What To Do If The Domain Name You Want Is Already Taken
If your desired domain name is unavailable, youll need to decide how much using it is worth to you. Youll likely have to spend a lot of money if youre determined to buy it from the current owner.
Because of the California Consumer Privacy Act and GDPR regulations from the European Union, its not quite as easy as it used to be to look up a domain owners contact information on the WHOIS directory. However, you can still use the directory to see the organization name related to the domain.
Even if the owner has opted for full domain name privacy protection, their domain registrar should be able to help you connect with the domain owner via a third-party company, such as Tiered Access. This helps to ensure privacy for the domain owner. You should expect the process to take several days.
Once youve made contact, the next step is to make an offer, either directly or through a domain name broker. For a fee of 1520% of the transaction cost, a broker can assist in managing the negotiation process and provides protection for your money.
Of course, you have other alternatives as well.
You could use a different TLD, set up a domain lease, or search for a very similar name that is available. Well discuss some tips for doing that next!
Dont Forget The Extra Costs
Its easy to focus so much on purchasing a domain name that you forget about the additional costs associated with it.
Obviously, a domain name is not a one-off purchase, it needs to be renewed every year, which will generally cost you the same amount of money that you paid to get it .
However, then there are also various add-ons that you can buy, the most popular of which is privacy protection that ensures that your personal or business details dont come up when people look up your domain name.
Generally, these extra costs dont add up too much but its still something that you should keep in mind.
Your Domain Name Shouldnt Break Any Legal Terms
There was a time when the Internet was the Wild West.
Those days are long gone. Now its full of corporations with deep pockets that will sue you into bankruptcy if you even look at them the wrong way. Thats why its important to be careful.
Imagine this. You come up with a great name. You register it. You launch your website. And then, just as your business starts gaining momentum, you are hit with a cease and desist letter.
What the ?? is your first thought.
But then, as you decipher the legalese, you realize that apparently your domain name is trademarked, which means that you are in a world of trouble.
You can avoid this by doing due diligence.
For example, you can check US trademarks on the United States Patent and Trademark Offices website.
Alternatively, you can check for the trademarks for whatever country you want to operate in through the local equivalent of the USPTO.
And, of course, Google can help you as well, because if nothing comes up on it, then you probably dont need to worry.
Now, unfortunately, if you came up with a cool name, the chances are that you are not the first person to do so, which means that you might end up having to go back to the drawing board.
However, keep in mind that finding yourself back at square one is much better than getting hit with a lawsuit, so dont cut corners here.
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Why Do You Need A Domain Name
A few decades ago, every business needed a brick-and-mortar store or an office to function. The physical location allowed potential customers to interact with the business and purchase products and services.
Today, instead of commercial real estate, businesses from all over the world are vying for virtual real estate on the internet. And a domain name is that digital space where consumers can find your brand, engage with it, and hit the buy now button.
Just like physical locations, website owners must pick a strategic address for their businesses to reside. It can generate traffic and boost credibility.
Choosing A Registrar: 3 Factors To Consider
As we discussed, all registrars are the accredited resellers of ICANN, the organization that manages the Domain Name System. ICANN charges a registrar for a domain name registration, and the annual accreditation fee should be paid to maintain the registrar status. Registrars form their pricing based on that, trying to offer the best possible pricing to beat the competition.
There are several factors to take into account when choosing a registrar. Some of them are the following:
- Pricing and benefits. Some registrars can offer registration discounts or free additional services like SSL certificates, which is an attractive option.
- Hosting services. Most hosting companies provide domain registration services. Some people choose to register their domain name with the same company they will then host it with, so they can have everything in one place. Please note that the majority of web hosting companies act as resellers of other registrars.
- Support and user interface. Since all your domain registration information, including the nameservers used, will be managed from the registrarâs side, you may also want to choose the company that provides the best support and a user-friendly interface for managing your domain.
Please note that you can change your domain name registrar by performing a domain transfer, but the process has its nuances, and there are certain limits and rules.
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Picking The Right Tld
Top Level Domains are the letters you see furthest to the right of a web address. They are also known as domain extensions or domain endings i.e. your domain ends in it eg: onlydomains.com ends in .COM, seths.blog ends in .BLOG.There are different categories of domain endings you can choose from:
- Country specific domains: These represent countries or territories like .NZ, .US, .UK .COM.AU or .AE . They are also known as country code top-level domains and pretty much every country out there has one.Many ccTLDs are repurposed as global extensions eg: .IO and .AI , have become popular domain names for tech companies and stand for Input/Output and Artificial Intelligence respectively.
- Generic domain endings: Chances are youve heard and interacted with a lot of websites that use these domain endings
- .COM for businesses and everything under the sun
- .NET for organizations using network technologies
- .ORG for non-profits and organisations
- .EDU for educational institutions
- .GOV for government agencies
The categories are in no way watertight, you can be as creative as you like.
Not all TLDs are not created equal. .COM is still leading the way when it comes to trust, but there is a sea of options with ample of hidden gems available.
Build Your Business By Registering Your Domain
After weighing the benefits and drawbacks of free or paid domains, you should get started on your search for the perfect domain name. Domain names can go quickly and there’s a little more competition than Symbolics had in 1985 so it is important to register the one you want before it is too late.
Registering a domain name is quick and easy, but it does take some time to brainstorm the right name, select the optimal suffix, and find the right domain registrar for you. As such, there’s no better time than now to get started on registering your domain name.
