Domain Name Registration

Choosing your domain name can be a fun process. Your domain name does not necessarily have to be exactly the same as your business name. Many of the top businesses on the web don’t sound like their domain name has anything to do with their business. But the name stuck because it was catchy.

The best rule of thumb in choosing a domain name is this: could easily you tell it to someone over the phone? Without the use of any visual cues, can you describe the name in a few words? You will want to avoid the “No, there’s a hyphen after the ‘Q’…” type of conversation with your friends and clients.

Checking Your Domain Name

These days it seems all the good names are taken. Because of this, you have to get creative, and you also need to check your chosen name’s availability, by performing a “whois” search. NOTE: You should avoid checking your potential domain names through the forms provided on domain registry services. Many of them save their search results, to see which names are up for consideration. You could find your desired domain name being registered out from under you by someone else!

The best way to check for your domain name is through the central registry itself: http://www.internic.net/whois.html. Once you have found a suitable and available name, then you can proceed to the service of your choice to register the name.

Buying Your Domain Name

Many domain-name registry companies exist, and one could be as good as another, but if you find you have to pay more than around $12 per year for your name, you are only paying for their mark-up. A domain name is a domain name is a domain name. Other services, such as “private” registration can apply if you choose, but simple registration is usually good enough for most people.

Remember that you are really only renting the permission to use your domain name, not buying it outright. The minute your ownership expires, it could be bought by someone else, and it may become difficult or expensive to get it back. The best practice against this is to set your domain name contract to auto-renew. At around $12 for the year, it’s a small price to pay for the added security.

 

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