WHY DOMAIN NAME
REGISTRATION IS IMPORTANT
Why you need Domain registration
The physical location of your business may change from time to time. But, your domain name is that one constant you can keep. Think about it this way, if you need to move the location of your business from one state to another, your physical business address will change, but your domain name will remain the same.
Having a domain name will give your business credibility. A good, easy to remember domain name will also make it easy for search engines, and your customers to find you.
It is therefore crucial that you register your domain name, and plan to retain it for as long as your business exists. Maintaining the same name shows stability and consistency. Traits many customers look for in business partners or service providers.
How Do You Go About The Registration Process For Your Domain Name?
You will need register on ICANN (Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers), through a domain name registrar. You also have the option of going through your webhost, but you will still have to take care of the registrar fees.
If you have signed up with a web host, get the names of the primary and secondary servers. You will need these servers to link your domain name to the webhost site.
If you have not yet decided on your web host, using a temporary website, the registrar can ‘park’ your domain name until you’re ready to move on to the next step. Parking your domain name is essential because, if you have a good name, you would not want to lose it to your competitors. Getting a good domain name is also very hard, so when you land on the right one, register it and let the registrar hold it for you until you’re ready to use it.
You will need to go through the name search process again when you are at the registrar’s office. If the name is available, you are now on your way to setting up your website.
Use Of Web Hosts For Registering Your Domain Name
As we hinted earlier, you do not have to do the registration by going to a registrar directly. You can use web hosting services like Bluehost, Hostgator, Hostwinds, and Dreamhost among others.
Some Webhosting companies offer this service to anyone who signs up on their platforms. Typically, they will give you a free domain name as an incentive to sign up with them. However, be advised that you will still need to renew the subscription after a year or two, depending on what the webhost offered you.
Another cost you need to watch out for is that, the web host may charge you to set up the domain name.
Length Of Subscription
The duration for having a domain name is dependent upon the registrar; it could range from one to 10 years. If you are using a new registrar, you may want to consider a short contract period which will give you sufficient time to gauge the kind of service you get.
Like any other business contract, read all the documents carefully. Some registrars put in clauses which may make you lose your domain name for several reasons. Watch out for terms like:-
- Activities they deem inappropriate – make sure you understand what these are because it can lead to the loss of your domain name.
- Others may delete your name without reason; make sure you understand what your recourse would be in such a case.
- Check that the registrar cannot make any changes to the contract without your knowledge.
- If you go through the Webhosting company, confirm that you own the name. Check that they have not registered your domain name under theirs.
Domain Name Registrars
There are several domain name registrars you can consider. These include:-
- Shopify– if you are in the UK. No configuration needed. The platform setup makes it easy.
- GoDaddy – For slightly less than $10 you can register your domain here. You get a $3 discount if your transfer from another registrar. GoDaddy offers you a web interface, web redirection for free, a starter web page for free, the option of private registration for your domain among others. Your choice of the extensions; co.uk, .me.uk .org.uk, etc, will determine the amount you pay.
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- 123-reg – if you are in the UK, take advantage of the .com offer for less than £7 annually. You also get to register your name under a proxy company thus maximum privacy for you.
- Other registrars to work with whether you are in the UK, USA, India or Australia include Bluehost, Domain.com, Namecheap, Dreamhost, BigRock, ResellersClub, Hostgator, Fat Cow, among others.
Your registrar should offer you domain transfers, good contracts and pricing options, excellent customer support, drop catching in case you forget to renew your subscription, among other services.
Look out for hidden costs, additional transfer fees, complaints from other customers and poor user experience.
The first step to building your website is to have a good domain name. Choose carefully and let the name add value to your business. The next step is to register the domain name. Look for a registrar who is above board and does not have contracts that are not easy to understand.
Get a registrar who will give you good features so that you get good value for your money. Do note though; once you do the registration process, it may take several hours before you can use the name due to some back-end functions.