Everything you Need to know about While Buying Best Domain Registration
Domain names are to the online world what addresses are to the real world. They are the point of access for any online resource. They make life easier by replacing long, complicated IP addresses with short, often catchy names. Be it a website for your business or a blog to share your passion, one thing you need is a great domain name. Once you have a domain name, it has to be registered before you can use it online. According to Verisign, there were 351.8 million registered domain names at the close of the first quarter of 2019. This represents a growth rate of 5.4 %. To register your domain name check out the best site to buy domain.
What is a domain registry?
A domain registrar is a company that manages the registration and purchase of domain names. They are also responsible for assigning IP addresses to the domain hosts. Selling of domains requires accreditation by the Internet Corporation for Assign names and Numbers (ICANN) or a country code top-level domain. ICANN is a non-profit that manages the Domain Name System. ICANN maintains a list of accredited registrars. However, every accredited domain registrar may not offer quality services. Besides domain registrars with high-quality offerings may not be best suited to your particular requirements. As with most things on the internet, there are many ways to get tricked. This is why a range of parameters need to be considered before settling on the domain registrar to buy your domain.
Availability of TLDs: Top-level domain (TLD) is the highest level in the domain name hierarchy. These are usually the extensions to your domain name. Some examples include: .com, .org, .net. There are hundreds of such top-level domains. The .com domain base is by far the most popular with 141.8 million domain name registrations as of March 31st 2019. But not every domain registrar is authorized to sell every TLD. So it is important to find out the range of TLD options offered before making a choice. This is especially important is you are looking for a niche TLD. There are also restricted domains that will not be found in regular domain registrars. This includes government based TLDs like .gov. Then there are brand TLDs that require you to meet certain criteria to get access.
Privacy: One of ICANN’s regulations is that the contact information of a domain owner must be displayed publicly. This can be accessed with the WHOIS Lookup tool. Although this does not include sensitive information, personal details such as Name, Address, Phone number and Email Id are made available. Some domain registrar companies offer a service to swap out your personal information with the company’s contact information. Some offer WHOIS privacy protection for free, while others charge a yearly fee.
Security: SSL certificates encrypt data on your website. This is especially significant if you collect sensitive customer data like credit card information. Some registrars offer a free SSL certificate bundled with the domain name purchase. Advanced SSL certificates and other security features like site security scans are offered for an additional fee. However, not all domain registrars offer security services at all. To find out the security options available before making your purchase.
Registration Time Frame: Domain names have to be registered for a minimum of one year. However, there are some registrars that require a longer minimum time frame. The only reason to register for longer than a year is if such a deal offers significant discounts. Domain names can be registered for up to ten years at once. Therefore, choosing a domain registrar that offers a number of different timeframe options would offer maximum flexibility based on your individual requirements.
Transfer Policies: ICANN regulations stipulate a 60 day lock-in period after registration. But after 60 days you have the option of transferring your domain name to a different registrar. However, some domain registrars complicate this process by adding wait times and additional transfer fees. So make sure you check out the transfer policies of the registrar before choosing to register your domain name.
Expiration Policies: Domain names registrations are not indefinite. Your registration is valid for a specific period of time. Once the registration period on your domain name expires, it gets released to the public. It is not uncommon for someone else to buy your domain name and try to sell it back to you at a higher price. This is why it is advisable to have auto-renewals set up for your domain name. But there are cases when even auto-renewals are not enough. Some domain registrars offer services like expiry reminders and grace periods after expiry. This ensures that you do not lose your domain name. The expiration policies of a registrar must factor into your decision-making process.
Pricing: In most cases, domain name registration is a one-time process. Once you buy your domain, you may not have to interact with your domain registrar more than once or twice a year, if at all. Therefore it does not make much sense to buy expensive domain names. However, it is important to understand the pricing plans offered in detail. Some domain registrars may offer cheap first-year promotional pricing with steep hikes on renewal. Then there those that pre-check certain add-on features. If you neglect to uncheck these while checking out, you might end up with inflated bills. Some may even have hidden charges for transfers. Cost and transparency of pricing are factors to be considered while evaluating domain name registrations.
Customer Support: Always choose companies that offer robust customer support. Whet the different options available. Large domain registrar companies offer 24/7 customer support via calls, text and emails. It’s best to find out about the responsiveness and quality of customer support before you actually need it. This can be done by referring to past customer reviews or by placing a support request and finding out first hand.
User Interface: A good user interface should make the process of searching, buying and registering your domain smooth, easy and less time-consuming. An efficient searching experience should help you filter by TLDs, categories and price. Upsells that constantly appear can greatly hinder the buying process. While searching and buying are the most important aspects of the user experience, there are some post-purchase activities to consider. Managing your domain should not be too cumbersome or confusing. This could include changing your domain settings or setting up DNS servers. Once again, previous customer reviews are the way to go to find out about the user experience.
Add on services: Many registrars offer add-on services. Even if these services may not be required immediately, they offer flexibility and convenience in the future. Some of these features may include hosting services, website security and backup, SEO services, Email hosting, website builders, site templates, etc.
Choosing the right domain registrar can often be confusing and may even seem pointless. There are too many options available, and at a cursory glance, they do not seem to be very different from each other. But the investment of time and effort in choosing the right domain name registrar is one that will pay dividends for years into the future. It can help save money, time and future hassles. It is important to understand that there may not be a single company that stands out as the best option. Even the best ones will come with their own unique advantages and disadvantages. The right approach is to find one that caters to your specific needs.
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