The domain name is the unique address typed into a web browser to find and display your website, such as something.com or somethingelse.co.uk, and as such it is important that it matches your church.
The problem is that some church names are very long, while others are identical to churches in different towns. How many St Mary’s are there? You can be sure that there is only one perfect-match domain name available!
Choosing a domain name for your church website will mean working through several ideas until you hit the right one, keeping a few conditions in your mind.
- Short names work best
- Something that uniquely identifies your church is important
- Check your choice carefully
Short Domain Names Work Best
Shorter names are easier to remember than long ones, and much easier to type on a mobile device. How simple is it to go to google.com rather than needing to type in thesearchenginethathasabrightlogo.com?
Many modern churches have single word names followed by “church” such as Life Church, Elevation Church, and so on. If your church is like this, you may be fortunate enough to find a domain available that is the word itself or the word+church. If not, you may have some tough choices to make.
Unique Identification is Important
Whatever your church name is, you may need to make some changes to your domain choice to find a domain name that is available. The most common option is to add a location at the end, such as a town, county, or state.
Something like stpatrickseastwood.com, or powerchurchNY.com, while keeping the first rule in mind. Some churches even end up shortening their name, and St Patrick’s could easily become stpaddys or stp, giving stpaddyseastwood.com or stpeastwood.com.
Remember that other domain extensions are available – even domainname.church is a possibility these days, so don’t give up easily!
Check Your Choice Carefully
Your worst-case scenario is that your choice inadvertently leads to another word appearing in the domain name. Something inappropriate could have a severe negative effect on your website, but even innocent words could lead to confusion – what if the Labrador Church Of Awesome Theology abbreviated to LabCOAT.com? Unless the preacher wears a long white coat, they may not get the audience they hoped for.
How Do I Check What Domains are Available?
You need to use a web registrar to check domains, such as Fasthosts, GoDaddy, or Namecheap. Simply visit the site and enter your name to see if it is available. If not, you may find other suggestions are listed that may be suitable, but remember to follow the advice above.
Domain names need to be registered for a minimum of one year, and must be renewed to enable you to keep using them.
Once you have a domain name chosen, you will need to consider what type of website you want to build and whether you need hosting – see our separate hosting article for further information.