Editor’s note: This post was originally published in February 2020 and has been updated for comprehensiveness.
Originally published Dec 13, 2020 7:00:00 AM, updated July 20 2021
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Upsells On Web Hosting Email And Other Software
The last group deals with upsells, these often come after the domain registration. Most people need domains for either of two things: they want to create a custom email address, or they want to build a website. Or both.
Domain name registrars know this, so they will try to help you out and sell you their own services that cover these needs.
Most commonly, you can expect upsells like:
- Email hosting. This gives you server space to handle your email inboxes and allow you to create a custom email under your own domain like email@example.com. This can cost from $1 per inbox a month, all the way to $10 per inbox a month.
- Google Workspace integration. This is also about email hosting, but this time, your emails will be hosted on Googles servers. Starts from $6 per user a month. As an alternative to Google, you can also find offers for Microsoft 365, a similar service.
- Web hosting. Server space for your future website. Starts from $1 a month for basic server space for one site and go up to hundreds of dollars. On a good side, in some cases web hosting providers offer free domains for the first year.
- Website builders. These tools make it easy to build a website on your own by using a simple visual interface no coding required. Your experience with them can vary, so its probably not worth buying a builder bundled with your domain.
Whether you should opt for any of these hosting upgrades is up to you.
To Point Your Domain To Wix
Wix require you to configure the blank host name, and the www host name as A records. They also recommend creating m.yourdomain.com as an A record to make use of their mobile site function. All 3 records must be directed to 126.96.36.199. Dependent on your domains current DNS configuration, your screen may look slightly different to the screenshot below, but you must create/update the 3 records circled.
Once you have added the 3 records, select Save at the bottom of the screen. Please allow 24-48 hours for these changes to take effect.
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How Much Does A Domain Name Cost
To buy a domain name, youll have to purchase through a domain name registrar. Registrars are simply companies that manage the reservation of domain names. Upfront and add-on prices vary between registrars, but well break down the costs to look out for, and discuss the strengths and weaknesses of potential registrars.
Wondering which registrars are worth your time?
The two most common types of domains aretop-level domains and country code top-level domains . TLDs are well-known domain name extensions, like .com, .net, and .edu. ccTLDs are country-specific domain name extensions, such as .uk or .fr.
TLDs are trustworthy because theyre all so well-known when people cant remember a URL, theyre almost four times more likely to assume it ends in .com than anything else.
Meanwhile, ccTLDs are trustworthy because they imply that a site has national legitimacy. Some ccTLDs, like .me and .tv are bought and used for purposes totally unrelated to the corresponding country. In fact, the popular .co extension typically associated with business is actually a ccTLD for Colombia!
So how much does a domain name cost per year, broken down? TLDs and ccTLDs are similarly priced, butthose prices will vary depending on the registrar you use. Weve gathered the introductory prices of popular TLDs and ccTLDs below, and organized them by registrar:
Renew Your Domain Name Registration At The End Of Your Term
When you purchase a domain, youre purchasing it for a fixed length of time, usually one year. While some domain providers offer longer terms , domain registration is never permanent.
In order to hold on to your registered domain, youll want to make sure you renew registration when your term is complete. Nearly all domain providers offer an automatic renewal, so its generally a good idea to have this option selected when you purchase.
Keep in mind that if your payment information changes, youll need to update your settings with your domain provider so theyre able to charge for automatic renewal.
Most domain providers will notify you when it’s time to renew, whether you have automatic renewal enabled or not, but its important to renew your domain. If you dont renew your domain, it will no longer point to your website and may be purchased by someone else. If you dont want to lose your domain, make sure you renew it.
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Which Factors Contribute To The Cost Of A Domain Name
The registration fee isnt the only charge to consider when calculating your overall domain name cost. Pay attention to any hidden or extra fees, including:
Domain names are purchased for a set period of time, e.g. one year, three years etc. When the term length finishes, youll be required to pay a domain name renewal cost. While this is usually similar to the initial registration cost, some providers renewal charges can be a lot higher than the initial payment.
For example, A2 Hostings pricing offers registrations and renewals for the same amount.
By contrast, with Domain.com, a .com registration costs $9.99 per year, whereas renewal costs $13.99 per year.
As well as this, many providers offer auto-renewals, taking the stress out of having to do it yourself. But if youre uncertain about a domain name, then assess if auto-renewal is the best option for you. Also, auto-renewal can be an unwelcome surprise, particularly if the charges are considerably higher than the first year fees.
If you own a domain name, the registrar must provide the owners contact information including name, address , and phone number to the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers . This information is stored in the WHOIS database, which is a publicly available resource.
- gTLDs include general, popular extensions like .com or .org
- ccTLDs are country-specific, such as .co.uk for the UK, or .ie for Ireland
Best Places To Buy A Domain Name
Are you finally ready to take the next step in building and growing your business? If so, then you may want to start focusing on building your online presence by making your own blog or website! Everyone is going online nowadays and yes, even super big brands and businesses!
This is because having your own website can lead you to more potential customers by reaching a set of audience that you cant reach through your physical stores. And if all goes well, you can even reach a set of international audience! However, we all have to start somewhere and this includes building a website. The first thing you may want to start with is getting your own domain name through a domain name registrar.
And with many domain registrar companies out there, you may have a hard time narrowing down your options. But do not worry because I have here a list of factors that you need to consider to help you choose the best domain registrar.
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