Whether you have a well-established charity, or a brand new non-profit organisation, setting up a website is great for exposure. The first step in getting started is to purchase a domain name, and then you can get on with the exciting part – your website build!

We’re going to run through the basics of a domain name, and how to choose the perfect charity domain name.

What is a domain name and why do you need one?

A domain name is the part of a URL that your users will need when they search for your site. To help boost brand identity, we recommend that your domain and charity name are similar, if not exactly the same. This is so it’s easier for users to associate your domain with your charity name. In turn, this will make it easier for be searched for, too.

Interested in finding out more about domain names? Take a look at our post ‘what is a domain name?’ for everything you need to know.

How to pick a domain name for your charity

The single best way to develop your charity’s presence online is to set up a website. This can seem daunting at first, but trust us, it’ll pay off. Nothing goes better with a website than a domain name, and you literally can’t set up your website without one – so there’s that too. But how do you pick a domain name for your charity?

Use your charity’s name

Choosing a domain name is not as tricky as it sounds, especially if your charity already has a registered name. We spoke about it briefly before, but it’s important to secure the domain name that matches your charity name. Not only does this signify to searchers that it’s your site, but it helps users find you time and time again.

The easiest way to see if the domain you want is available, is to use a domain name search tool. In the event that your desired domain name has already been taken, there are ways to find out who owns it. If you want to know more about this take a look at our previous post ‘how to find out who owns a domain’.

Pick a domain extension

A domain extension, or a top-level domain, is the end part of a domain name. For example in our domain www.fasthosts.co.uk, .co.uk is the TLD. And this is a very important part of your domain name. There are multiple different types of domains and each can aid you in a different way.

When it comes to picking a TLD for your charity domain, you have a few more options to choose from. There are actually dedicated TLDs made specifically for non-profit organisations, and these are a great way to show what your business is all about. The most popular top-level domain used by charities is .org. As a generic TLD, .org has long been a favourite for charitable organisations. For instance, the Cancer Research domain looks like this cancerresearchuk.org – using the .org gTLD.

If you want to go one step further, and show users that you’re based in the UK, .org.uk is another great option. It is also used by some big UK charities such as, macmillan.org.uk, bhf.org.uk and mariecurie.org.uk, to name a few.

Other charity domain TLDs include:

  • .charity
  • .npo (non-profit organisation)
  • .ngo (non-governmental organisation)
  • .ong (an alternative to .ngo)

Register your domain name

Finally, in order to set up your domain, you’ll need to go through a domain provider. There are lots of providers available on the market. The one you choose will depend on your budget, and if you want any other packages alongside your domain name such as WordPress Hosting. Starting prices for domains can be as little as £1, and it only takes around five minutes to get one set up. Overall, the process of registering a domain name is easier than ever, and there's nothing stopping you from getting started right away.

Now you know how to pick a domain name for your charity, why not register one today? If you need any assistance with your website build, we can help with that too! If you want to talk through your options, our sales team is more than happy to help.