What’s in a name? Everything you need to know about domain names for your business

Our mantra here at Black Nova Designs is that there’s no question about IT that’s too small or silly for us to answer. We want to make sure that our customers and followers know that they can come to us for help. Recently, we’ve had a flurry of people who wanted to know more about domain names. One poor person had lost access to their domain name, having not realised it was up for renewal, and lost access to their emails (including 15 years of history) and their hard-earned domain reputation. In this month’s blog we’ll share everything you need to know about domain names and how they support your business or personal brand.

What is a domain name?

Put very simply (we promise!) your domain name is the web address that people use to access your website on the internet. For us, that’s It’s the readable version of your website’s unique IP address, a long string of numbers that computers use to identify each other on the internet.

Are there other ways to have an online presence?

You can set up social media accounts for your business, but we’d always advise that people seriously consider investing in a website as well. That’s because you have no real ownership of your social media pages or accounts. They can be frozen or taken down by the company that owns the social network you’re on, or you might be hacked and locked out – sometimes forever. There have also been multiple outages on Meta platforms (Instagram, WhatsApp and Facebook) in recent months and some tweaks to their algorithms have made it hard to get your content in front of customers. A website is yours and the time you invest in creating content and boosting its authority is time well spent. And a website means you need a domain name!

Does your domain name have to match your business name?

If you’re planning to start a new business and you’re deciding on a name, first check to see if the business name is available as a domain. Then, make sure you can purchase the domain name, or something very similar to it. There were a few years when the adoption of digital marketing was accelerating, and some brands got caught off-guard. For example, the DIY superstore brand B&Q didn’t secure their domain name in time… Whoever did have control of it wanted them to pay so much that the team at B&Q said ‘no’. They set up their website at and that’s where the B&Q website remains to this day. But we wouldn’t advise that you have a domain name that’s wholly different to your company name. B&Q is big enough that they’ve been able to throw enough marketing budget at it, but it will have been an uphill battle. Ideally, you want your customers to be searching for a domain that’s identical or very similar to your brand name.

Should I get a .com,, .org etc?⁠

Years ago there was a myth that you should always get .com if you were a worldwide company and if you are just UK based.⁠

The truth is, it really won’t matter at all. ⁠

With the right website, marketing and SEO the actual domain name is not really something to worry about. ⁠

Domain names are around £12 per year per domain, you can register these with us or any other domain provider and to be honest purchasing .com and is just useful to ensure no one else can register a website with the same name as yours. ⁠

You can always buy more than one domain and point then all to one website at any time.⁠

Why do you need to secure your domain name?

We’ve covered some of the reasons already, but let’s take a closer look and share more reasons why it’s so important to own your domain name.

    • To protect your brand – registering your business name as a domain name will prevent others from using it for their websites. This helps protect your brand from potential misuse or a competitor deliberating seeding confusion among your customers.
    • To boost brand identity – your domain name helps in building brand trust and recognition. It’s often the first thing customers see when interacting with your business online, so having a relevant domain name will help you leave a lasting impression.
    • For a custom email address – with a domain name, you can create custom email addresses (e.g., ), which looks more professional and trustworthy than using generic email services like Gmail or Yahoo. With recent changes to the way mass business emails are delivered and received, this is more important than ever.
    • For control and ownership – by owning your domain name, you have full control over your online presence. You can decide what content to publish, how the website looks, and where it’s hosted, without being subject to the terms and conditions of third-party platforms such as social networks!
    • SEO Benefits: A relevant domain name can contribute to better search engine optimization (SEO) for your website. Search engines like Google consider domain names as one of the factors when ranking websites in search results.
    • For your online presence – in today’s digital age having an online presence is crucial for businesses. A domain name gives you a unique identity on the internet and serves as the foundation for establishing an online presence.

    A word of warning – know your domain renewal date!

    We were contacted recently by a business owner who had lost control of their domain name. Perhaps they hadn’t renewed it, having missed the email prompts, or their former website designer had previously managed it and let it lapse. While they weren’t paying for it, the worst happened. Someone else snapped up the domain name, leaving this poor person in limbo.

    So, what could they do? Their website domain was gone so the site wasn’t visible. We could help them put it live on a new domain, but they would lose all the credibility they’d built up over the decade and a half they’ve had it. That meant we could also set up a new business email, but they would have to import all their contacts and had no email history. We were very happy to help, but we were making the most of an awful situation. The best thing would be if they had never lost control of their domain name in the first place.

    How can we help you manage domain names?

    Here at Black Nova Designs, we can take care of everything to do with your website – securing the domain name, designing the website and hosting it.

    We can manage just one of those elements or all three depending on your preference. What’s important is that we register the domain name in your name, so you’re always in control of it. You’ll get reminders well in advance of your renewal so that you can make sure you don’t let it lapse. If that sounds good, just get in touch to learn more.