Domain Names - Registrars

 

By now you probably have a good idea of what type of domain name(s) you want for your small business. The next logical step would be to decide on one or more registrars for your domain names.

 

Why Would You Need More Than One Domain Registrar?

Obviously if the combination of domain names you want are not offered by a single registrar then you're in this category. Another reason might be cost. Some registrars offer cheaper prices but support a limited number of TLDs, so you could have 2 or 3 different registrars to handle your needs.

 

Should You Control Your Domain Account? (hint: yes)

Your domain account points the world to your website. Anyone having control of that account can point your domain name to anywhere they wanted. Your domain name could be redirected to a competitors website. An "out of business" webpage could be posted in place of your website. For these type of reasons having legal and physical control of your domain name and domain account just seems like a good idea.

What is Hosting?

Your website needs to live on a computer running webserver software.

This server needs to be on & connected to the Internet 24x7 - even when the power is out.

Some hosting services will offer to either pay for your yearly domain registration or take care of the registration process or both. If you are letting someone else register your domain, make sure you understand who owns and controls it. Even if you had legal rights but no physical access to the domain account there could be problems later if your business agreement became less than agreeable.

Do you really need to add an extra layer of uncertainly into your plans?

The only thing you will really ever need to do with your domain account is login once and point your domain name to the 2 name servers that index your website.

If you can login to a facebook account than you certainly have the skills needed to login to your domain account and set a name in 2 fields and hit save. You are a responsible business person now and that means understanding which bits are important to manage yourself and which you have to delegate. It's our opinion this is one you should own.

 

What Should I Pay Per Domain?

New .com domains can be had for about $10 USD. Country code domains like .ca, .me .co tend to be closer to $20 USD. As gTLDs are new there is no historical pricing data to rely on. Some registrars will attempt to charge 50%, 100%, 200% or more for domains than their competitors. Possibly they reason that because it is a yearly low value fee they can charge more. Or maybe they figure you can't do basic math.

Some providers advertise really low sales prices in the 1st year but have relatively high renewal rates. Find out what the regularly year fee is when comparing registrars.

The registration process also varies by registrar. Some registrars have a straightforward flat fee renewal process that takes minutes to complete. Other's seem to have adopted the "Ikea" approach of making the simplest tasks into a major event with an almost endless list of additional optional services. If you decide to purchase additional services at least consider what value you are receiving for your hard earned cash.

 

What is a Redemption Fee?

In our opinion a made up BS charge. If you accidentally let your domain name expire some registrars will charge you up to $100 as a 'redemption charge'. Sometimes it goes by other names like 'restore expired' or 'restore deleted'.

 

Final Domain Name Thoughts

As you narrow your choices for domain names, keeping in mind the humans and spiders you are trying to attract.

Think of poker.

Be mindful of who you are playing with and don't tip your hand until your are ready to act. If you spend weeks searching domain names on every whois service you see, regardless of their motives, don't be surprised if your best choice is gone by the time you decide to act.

And finally, to end this topic on a light note, a sort of 'what not to do', consider following lists:

boredpanda.com/ worst-domain-names/
citymaxblog.com/ top-50-crappiest -domain-names -purchased/1240/

NEXT: What Is Hosting & Why Do I Need It?

 

 

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When it's possible, practical and cost effective, we use Open Source off the shelf software to get your site up and running fast. Our philosophy is simple:

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