Domain name registrars abound across the internet. For over the past decade I have discovered how easy it is to manage a domain name with a good registrar. I have also had frustrating experiences with some of the others. So here are a few tips garnered from my own mishaps.
- Register Your Domain Yourself!: Registering your OWN domain name assures that YOU are the OWNER. It gives you full rights to do anything you want with your domain name, critical when you decide to change hosting services.
I have had several instances where clients have had their previous web designers register a domain name for them.
When the client decided that it was best to move to a new domain registrar, the designer owned the domain and would not release it (but would sell it back for a $price). This particular client ended up registering a new domain name, which took their site offline for a day, and messed up search engine results for a number of months.
- Register Your Domain with a Reliable Registrar: When I was first beginning to develop websites there was only one game in town. Network Solutions. $35 a year, take it or leave it. Later on, I was able to find a registrar providing registration for $7 a year. Problem was that they were only in business for a year or two and they went belly up. I had no access to any of those domain registrations for over 3 months, until a new registrar was awarded them.
Although there are legitimate discount registrars, one has to make sure that they have direct access to register new dns servers. Some discount registrars charge extra for this, which ultimately means you are paying more than you need.
- BEWARE OF RENEWAL SCAMS!: I receive numerous emails and mail through the US Postal Service that tell me that my abc.com domain is in jeopardy of expiring. I am instructed to "Renew Before It Is Too Late". It is not a renewal notice from my Registrar. It is a scam that transfers the domain to the scammer's company at 3 or 4 times the rate that my current registrar charges. SIGN OFF ON NOTHING UNTIL YOU UNDERSTAND EVERYTHING.
If you have questions about registering a domain, feel free to contact me. I will answer anything I can.
You can check out the domain registration service I use.