A word from us
Congratulations on your decision to buy a domain and create a website!
20 years ago, a website was not critical to the success of a business. Today, being competitive could prove very difficult without a modern website where you own 100% of your content, and social media.
So you have decided to build your website. Where to begin?
There are some other key decisions you will need to make such as where to purchase your domain name and which web hosting provider will you use. I am writing this to hopefully help make these domain name decision easier. The object of this post is not to make this decision for you, but to guide them and let you know what to look for during your thought process. We will also compare a few of the big domain providers, but ultimately, the decision is yours.
Choosing a Domain Name
The Domain name you choose will most likely be influenced by the name of your business, or at least it should be. For example, if your company is Pepe Le Pew, inc., your domain name should be something like PepeLePew.Com, or some similar variation, provided it is available. Naming your business and choosing a domain name, from an Availability to branding perspective, can get pretty complex. Most likely, you have already given a business name serious thought prior to creating your website. Apply the same logic when choosing a domain name with keeping a couple of things in mind:
– A .com domain when at all possible is always best. There are a number free domain extensions (I.e. www.procartwebdesign.tk) but .com is still king and easier to find.
– The first domain name you want is rarely available. Think of a few options and be ready to tweak the domain name, while keeping it relevant to your business .
And one you must absolutely not neglect…
– social media: When choosing your domain name (and/or business name), it is also recommended to think of your social media handle (I.e. @procartwebdesign on Twitter or Instagram) and check whether those names are available. You would not want your business to be easily mistaken for another one, or worse end up with a handle that is less than desirable.
Choosing a domain registrar
With so many websites you can buy a domain from, choosing the right one can create some uncertainty but I’m here to help you pick a provider you can feel good about.
Now let’s dig into picking the right domain registrar for you. What is the first ting that matters to most?
Things to Look For:
- What is the price per year of a domain through this registrar?
Domain Names typically cost about $10 to $15 per year. If a registrar is offering a price in that range, you should feel at ease with the cost.Some registrars are offering much lower than $10 for the first year. However, it is important to consider a few factors
- Is renewal price per year the same or is it higher?
You would not want to pay $1.99 for the first year, make a name for your site, and then have to lose that domain name or start over due to higher expenses you did not anticipate. This leads us to our next topic.
- What is the minimum registration period required?
With any registrar you purchase from, you?re locked into that registrar for at least 60 days. Most registrars offer domain registration 1 year at the time with the option of automatic renewal (which is ideal) but some require 2 or more years.
Scenario 1: Suppose it is April 2019. You?re building a website to promote an event taking place in September 2019. Would it make sense to buy the domain for 2 years or more? Probably not.
Scenario 2: Registration for the first year is dirt cheap, but second year is more than you would like to pay. Do you have the option to register for less than 2 years?
Scenario 3: You bought your domain and 61 days later, you are unhappy with your registrar for one reason or another. What would it cost to transfer your domain to the registrar of your choice?
- WhoIs Privacy and Email
When you purchase a domain, you have to provide personal information about who you are. Would you like that information to be public?
If not, then you want to have WhoIs protection. How much does your registrar charge for that protection?
Will you need an @domain.com email address? For example, if you purchase the domain @mightyfrog.com: Would you like to have your email address format (and your employees?) as firstname.lastname@example.org?
If yes, you might want to account for that cost too. Keep in mind your web hosting service may also offer this. We will discuss this in a different post when we cover hosting.
Taking all the above into consideration, we came up with the chart below comparing some of the big name brands. You can use the same chart when checking out new providers. Hopefully, it will provide a summary that will make your decision clear.
Please note that some of the links below will generate affiliate income for us should you chose to buy a domain from one of these providers. However, we do not allow commissions to affect our reviews: we are committed to honesty and integrity and would not intentionally mislead any one of our readers for financial gain. Our main goal is to be guides and teach you what to look for.
GoDaddy here – GoDaddy
Check out Domain.com here – Domain
Namecheap.com here – NameCheap
Lastly, Google Domains here – Google Domains
IMPORTANT: Please, remember all registrars alter their prices over time so if you are looking at this chart later than April 2019, it is strongly encouraged you research current prices. Whether you choose to go with one of the registrars above or a different one, your choice should depend on your needs; if you follow the above guidelines, you should be able to chose the right registrar for you.