Getting a domain name for your business: Part 2
Registering a domain name is a fairly simple process but there are a lot of things to consider and a few tips to make your purchase the right one. Today I am continuing on from the first part of this post that addressed spelling, keywords & branding, hyphens & numbers, Top Level Domains and more. I will now give you some tips on how to register the name you have now so carefully chosen.
The Registration Process
As I discussed in part one, domain names are not something your can ever own outright. Instead, you are renting the license to use the name for a set period of time, with an option to renew the lease. The process involves you registering the name you want with an organisation called ICANN (Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers) through a domain name registrar.
There are many Registrars all over the world who provide basically the same service: licensing you a domain name for a period of time. However, they vary in their package offerings, prices and sometimes in the top-level domains they are allowed to sell. For example, all the registrars who are licensed to sell .au (Australian domains) are listed on the .auda website. Domain registration information is maintained by domain name registries like .auda who contract with domain registrars to provide registration services to the public.
If you are looking for a cheap domain name GoDaddy and NameCheap are big and known for low prices. If you are keen to register lots of domain names these might be the best choice for you, just don’t fall into the trap of their aggressive up-selling tactics. Otherwise the money you saved will be spent on services you don’t need.
If price is not such a big deal for you then check out registrars like Gandi, Hover, DreamHost and iWantMyName who all have reputations for good service. The only thing I would note is if you do buy more than one domain name it is easier to have them all with the one registrar, as then you only have to deal with one dashboard and manage one set of payment details.
The first thing you need to do once you decide on a name is to check if it is available. You can do this via the Registrar you are using or through domain generation and checking services like Domize that make the search super simple and offer you other suggestions. The internet has been around for a few decades now so LOTS of names have been taken. But don’t let this put you off. Go back to the section ‘What if my name is not available?’ in the previous post and read the tips on getting creative with your domain name.
Register the domain yourself
Always register the domain yourself. You don’t want some web developer you have hired to register it with their details and all the correspondence to go through them. Your domain might be up for renewal and they don’t work with you any more, or they have closed their business and don’t check that email account. Microsoft even had problems when they forgot to renew the domain for Hotmail. Losing a domain name because someone forgot to renew it would be devastating for any online business. Don’t let it happen.
For Australian domain names (.au) you will need to supply your ABN in the registration process. Don’t let this put you off as you need one of those for your business to operate anyway!
Don’t buy the up-sell
When you are trying to buy your domain name some registrars will take you through page after page of additional options that sound important. These include other domain names, privacy options, website builders, hosting and email services. Many of these you will most likely need but probably not from them. For example, while Puppy Tales has its domain name registered with Smarty Host, I have a Google Apps account for email, it is built on WordPress and I host it with WP Engine. Most registrars are good at registering domain names but not so good at everything else, so find somewhere better to do all the other stuff.
The latest gTLDs
You might have seen that this year a whole new breed of top level domain is available — called Generic Top Level Domains or gTLDs. These are being released in batches and include words like .ninja .club .email .reviews .directory and the list goes on. Yes, that is right you could register www.kids.club as your domain name (don’t bother trying, it has already been taken). Pretty catchy eh? How these new gTLDs are going to rank in search results compared to their old TLD counterparts (.com, .net, etc.) is not clear but Google have said “There is no extra search engine ranking weight given to a certain domain name or TLD (or gTLD). They can all rank well.” So we will just see what happens. If you want to know more about gTLDs check out this post on Moz.
I hope all this information has helped you choose and register the right domain for you. Please comment below on any tips your have or any further questions you might want answered.
Image from: @prettyallsorts_