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Church Domain Name FAQs

church website domain name FAQs
Written by Paul Steinbrueck

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We’re continuing our series on Church Web Hosting FAQs.

Today we tackle questions related to domain names. And since we work with a lot of churches, we’ll answer some questions specifically related to church domain names.

Q: Do I need a domain name for my website?

That’s like asking do I need a sign in front of my church building. Technically you don’t need one, but if you want people to find you, it’s highly recommended. Having your own domain name makes it easier for people to type in your web address, and it improves your search rankings.

A domain name also gives your organization credibility. After all, if you’re not willing to spend $20-$30 a year on a domain name, what does that say about your commitment to the mission of your organization?

Q: I already have a domain name. Can I use it with a new website at OurChurch.Com?

Absolutely! There are two ways to do this.

a) When you order your hosting package, select the option for a Domain Name Transfer. We will transfer your domain name to our domain registration service and then point it at our new website.
b) Continue to manage your domain name with your current domain registrar. When you are ready to make your website live at your current domain name, you’ll change the domain name’s nameserver settings to point it at your new website.

Q: Should I get a .com domain name?

.com is the most popular TLD (Top Level Domain). If your organization is a company, we highly recommend a .com domain name. However, there are dozens of other TLDs available – .net, .org, .church .site and more. If there isn’t a short .com available that you like, using a domain with a different TLD may be your best option.

Q: Should churches get a .church domain name?

A .church domain name is a good option for a church, especially if they can’t find a .org domain name they like. However, if you already have another domain name for your church website, it’s not necessary to switch to a .church domain name or add an additional .church domain name that points to your existing website.

Q: If I register a domain name, will my contact info be made public and then will I get a bunch of spam?

It depends on who you register your domain name with and what options you select. OurChurch.Com includes “Identity Protect” with all domain registrations to prevent public disclosure of contact info and spam.

Q: Can you provide some tips on selecting a good domain name?

Choosing a good domain name is very important. Most organizations put their domain name on their printed materials and their signs, so you want your domain name to be easy to read and remember. You’re also going to verbally tell people your domain name, so you want it to be easy to say. Here are some tips:

  • Don’t use dashes. First-baptist-church-springfield.org is not a good option. Dashes are inconvenient to type and when you say the domain name, you have to say “dash” every time you use one.
  • Be as clear and short as possible. Nobody wants to type a 20+ letter domain name into their web browser FirstBaptistChurchSpringfieldIL.org is really long. On the otherhand, FBCSIL.org, while short is not very clear. A compromise like FBCSpringfield.org is both clear and relatively clear.
  • Be careful of acronyms. One of our clients, Family of Christ Christian School, is known as the Knights. Fortunately they did not go with the domain name FOCKnights.com
  • Get feedback. While you don’t have to do a congregational vote or get everyone to agree on a domain name, it can be helpful to ask 4-5 people whose opinions you trust.

A domain name is online real estate. It’s where your brand lives. -Tony Messer

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Q: Should I register my domain name with the same company I get my website and hosting?

We recommend it. It will make your life a lot simpler to work with one company rather than two. Additionally, if you ever run into any problems with your domain name or website, you can just go to one company for support and won’t ever run into a situation where the two companies you’re working with are each saying the problem is with the other one.

Q: How do I register a new domain name?

If you are going to build a new website or transfer a website to our hosting services, you can order your new domain name while ordering your web hosting package. If you’d like to change domain names or register a new domain name, you can register a domain name here.

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    About the author

    Paul Steinbrueck

    Paul Steinbrueck is co-founder and CEO of OurChurch.Com, husband, father of 3, blogger. You can follow him on Twitter at @PaulSteinbrueck.