In today’s age, owning your own domain is quite easy. Even the smallest parish should have a web presence. Registering and setting up a domain for your church is also a simple-and-easy process. Your domain name is a significant part of your web identity, and having your own domain name is a great way to make accessing your website simple. Keeping this in mind, using a name your community will recognize is important and worth some consideration beforehand.
In its simplest terms, a domain is the address of the website. For example, truepath.com is the domain name of this website. Most US domains end in .com, .net or .org. Websites ending in .com are commercial websites, and in fact, the .com stands for commercial. Domains with .net are specified as networks, and .org is for organizations including not-for-profits. Because of this, .org is usually the most common one chosen for Church websites. Domain names may consist of numbers, letters, and hyphens, and is not case sensitive – so typing in the name of Truepath.com is the same as entering truepath.com in your web browser’s address bar.
When registering a domain, it is usually best practice to register it with the company providing the hosting for your website. This registration process will often occur when you sign up for your new website hosting plan. Finding the right domain name is usually just a matter of finding good balance between clarity and brevity. Often, this boils down to nothing more than choosing the name of your church, but since many churches have longer names, abbreviations may be in order. If you do choose to use an abbreviation or acronym in your domain name, don’t forget periods or dots are not allowed in domain names. While you or I may abbreviate “First Assembly of God” as “f.a.o.g.”, the domain name should be written as “faog”, followed by .com or .org. Domain names can be up to 63 characters in length, so finding a good balance between a short, easy-to-remember name, and a lengthy, meaningful domain that is more difficult to type out usually isn’t very hard. For many people, writing out “First Assembly of God” might be more intuitive than typing out the acronym, but very lengthy church names might be worth abbreviating at least part of the name.
Whatever choice you make, though, keep in mind it is well worth the deliberation behind your domain name. Domain names cannot be returned for a refund or unregistered, so it is important to find the right one. While you can always purchase new domain names and change which ones point to your site, there is usually an extra cost that is incurred and may confuse parishioners who already visit your site regularly. Choosing the right domain name might seem tricky, but finding the right one is well worth the effort, and easy to set up once registered. Are you ready to choose your domain name? Start here!