What is hosting, and what is a domain name?

The first two things you’ll need to decide on for your new Group, District, County, Region or Campsite website is the domain name and where you’re going to host the website. The domain name and hosting solution are incredibly important to the success of the website, and are pretty easy to get set up if you follow the steps below.

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”, having a domain name something like www.somewherescouts.org.uk or www.1stsomewherescouts.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? 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!).

Website hosting is now offered by many different providers and prices can fluctuate quite extensively. It can be tricky to choose, but unless you’re a County, Region or another top-level organisation within the Scout Association, then a space on a shared server will suit you just fine.

As a bonus when you work with us, we’ll put your website on one of our dedicated servers for free! This 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.