Questions & Answers
- How long will it take for my new domain name to become active?Domains are registered as soon as we order them, however it can take between 24 and 72 hours for a domain name to become visible on the Internet as each DNS updates its database of domain names.
- Do I own the domain name?Yes - unlike some companies we always register the domain in the name of your church or organisation.
- Can I transfer the domain at any time?Yes, you can, and we provide a Control Panel so that you can make these changes yourself at any time and that's all included in the price. We can also help you through the moving process without charge.
- Do I get a certificate of ownership for the domain I purchase?In the past Nominet issued certificates as confirmation of the contract that exists between Nominet and the registrant and this continued until August 2003. Paper certificates and reply Forms have now been replaced by an online system called Registrants Online.
- How long do I own the domain for?UK domains are renewed every 2 years (international domains can be longer). If your domain is not renewed, it will become available for public resale. We make sure domains are renewed for the churches we work with - renewal fees are the same as the original registration fees when you first purchased the domain.
- How much does it cost to set up a domain?We sell UK domains (.co.uk, .org.uk) for £10. This is for a 2 year period of ownership. International domains start at £10 per year (.com, .org, .net). Some international domains can be expensive so we recommend churches to consider purchasing UK domains.
Church Domain Registration
The Church Website Design Project currently manages over 100 church domains, each one receiving free hosting services (no adverts, no fees, no hassle). Choosing the name for your church domain is a very important step and one that needs to be considered carefully. In some instances we have advised churches to register more than one domain: a simple marketing tool that can add an extra dimension to your online identity.
We are able to offer highly competitive prices to churches for the registration of major domains. Any UK domains (.org.uk, .co.uk) will be no more than £10 for two years, while the international domains (.com, .org, .net, etc) will be no more than £10 for one year registration. Contact us today for help with finding the right domain for you.
Case Review: St Peter's, Morley - Targeting audience through domain name
St Peter’s has the following two domains registered to the church: www.stpetersmorley.org.uk and www.beyondchurch.org.uk. The latter was part of a discussion to consider new ways to promote the church in a positive way. We conducted research on a number of phrases and found ‘beyond church’ to be the best (in terms of search engine criteria as well as a marketing tool). The introduction to the new website was ‘loaded’ with the repeating phrase ‘beyond church’ which helped to place the site on the top page for Google and Yahoo but also to target a key principle behind the church’s mission: the people were the church, not the building.
The purchase of a second domain, stpetersmorley.org.uk, was important to connect vital search phrases from within the local community to the St Peter’s website. Through choosing a domain name that had the church name and location within the domain name itself, it ensured the domain appeared on the 1st result spot on Google and Yahoo.
The Harling United Benefice in Norfolk followed the same principles. Based on group discussions and our research it was agreed that the domain www.walkingwithyou.org.uk was to be registered as the primary domain for the benefice of 5 churches. This also served to challenge the stereotype of what church had to offer, with an invitation to be part of something. The secondary domain was registered as www.harlingunitedbenefice.org.uk.
St John’s in King’s Lynn uses www.sjkl.org.uk as the primary domain, a domain that could be printed in large lettering on a canvas banner – enabling passers by to see and most importantly, quickly remember the address. The secondary domain of www.stjohnskingslynn.org.uk was purchased for search engine purposes (this would have been too large for a banner).
Important Factors to Consider When Purchasing a Domain
- Do not register a domain longer than 20 letters, otherwise it becomes too long to remember and creates issues when trying to promote the address on printed material
- Try and resist purchasing domains with hyphens (e.g. www.your-church-name.com). People will sometimes remember where to put the hyphens – and in many cases will try searching for you without the hyphens
- Make sure your domain includes key data about the name of your church and location
- You can purchase as many domains as you like, using careful market research to target keyphrases, to give your site a higher status on the major search engines – with the case of St Peter’s, Morley, you can use it to challenge stereotypes
- If your church is located in the UK then you are often better off purchasing a UK domain (.org.uk) – you may need to consider international domains (.com) if your church name is taken by another church (.e.g. there are hundreds of ‘St Barnabas’ in the UK, but only a small number of variations for domain purchasing)
- Consider shortening your domain name for promotional purposes. If your church is at the foot of a fast moving road, then a short domain name will be easier to read (and remember)
- Use search engine keyword/phrase research to purchase a domain that will bring more visitors to your site, especially if your site’s focus is on evangelism
- Some online companies will offer you free domains and free hosting as part of your purchase – in most cases the domain you receive will not be a ‘church specific’ named address; instead it uses the domain of the company: e.g. www.yourchurchname.freedomains.com. They will also often fill your website with advertising, something you will have no control over. We have seen church websites advertising products and services that are totally inappropriate for a Christian website
Let us help you to choose the domain that is right for you. With our research tools we can access up-to-date information from the major search engines and can evaluate the effectiveness of keywords before you spend money on domain registration.
If you would like the Church Website Design Project to purchase a domain on your behalf, get in touch with us today.