Intended for healthcare professionals

Career Focus

Getting an internet address

BMJ 2005; 330 doi: (Published 26 March 2005) Cite this as: BMJ 2005;330:s130
  1. Mohammad Al-Ubaydli, author of the book Handheld Computers for Doctors
  1. (mo{at}

World wide web domaination

An internet address is called a domain; an example is “” or “”. Different prefixes give different functions. An example of a web address is “”, and an email address is “mohammad{at}”. Web addresses allow others to find you on the internet and are great for providing information for your patients and colleagues.

What's in a name?

Choose a simple name that others can remember, or even guess. The name should be associated with, or describe, your organisation. Avoid abbreviations if you can.

A happy ending

You have several choices for the end of your web address. A “.com” implies a company that operates internationally, and “” suggests a non-profit organisation that operates in the UK.

Get on the register

To get these addresses you need a domain name seller, who will sell you a name at a yearly rate of less than £30 ($54; €45). Two excellent places to do this are the UK's Nominet (, and the American Register (; an awful place to do this is the company that provides you with internet access because they usually overcomplicate transferring your address as you switch to another company.

Get advanced

A basic web address forwards all email to your existing email box (which can be free, for example, from and all web traffic to your existing web space (which can also be free, for example, from Freeserve). The registration process guides you through this.

Companies like offer you extras. These include separate email boxes (for example, patients{at} as well as partners{at} and extra web space (if your website has a lot of photos and patient leaflets).

Prices are low and stratified, and you can easily upgrade to the higher cost whenever you need the extra service.