Domain name registration
What is a domain name?
A domain name is how your website is identified. This one is lions105d.org.uk. Computers work with numbers but people work best with names, so the domain name system was devised to help people locate websites. Any web page is simply a file that is stored on a server, which is just a computer that is designed to serve these files when requested. To find these files you could type in http://126.96.36.199/ but lions105d is easier to remember.
Why are there dots in the domain name?
When your browser requests a web page it doesn't know where to look among the millions of servers and billions of pages. Pre-programmed in to the browser is a list of root or top level domains with an associated 'number' or address just like a telephone number. The dots are separators and this domain ends with uk as the top level. The list contains the address of a computer that has the address of all uk domains. That computer is owned by Nominet and it looks at the next part, org, and passes on to a computer that has all of the org addresses. This computer in turn has the lions105d computer address and asks our server where it can find the files. Our computer is programmed with the file location in the /home directory and bingo! You are given the file.
Registering a domain name
This can often be handled by the company who provide your website building system, but it is useful to give it a little thought in advance.
Make sure you register your domain name in your club name not an individual as members come and go. Beware of companies who offer to register a domain name on your behalf, they may register it in their own name and subsequent renewals may be at inflated prices.
Generally speaking most 2-4 letter words and initials have gone so try to use a concise version of your club name e.g. FleetLions.org.uk or HartLions.org.uk.
Domain names ending in .co.uk are really intended for UK companies, and .com for international companies. Charities generally opt for .org and as a UK club you are better to choose .org.uk.
Once registered will need to renew the name every two years. The company you registered with should handle this for you or you may hear direct from Nominet. Nominet prefer not to deal with the sale or renewal of domain names direct, but they have a list of companies who are registered to sell them on their behalf. You might like to visit www.nominet.org.uk/governance/members/list/.
When your website goes live, no-one will know it is there except you! However, once you get it listed with a search engine you may get an email or call asking if you would like to register a .com version of the name. If you do want this, contact the people who registered your domain and ignore the unsolicited contact.
How much does it cost?
Domain name registration agents charge anything from £6 to £100 for a UK domain name lasting two years. Choose a reputable one though because some agents make it very difficult for you to transfer your domain name away from them.