Learn how to buy domain names like a pro. Domain names gives you a unique identity on the net and each avid net user must have one. But before you put in all that money, its a good idea to know the basic tips which go a long way to maintaining good domains.
This article serves as a primer to guide on how to register a domain name successfully and see if your cheap domain or low cost domain registration is worth it.
Choice of domain?
Decide which domain you wish to buy. There is an endless list of top-level domain (TLD) names like .com, .net, .org, .name, .info, .biz and so on. Then there are country code top-level domain (ccTLD) extensions like .fr, .us, .in and so on. Decide which domain suits you the best.
Once you have decided upon an extension, check if the domain is available. If it is not, then they may offer multiple choices based on your proposed keywords. If your choice of domain is not available, then you may wish to backorder it for a price such that your registrar grabs it for you once it becomes available.
A domain costs money every year
No one gives you a free domain. The domain needs to be bought and renewed yearly, unless you buy for a longer period of a few years. When you dont renew, it can be taken up by others. So decide for how many years you want to buy your domain. The price may vary from GoDaddy.com $3.99 Domain Sale to 30 dollars per year for more expensive domains like .tv – So check up your finances.
Look around for registrars offering cheap domains and sale offers. But dont get carried away by cheap offers, check if the registrar is reliable and what are the terms and conditions and other features with your domain. Bulk registration of multiple domains can save you substantial money too.
Suppose you already have your site hosted and running well at a free host and want the domain for creating your unique identity without disturbing your site, then Domain Forwarding is for you.
When someone reaches your domain www.yourname.com, it will simply redirect your domain to your free hosted site. A must have incase you do not wish to buy webspace and host your site.
Users have been redirected from your domain name by domain forwarding, but they have reached your free host like geocities, which now is displayed in the url bar. This takes away the achievement of your domain.
Domain masking masks the url and keeps showing your domain name in the url bar even after forwarding! Now is that not an essential feature.
Free email forwarding
Email forwards are free with most domains. It means you can create free multiple email ids like firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org and so on. After creating these emails, specify which email address to forward them to. You can forward different emails to different email accounts. Now isnt that a great way of hiding your free email address by your professional email id.
Free forwards vary from 0 to unlimited in number. But around 10 should be sufficient for you to get along. Another benefit of this is that, if a particular email id from your domain starts getting spam, juts delete it and create a new one. It is also useful as many sites do not accept logins from free email service providers, the brand new email forward from your domain might get you in.
The ability to manage the DNS (Domain Name System) is essential to specify where your domain leads to. Many good registrars provide this facility. Otherwise you may visit ZoneEdit – which provides efficient free domain DNS management services
Free Starter / Parking Page
Maybe you don’t have a website to forward to as yet and you intend to begin hosting soon. Maybe you just want to keep this domain name for a while and sell it later. Maybe you just want to present it to your son after 10 years. Starter / Parking pages give you one page at your domain name to show that the domain is for sale, you will be coming soon or other messages.
In the age of privacy, it is essential to protect your domain from others trying to change your domain contact (registrant / technical/ administrative) details. Domain Locking is also necessary to block transfer of domain without your permission.
Domain Change email alerts
Ensures your domain registrar monitors the key data about your domain and alerts you when it changes by email. You dont want to keep on checking your details daily – do you?
Accessibility to local registrar
Check if the registrar has an office in your city. An address and contact number in your local area is a great boon to resolve your queries personally should you need to do so.
Payment of dues
Not all registrars will accept credit cards. Credit card payment to buy domains ensure your domain get registered quickly. A check which you mailed, reached after a few days, encashed after a few days, and till then you find your domain was already booked by someone else.
Some registrars offer auto renewal yearly, they keep your credit card details and reregister domains for you. Do not check for autorenew if you may wish to change the domain later.
When you register, all your personal details about registrant / technical/ administrative contact are available online for all to see. Some domain registrars may offer you an option to protect domain details by registering though a proxy.
Some offer traffic boosting services, search engine optimization and submission tools, web hosting package at attractive prices with domain names – you may check those package prices also, they may turn out cheaper.
So now you know how to register a domain name and are familiarized with the domain registration process. Cheap domains or expensive domains do not necessarily mean you will get value added features free. If you feel after reading this article, that your registrar is not giving you your money worth, domain name transfer can be done to another registrar. Domain hosting will be discussed later. I hope you register a domain name after reading this – Tell me!