get a blog address

How to get a blog address or domain

You’ll need to buy a blog/website address so that people can find your blog online.  Your blog address is known as a domain. The domain (address) for this blog is: simply-write.co.uk As you can see, it’s made up of different parts: the part before the dot and the part after the dot. The part before the dot, the name (domain name), simply-write has letters only, but it can include hyphens and/or numbers. The part after the dot, the .co.uk is the top level domain or TLD. There’s a huge number of TLDs available these days, for example, you’ll find country-specific ones like .co.uk (for the United Kingdom), .es (for Spain) and .gh (for Ghana). There are also special TLDs reserved for certain types of organisations such as .gov (for governments) or .edu (for educational establishments). A wide range of other TLDs are also available to choose from, for example: .photography .tips  .me, to name just a few. The .com TLD is by far the most popular and tends to be most in demand.

Buy your domain

You can buy your blog domain from a domain registration company or domain registrar.  I use 123Reg. But wait! Before you dive in, give some thought to the name of your blog. If it’s for your existing business, then the domain you buy should, ideally, be the same as the business name (assuming you don’t already have a website, and if you do have a website, add your blog to it, and call it ‘blog’). If your business name, or your own name isn’t available, and you don’t fancy using hyphens or numbers, there is no reason to rule out a creative alternative. The reason I’m saying this is this.  There are over 333 million domains worldwide and that number is growing. It’s becoming harder and harder to find shorter or popular domain names, especially with the .com TLD. So, do lots of research and have a number of alternatives up your sleeve, to avoid spending money on domains you’re not 100% happy with. Now you’re ready to buy. The screens I’ve copied below are from 123Reg. Go to the homepage of the domain registration website and type in your choice.  It will give you a selection of available options:
123Reg domain options
And more options:
123Reg domain more options
Select the one you want and choose the length of time you’d like to register the domain for. You can buy a domain for 1 year, 2 years or 5 years. Sometimes a special offer option will tie you into a 2-year arrangement from the date of purchase. You’ll need to continue to pay to renew your domain for as long as you want to use that domain for your blog/website. The domain registration company will set your domain to auto-renew. If you decide you don’t want to use a domain you have purchased because you don’t want it anymore, you can change the settings so that the domain will not automatically renew after the initial 1 or 2-year period. If you change your mind, don’t worry. You’ll receive plenty of email notifications from the domain registration company long before the domain name is due to expire.

Don’t miss out on a popular domain!

If you’re certain that you want the domain you’ve chosen, and it’s available, purchase it without delay! In my case, I didn’t complete the purchase, and just 7 minutes after being given the option to buy the domain name I chose, when I tried to add it to my basket, this is what happened:
Domain no longer available

How much does it cost?

As you can see from the above screenshots, prices vary from around £1 upwards per year. Some of the very low prices are available for the first year only. Some domains, particularly country-specific ones, can be cheaper, but popular domains have become extremely expensive, probably in response to the demand for them.  For example the .com TLD. Here’s an example:
Extremely expensive domain