain names cannot include underscores, exclamation marks or any other characters. Domain names are not case sensitive.
Assuming that the domain you choose is available, there are some restrictions in place on domain names. For example, you can only register a .scot domain if you or your business resides/operates within Scotland. However for most domains there are no restrictions on how you can use each extension.
It’s really easy to register domain names. All you have to do is check that your domain is available by using our domain name checker. Simply search for a domain name and if it’s available, then you’re good to go. From there all you have to do is sign up with your contact and payment details and your domain registration is complete.
When you’ve got your domain there are a few options to create your website. You can use our Website Builder package, and create a website using drag-and-drop customisation on up to 100 beautiful themes. It’s the quick and easy way to build your business or personal website whatever your level of technical expertise.
If you want full control over the customisation of your website you can design it yourself and host it with one of our Web Hosting packages. Choose from Web Hosting, next-generation cloud servers or high-end dedicated servers as your solution to get your website online and start to grow your online presence.
There are a few options to get email on your domain name. Unlimited email address forwarding is completely free with all domains registered with Fasthosts. Create unlimited personal email addresses using your own domain name, e.g. firstname.lastname@example.org, and use our free email address forwarding service to redirect mail to your existing address, e.g. your Gmail or Hotmail account. Unlike many providers, we don’t add our own signature text or advert links to your emails, even though our email address forwarding service is free.
Free email forwarding allows you to create professional email addresses to receive mail from. In order to send email from your email address, you’ll need a full mailbox facility. With business-class email hosting from Fasthosts for as little as£0.99pmyou can instantly open a personalised professional mailbox.
If you’re choosing a domain name for your business there are certain tips you can follow. Your domain name should be similar to your business name. If the .com version of your ideal domain name is already taken then consider choosing a more specific extension (e.g. yourcompany.florist).
Consider using hyphens to make your domain easier to read (e.g your-company.com). It’s a good idea to protect your brand and register similar extensions (e.g. get yourcompany.com and yourcompany.co.uk).
With the onset of social media applications and services such as Twitter and Facebook it’s generally a good idea to make sure you secure usernames which match or closely match your domain name.
Because we give you full access to your DNS (domain name system) records we make it as easy as possible for you to transfer your domain names to other people. This means you can easily sell your domain if you want to.