Domain name registrars sell domain names and also offer additional add-on services like website hosting and email. Domain name registration is an important step when setting up your website. Your domain name is going to become synonymous with your business, so it’s important to choose a registrar that offers the features you need at a price you can afford.
Finding an Accredited Registrar
There are so many websites that will sell you a domain name, but not all of them are accredited. If possible, choose a registrar that has accreditation from the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN). This nonprofit’s stamp of approval means that you’ll be working with a registrar that has a stable, reliable and secure platform.
Knowing Your Price Limit
Getting a great deal from a domain name registrar isn’t going to matter if they don’t have the features you need. On the other hand, paying a ton of money for a fancy registrar is going to be a waste if you don’t take advantage of everything they offer. Decide how much you can afford, find a registrar that falls within that price range and then make sure that there aren’t hidden fees you’ll be hit with after signing up. Also, you want to look at the renewal cost, not just the low introductory cost.
Choosing a Purchase Duration
You may be able to get a steep discount if you register for more than one year, but if this is your first time working with this specific registrar, it’s a good idea to start with one year and see how it goes. You can always ask about discounts down the road and maybe score a deal if you sign up for three or five years at one time. If you’re using a brand-new registrar, take the shortest contract duration possible – if they go out of business, you don’t have to worry about losing a bunch of money.
Transferring a Domain Name
If you currently have a domain name registered with a company that you’re not happy with, you can find a domain name registrar that will allow you to transfer the domain name over to them. You may also be fine with your current registrar but find that you can get discounts on things like hosting if you transfer to a new one. Before making the move, though, make sure you know what it’s going to require – it could take a lot of time, effort and even money if you’re not careful.
Understanding the Customer Support Options
Chances are that at one point or another you’re going to need help from customer support. It’s a good idea to work with a registrar that lets you contact support in a number of ways, including via email, phone and live chat. Also, look for a registrar that offers around-the-clock support. If your website crashes in the middle of the night, you want to know you can get it up and running as quickly as possible.
Double-Checking the Terms and Services
Before making a final decision and handing over your credit card information read through the terms and services you’re agreeing to. This is especially important if you’re going to be transferring a domain. You also want to make sure the domain name is going to be registered to you, not the company. Don’t get overwhelmed by the numerous domain name registrars out there. Make a list of the features you need, decide on a price you can afford and start narrowing down your options from there.