If you want to have a website, one of the first things you need to do is register your domain name. The domain name is the address of your site. For example, the domain name for the site you are reading this article is Digital.com.
Registering a domain gives you the exclusive ability to use it for your website for a set amount of time. After that time, you have to either renew the domain name so you can keep it, or it expires and someone else can register it for themselves.
There are thousands of different places where you can register your domain name, and it’s important that you choose the right one. Learn more about where you can register your domain, and why it matters, such as:
- Why do you need to register your domain?
- Do you have to register your domain with a web hosting provider?
- Does it matter where you get your domain name from?
- Can you change where your domain name is registered?
Why Do You Need to Register Your Domain?
With billions of people using the Internet each day, it’s important that everything is handled in an organized way. The concept of domain name registration has been around for many years, and it’s what determines who owns the rights to which domains. Without this process, it would be impossible for the Internet to function properly.
When a domain name is registered, it’s filed with the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN). This is the organization that has been tracking who owns which domains since 1998. While registered domain names are filed away with this organization, you pay a third-party provider to handle the actual registration process.
Once you register your domain, you are listed as the owner of it for a set amount of time. In most cases, you can purchase domain names for a period of at least one year. After the year has expired, you need to renew your ownership. Some domain name registration companies allow you to pay for multiple years at a time if you’re sure that you want to maintain ownership for a long period of time.
Keep in mind that if you fail to renew your domain, you lose your ownership of it. This means someone else could purchase the domain name and be able to replace your website with something different.
Do You Have to Register Your Domain With a Web Hosting Provider?
One of the most common places that people register domain names is with their web hosting provider. This is an obvious option since they are handling your website anyway, so you can pay a little extra to the same company to get your domain registered.
Some of the best web hosting companies even offer a free domain name for one year if you use their services.
While it’s very common to register your domain with a web hosting provider, that isn’t required. Many people choose to register all of the domains they own through one company and then host their websites through another.
For example, GoDaddy is one of the most popular domain name registration companies in the world. While they do offer web hosting services as well, many people only use them for registering a domain and then have the site hosted with another company.
What To Consider When Choosing a Domain Registrar
- Customer service
- Hosting options
- Speed of updates
Choosing where you want to register your domain is very important. While the service should be similar no matter where you go, there are some important things to consider to ensure you get the best level of service possible.
The following are some of the reasons why it matters where you get your domain name from:
Price is likely the biggest difference between the various domain name registration companies. Some companies, for example, offer a low price for the first year and then bump the price up for renewing your domain. Others charge a set fee each year for as long as you own the domain. Make sure to look at all the factors related to the price of your domain before registering.
While buying a domain name is pretty straightforward, keeping it properly updated may cause some confusion. Having a good customer service team at the domain name registration company is critical.
If you’re planning on hosting your website at the same company that you register the domain with, you want to make sure that the company offers quality hosting. Make sure that they offer a variety of hosting types such as shared hosting, virtual private service (VPS) hosting, and dedicated servers so that you can upgrade if needed in the future.
Speed of Updates
If you want to update where your domain is registered or where you’re hosting your site, then update your account at the site where you bought the domain. If they don’t process updates quickly, this could cause delays in your move.
How Does Domain Registration Work?
Domain name registration is a very simple process. Once you decide which company you want to use to register your domain, go through the following steps:
- Choose the domain name that you want to register and make sure it’s available
- Fill out the required details for registration including your name, address, and contact information
- Pay for the domain name
- The domain name registration company then submits this information to ICANN for processing
At this point, you own the domain name that you wanted. If you’re going to host your website with another company, update the nameservers that your domain is pointing to. This is typically a fairly easy process where you paste the nameservers from your hosting company into your domain name settings.
If you need help with this, the technical support team at your domain name registration company can assist.
Can You Change Where Your Domain Is Registered?
If you decide that you want your domain name registration handled by a different company, you can always transfer it to a new location. All reputable domain name registration companies have a simple process that you can follow to get this done.
In many ways, this is different than if you had sold your domain name and wanted to transfer it to the new owner at a different company.
What Should You Do Next?
Now that you know about domain name registration and why it matters which company you work with, you want to find out which company offers the best services. Take some time to research the different options to find out which company has the best domain name registration services based on your needs.
Once you have made your choice, make sure to take the time to come up with a great domain name that you love today and want to keep for years to come. Remember, picking a great domain is a big decision that has a long-lasting impact on your business, so make sure to take it seriously.