Domain Name Registration
A domain name is the URL (Universal Reference Locator) that the Internet uses to find specific webpages on the Internet. It’s also known as your Web address. Every church should have one even if you do not currently have an active website.
A couple of things to keep in mind about domain name registration. First, keep it as short and simple as possible. Obviously, there are a lot of First UMCs out there, and “fumc.org” is already taken by some lucky church. So, you will have to be a bit creative in adding to the “FUMC” name to find a domain that is not already registered. Generally, if you add your city to the church name, you can locate a unique domain name to register.
Secondly, you want a “*.org” suffix if at all possible. The “*.org” domain is for organizations and non-profits. A “*.com” is for commercial industry or businesses. Now, it’s not a bad thing to be a “*.com” but some people will automatically assume your church address is a “*.org” since they know this suffix is meant for non-profit organizations. That said, if the “*.com” and “*.org” and “*.net” as well as all other suffixes are available, buy them.
Why? Because people might type it in by mistake; and if someone else owns the other suffix, they will end up at someone else’s site. You can apply a re-direct or domain forwarding to the other suffix address so that no matter what someone types at the end of your Web address, they will end up at your website.
Depending upon the website design and hosting services you choose, domain registration may be included; however, if you already own a domain, your new website design and hosting service can transfer it to your new website when it’s ready to launch.
DOMAIN NAME REGISTRATION
United Methodist Communications offers Web Hosting Services which include domain name registration options. If your church does not have a website, consider purchasing a domain redirect or forwarding so your Web address points to your Find-A-Church profile on UMC.org.