Domain names are purchased and registered through a Domain Registrar. Although there are really a handful of primary or wholesale registrars, there are tons of domain registration services out there offering different options and pricing. For most part the cost of the domain is anywhere from $10-40 and the minimum registration term is one year.
Considering that your domain name is the base for your entire online presence and brand, it is important to avoid certain pitfalls which could jeopardize your ownership rights to that name. Here are a few points you should pay attention to;
- Keep all records of your registration and domain account access info.
It is very important save all of this information so that you can prove your ownership in case of any disputes, and be able to manage and update your domain as necessary. If you are not able to prove that you are an owner you will have trouble getting any help from your registrar.
- Make sure you are the domain owner and that the domain is in your name.
Beware of free domain offers with hosting services, most of the time you are not the actual owner, and the host may make it hard on you to leave their service or release the domain. We recommend that you purchase your domain separately from other services and make sure you are in control.
- Renew your domain name on time.
First, the expiration of your domain name will cause your website and email to go down. Also, once an expired domain is taken over the registrar and goes into redemption status, most registrars will charge very large fees to get it back. If you are thinking that you can just wait for it to go public again…that may not happen so don't count on it.
All legitimate domain registration services will provide you with a domain management account and control panel. Access to your domain information is very important as it provides you the ability to manage every aspect of your domain ownership information and settings that connect the domain with your website and email.
It is important to note that the domain and the website are actually two separate entities. Although one is dependent on the other and they work together, the two are mutually exclusive. You do not have to have your domain and website with the same host or service.
Finally, when registering your domain name you can now opt for private registration. This option allows you to keep your contact information private and not available to the public. This option is an add-on and normally costs extra.
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