You can keep personal details private unless you are registering as a company.
As soon as your email address gets "into the wild" you will get people trying to scam you. A good spam filter and a bit of common sense over which emails you reply to is all that is necessary to keep you safe.
I haven't compared prices between different UK hosting services for a long time.
ah, when do you get to hide personal details, i was looking on godaddy and they required you to fill in all those details?
Sorry to ask :)
You have to provide the personal details to the registrar. To hide them, you can add a "Private Registration" option (for an additional cost). This will result in your personal information not appearing in the public WhoIs directory; instead, the name, postal address, telephone and fax numbers and email address of the "proxy" registrar will appear.
You might wish to check with your registrar(s) of choice re whether this is available for .co.uk domains. There are apparently some domains where this type of feature cannot be used due to registry restrictions.
There is some difference in the pricing and user interface for big hosting / domain sites.
If you are based in UK, Nominet offers free private registration for individuals.
@oldandgrumpy (love it!) Welcome to Webmasterworld.
You can private register (but you have to give up all the pertinent details to the registrar no matter what). That gets you a domain name. Suggestion: don't Domain (DNS) with the same company you host with. Check hosting services world wide. I am US (for one site) and host it out of CANADA for example. Look for deals, at service levels desired, worldwide.
But if you have fear of personal exposure of any kind then don't get started at all.
Second, when operating under a DONATIONS scheme, check your local jurisdiction AND any international venues for legal liabilities. One can get into trouble REAL QUICK.
Free hosts are the least secure (and I expect a slew of raspberries from the rank and file in that regard), shared hosts are a bit more secure, and the dedicated (most expensive) approach comes close to offering real security. Pick your budget, your willingness to be exposed, and go from there.
Thanks for all the comments :)
I just found it strange that with whois someone could see my home address etc More surprised than anything, i assumed it would show details of the registrar, then people could apply for my details if they required. Maybe a .com would be better with the private registration option. Will also check out Nominet as per caran1
I am not doing anything dodgy btw :)
I will look more into the donations as advised by tangor. Donations seemed the best option for me, I dont want to charge for my service right off, but thought donations would be nice.
Thanks again all!
As caran1 and I both said private registration is available for .co.uk domains. You still have to give your personal details to Nominet, they just aren't displayed on a Whois query. I have not been charged extra for private registration in the UK.
.com registration is generally more expensive in the UK and there may be problems if you are doing something that our American cousins don't like as the US government are trying to make all .com domains subject to US federal law.
Donations are not a problem in the UK as long as you don't represent yourself incorrectly as a charity. It will be taxable income of course.
Thanks all, some more help if you wouldnt mind :)
My idea is to provide a service for online users, I don't really need a content rich website. I just need to get people to the site see what i offer and to give me a try, this would be by either by email contact or forum post, not decided which yet.
I know this is probably what everyone wants, but if my website is small, say 1 page, how would be best to get the site promoted, without spending a fortune that is?
well, getting visitors to your site is the biggest problem for all website owners. There are two ways to drive traffic. First is naturally through search engines or other sites with traffic coming for free. This can only happen when you have extensive SEO done on your site with loads of hardwork in the right direction. Second method is by using promotion services like adwords where you might want to spend some money. But as you said, you don't want to spend money, hence the first option is good for you.
And for that, you got to do a lot of hardwork before you can even see few visitors coming in.
hope this helps.
I don't really need a content rich website.
The more content you have the more keywords to come up in search.
Check UK laws regarding spam. Remember that in international forums people may refer you to the far laxer (is that a word?) US law. Ignore anything that mentions "Can Spam".
how would be best to get the site promoted,
That really depends on the topic but don't ignore traditional promotional media. I see plenty of ads in trade magazines that only give a URL as contact.