What is a domain name?

Advice on how domains work and what it means to purchase a domain name.


What does buying a domain name actually mean?

If you're setting up a business or website, you may have been told that you'll need a domain name, so what will having a domain name give you?

A domain name is an address that people use on the internet for both websites and email. It's a string of numbers, letters or hyphens that usually spell out a word, a company name or person's name. It is the characters after the @ symbol in an email address ( [email protected]my-domain.com) , or after the www. in a web address - like www.my-domain.com.

Domain names provide a neat, human-friendly and much more memorable way to access websites. Without a domain name, you'd still be able to access and view websites, but only by typing a series of numbers (an IP Address), into your browser's address bar (e.g., which is why you'll find it almost impossible to find a website without a domain name 'pointing' to it.

You buy domain names from a domain registrar such as ourselves. There are many different types of domain name available to purchase, all with different suffixes, so check out our domain types and prices page to find out more.

Register your domain names from £1.95!

Domains are registered for a period of time - usually 1 or 2 years, and during this time the domain name is yours. You will have the option to renew the domain at the end of the registration period if you wish to continue using it.

When you register domains with GetDotted, we'll give you a free email address and one-page website. Search for domain names below - Just enter a word of your choice and click search.

Alternatively, you'll get some great domain name suggestions using our free domain name generator!

What can I do with a domain?

There are lots of things you can do with a domain name. We've picked out the most popular reasons for wanting to register a domain name below.

Set Up a Website at your Domain

To create a website, you will need to set up web hosting and assign your domain to it. Then you will need to add content or upload your files and publish. Web hosting is basically storage space on a server. You upload your content to the storage space and publish it to make it available for others to view online.

Whether you are looking to design your site from scratch or would like to use WordPress to build your site, Freeola has a selection of hosting options, which are suitable for every skill level. We even have our easy-to-use website builder, Really Quick Sites (RQS), which makes it easy to build a responsive site for free, in minutes.

Every GetDotted domain comes with a free one-page website to get you started, with use of our easy-to-use website builder RQS.

Set Up Unique Email Addresses at your Domain

You can of course create custom email addresses at your domain. Whether for personal or business use, it’s a great way to ensure that you stand out.

Your GetDotted domain comes with one free email address at your domain. If you’d like multiple email addresses and the ability to synchronise email across all of your devices, EmailPro is our cheap email service, offering you unlimited addresses at your domain.

Protect Your Identity and Ideas

One of the most popular reasons for buying a domain name, is to protect your identity. Regardless of whether you intend to use it or not, purchasing a domain prevents competitors or other people from registering and trading off of your brand.

A Highly Profitable Investment

Domain names have become increasingly valuable over the years. It's now incredibly rare to be able to register one-word domain names that feature in the dictionary, making them potentially very valuable if you manage to get your hands on a good one.

There's no limit to the value of a domain name. Different domain names are worth more to different people (in a similar way to car number plates), regardless of whether they are a dictionary word or popular phrase.

If you have a domain that you are potentially looking to sell, you can list it for sale completely free using our Sell Your Domain facility. If you can’t find your perfect domain, you can also take a look at the pre-owned domains being sold by GetDotted customers to see if there is anything that takes your fancy.

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