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What is hosting, and what is a domain name?

Two of the most important things you’ll need to decide on for your new Group, District, County, Region or Campsite website is the domain name and hosting. The domain name and hosting solution are incredibly important to the success of the website, and are really easy to get set up.

If you think about Twitter & Facebook: when the platforms first launched you could have your pick of usernames. However, due to the rapid increase of users it became severely limiting with first choices. This is the same with domain names; you’ll find some aren’t available as people have already registered them for use. Having said that, you’ll probably find you can have what you’re looking for as Scout Group, District, County, Region and Campsite names are quite unique!

You can check to see whether a domain is available on a variety of availability checkers out there. One that we’d recommend is this one.

In our eyes, a perfect domain name needs to be as short as you can get away with, whilst including all of the keywords needed that people might search for to find you. You also want something that is relevant, not time sensitive and can be remembered easily. A good example would be if your Scout Group was called “1st Somewhere Scout Group” or “1st Something Girlguiding”, having a domain name something like www.somewherescouts.org.uk or www.1stsomewheregirlguiding.org.uk to be more specific. We recommend using the .org.uk top level domain ending; these are for organisations to use and are normally more available than .com or .co.uk.

Here are a few things we think you should consider when choosing your domain name:

  • Will people remember it?
  • It is short enough for people to write down and type easily?
  • Does it include your location so people can find it when searching about the area?
  • Have you made use of the .org.uk top level domain?
  • Have you included the word Scouts or Girlguiding? If not, we would!
  • Could it be confused for any other Group or District in the area?

If you don’t fancy using .org.uk, you can use .co.uk or .com, or any other ending recommended on the availability checkers. However, we’d recommend staying away from .net, as these are less trusted by the public (blame the spammers!). If you’d rather, we can always purchase a domain name on your behalf, simply sending you an invoice, and making the process even easier.

And when it comes to hosting your Scouts or Girlguiding website, it couldn’t be simpler. All of our websites in the new branding are now hosted with us on one of our dedicated servers, and your first year of hosting is completely free!

We like to host all of our websites as we have a support feature in our server that allows for global roll outs of new features, bug fixes, and general amends to code to further enhance the sites whenever we make any improvements going in the future. This also means you don’t need to worry about any server configuration, and have peace of mind that your website will be immediately dealt with if there are any server issues.