How to Choose a Domain Name Registrar
Registering a domain name is similar to calling the telephone company to arrange for phone service. You can think up a great phone number, but if the telephone company doesn't set it up, you can't use it. The actual process of registering a domain name is about as simple as going to a website, indicating the domain name you want, and paying the registration fee. Hundreds of websites offer registration services, but some are more reputable than others. Here's what to look for.
- Domain name search: The only reliable domain name search is called WHOIS; all reputable registration companies have a WHOIS search on their website. At a minimum, this search will tell you whether or not a domain name has been registered. You might also learn who owns the domain name and their contact information, the IP addresses associated with the name, when the name was registered, and when it expires. This information, however, can be made private by the domain name owner.
- Availability: Make sure the registration website allows you to search for an available domain name, and confirm that it is available, before you pay. Never fill out a request form that simply indicates the domain name you want and your billing information. Also, only register a domain name with a company that allows you to pay by credit card. Tens of thousands of domain names are registered every day; when you find one that's available, you want to pay for it immediately and know it's yours.
- Prices and features: There is a wide variance in how much companies charge for domain name registration. Sometimes prices reflect the level of service. For instance, some inexpensive registration services only offer domain name parking, which means you register the domain name so that you own it, but you can't actually use it for anything (no one can visit a website or send you email at that domain). Look carefully at the services offered.
- Trusted business partner: How your domain name is managed is of utmost importance to the success of your website: if problems occur, customers may not be able to reach your site. If you need to make any changes to your domain name, you want those changes to be made quickly and reliably. Partner with a company that has a high level of professionalism and expertise, robust and reliable technology, and a range of services so that they can advise you as your business grows.
You do not have to register your domain name with the company that hosts your website. You can register your domain name with Company A and tell them to forward customers to Company B (the company hosting your website, or your own Web server) where your actual website is. To do this, the company that you register your domain name with must offer a forwarding service (also called URL forwarding).
If you register multiple domain names, you can forward them to the same website. For instance, you could point hannahcoffee.biz and hannahcoffee.us to your actual website at hannahcoffee.com.
When you register your domain name, you are doing so for a fixed time period (most companies allow you to register for a maximum of five years). You must keep good records and remember to renew your registration; if you allow it to expire, someone else can register your domain name and gain control of it.
Article Source: Verio