One of the first steps for many businesses nowadays is picking a domain name for their website.
Choosing a domain name is a crucial process. Your domain must work now and for the future of your business.
One wrong move and it could break your business while one genius idea could make it. It is essential to be creative, but logical too. Will your domain name work with keywords and will it tie into company branding?
Key domain name considerations
As well as finding a domain name that fits your brand and is going to make the right impression, there are a few stipulations that you need to follow. For example, a domain name must;
- Be between two and 63 characters long
- Comprise of only numbers, letters and dashes (-)
- Not have spaces or use invalid characters
- Be original and available for your use.
It is also worth noting that domains are not case sensitive, so you cannot have the same domain as another business but use upper case instead, or vice versa with lower case.
Once you have brainstormed the ideal domain name, it is time to see if it is available for your business to purchase.
Here are seven ways to check if your domain name is up for grabs in the UK and search the available domain names in the UK.
Seven ways to find available domain names in the UK
1. ICANN WHOIS
ICANN is the domain name registrar who holds all of the registered domain names. ICANN WHOIS offer a free search tool where you can enter your chosen domain name and see if it is available. If the desired name is not available, then the WHOIS lookup tool will display the registrant contact information. With this, you can then contact the domain name registrant and ask if they would be willing to sell the domain name. As well as this, you can check when the domain name is up for renewal, so you may be able to swoop in and buy it if the current owner does not renew their domain name.
2. Instant Domain Search
Instant Domain Search allows you to check domain names, as well as generate new ones and check the domains that are for sale. Instant Domain Search pride themselves on fast results and the fact that they show domain results in less than 100 milliseconds. With Instant Domain Name, you can browse suggestions, check extensions and review all expired domain names too.
For businesses in the UK, Nominet is a significant domain name registry. Nominet is used by millions of business across the to check available domain names in the UK, understand more about domain names and manage domain names. Furthermore, Nominet also helps with UK domain disputes too. As the official registry for all UK domain names, you can be sure to make an informed decision. They also offer alternatives that are similar if your domain name is taken.
4. IP Checker
Another popular website to check IP addresses, domain names and URLs is IP Checker. This free to use service can not only help you to find available domain names but can also help to locate the origin of websites and emails. This is great if you are receiving unwanted emails or spam and want to identify the culprit.
5. Small SEO Tools
As well as checking whether your domain name is available, Small SEO Tools can serve as a vital research tool. With Small SEO Tools, you can check domain names and then conduct a domain authority checker. This will show you which websites have a high reputation, so you know which websites to aspire too.
If you want to look for a domain name further afield than the UK, then EURid can help you to check for domain names within the European Union. This site will help you to check whether your domain name has been blocked or reserved. EURid can also help with domain names with special characters as well as any domain name disputes within the European Union.
7. The UK Domain
If you want a .UK domain name ending, then The UK Domain is the ideal website to check their registry services. With over 3 million websites ending in .UK, The UK Domain can help you to check whether your chosen name is up for grabs. The UK Domain run in conjunction with Nominet so you can have peace of mind that this is an official registry.