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Getting yourself a Domain Name

by David Watson

If you have signed up for some free web space and put your web site on-line, you will notice that your web address is rather long and difficult to remember. For example, the address for the CADTutor site on Tripod is What makes things worse is that because the members area is a sub-domain, the address has an unusual form, there is no "www" and this sometimes causes confusion.

Wouldn't it be better to have a snappy address like Well, you can easily do this and it will only cost you a few pounds. Currently, domains cost about £5 and international domains, .com and .net cost about £10 for two years.

All you need to do is register a domain name from one of the many domain registration sites on the web and then use what is called "web forwarding" to divert requests for your domain to your free web space.

Simply Names
UK Reg

Although there are literally hundreds of domain registration sites, as with everything else, some are better than others. I have found Simply Names to be particularly good. They have a good domain search tool which is handy because you will need to check to see if the domain you want is still available. They also have a very good control panel which allows you to setup both web and email forwarding. They are UK based and have good email support. You can pay for your domains by credit card or Switch.

Another registration site I have used which is worth checking out is UK Reg. They have a similar range of services to Simply Names and are currently slightly cheaper although things change frequently on the web so check before you buy. price list
UK Reg price list

When comparing prices, you need to bear in mind that there are 3 components, the registration fee, the NIC fee (renewable biannually or in some cases annually) and finally, VAT must be added. You will often see domains advertised for as little as 49p but don't be fooled, this is only the registration fee, the actual cost will be more like the figures suggested above.

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