FAQs for creating an NHS website
What do I need to do to start setting up a website for my NHS organisation?
To create a helpful, informative NHS website you must have the following:
- concise, well written and relevant information about your organisation
- clear knowledge of your target audience
- a member of staff who can dedicate sufficient time to update the content regularly
- a member of staff with the skills to design and build your website or money to pay an external company to do it for you.
Once you have fulfilled these criteria, you will need to register your website as part of the NHS by obtaining a web address with an nhs.uk domain name.
How do I register a web address with an nhs.uk domain name?
Simply fill in the website DNS registration form to submit a request. Full guidance on how to do this is provided with the form.
Will it cost me anything to register?
No. Registration is free.
Who is responsible for actioning my registration?
All registrations are actioned by a dedicated team within Health and Social Care Information Centre.
How long will it take to process my request?
Most domain name registrations take around 1 or 2 working days to process.
Do I have to register an nhs.uk domain name? Can't I have a .com or .org domain instead?
All NHS websites need to have an nhs.uk domain name. This ensures that they are clearly recognisable as part of the NHS and maintained in accordance with its corporate guidelines.
It is the Health and Social Care Information Centre's policy only to register names in the nhs.uk domain.
You may also register .com, .org. and .co.uk addresses as well, but only .nhs.uk domain names should be promoted.
Are there any guidelines as to how my website should appear?
It is important that all NHS websites follow corporate identity guidelines to ensure consistency of style across the NHS as a whole. These guidelines are available from the Department of Health at www.nhsidentity.nhs.uk.
By following these guidelines your website will have an easily recognisable NHS corporate identity.
Will the Health and Social Care Information Centre host my website?
No. The Health and Social Care Information Centre only hosts websites for its own work programmes.
Who is able to host my website?
You can host your website on your own server if you or your team within your NHS organisation are able to do so.
If you prefer, your website can be hosted by an external web-hosting company of your choice.
N3 hosting (i.e. not visible on the internet) can either be provided locally or via some commercial companies that supply this service. Please contact DNSTeam@hscic.gov.uk for more information.