Registering a domain name for the first time can be one of the most exciting things you do when starting a new website or business on the internet. For many of us, registering a new domain name is nothing new, and it to some it might actually seem quite tedious. However, I still get excited when I register a new domain these days… even with then 400+ I already have, each domain is unique in their own way and full of potential.
At the same time, millions of people are still starting a website or blog for the first time daily, and with each of these, they will also need a domain name. To help with the process of grabbing a domain name and making sure you are setup for the long haul, today I’m going to highlight seven domain registration tips that everyone should be aware of — even if you’ve already registered hundreds of domain names in the past.
Grab All Variations of Your Domain Name
When registering a domain name for your personal site or business, make sure you spend the extra few dollars to grab the .net and .org versions of these names as well. With a low investment of around $10 per year for a domain name, it’s just a no-brainer to not let such domains get in the wrong hands — especially your competitors!
Make the Process of Domain Transfers Easy
Some domain registration services make it a real hassle to register domain names and transfer them to another location. A domain transfer might take place if you want to swap ownership or simply keep all of your domain names under one provider. To learn more about this process, I recommend you read this guide on the domain name transfer process, along with the many different fees, benefits and things to be on the lookout for depending on your domain registrar.
Secure Your Personal Name as a Domain
If you are lucky enough to have a unique name, there is a good chance someone didn’t grab your personal name as a domain yet. However… in most cases, the chances are against you.
This means you should head over to your favorite domain registrar and check to see if your personal name is available. Heck, check your spouse’s name and any family members too! It’s only a matter of time before all personal names are scooped up, and potentially out of your hands forever.
Enable WHOIS Protection on Your Domain
Did you know that when you register a domain name, you are potentially putting all of your information out there for the world to see? It’s true, and all it takes is a simple WHOIS search. Go ahead, try it sometime.
The good news is that you can protect your personal information from being easily accessed on such sites by simply implementing WHOIS protection when registering your domain name. There is usually a small fee associated with this, but it’s well worth protecting your personal identity in the process.
Make Sure to have Auto-Renew on Your Domains
Once a domain name is registered, it’s usually gone for good. This is due to the fact that domain names are extremely cheap to register and renew on an annual basis. However, sometimes people forget to renew their domains and then they are instantly picked up from domain registry companies to be resold at a higher markup.
Most domain registrars will allow you to register a domain for multiple years in advance (which may help with SEO, though this is always up for debate), but the option should also be there to automatically renew your domain names as well. Make sure this option is always in place, while also making sure your credit card and payment information are up to date as well.
Choose a Domain Name that is Easy to Spell and Remember
When it comes time to register a domain name, you are likely going to need to get a bit creative to find something that is available. At the same time, don’t get too crazy with it. I understand the process of finding a good domain name that isn’t already taken can be quite frustrating and timely, but before you register a domain name that you think might be pretty amazing — think again!
For example, I highly recommend you stay away from misspellings and the use of hyphens and numbers in your domain name. For example, if the domain name seeyoulater.com was taken, you wouldn’t want to register CUL8ER.com because it’s “cool”. Think about all the times you would need to spell out your domain name versus just saying it. In short, get a unique domain name, but make it easy for your audience to find, spell and remember in the process. If you still aren’t having a lot with coming up with a unique domain name of your own, try any of these domain name generators to help out with this process.
Don’t Pay Too Much for Your Domain Name
My last domain registration tip for you is to simply not get ripped off by registering domain names at the wrong location. For example, when I first started registering domains in the late 90s, Network Solutions ran a monopoly over the world of domains and it cost $70 to register a domain name ($35 for two years). Now you have a world of options for registering domains, also at a much lower rate as well (around $10 a year). Yet some people are still paying $30+ per year to register and own their domains on an annual basis — this is just a waste of money. Find out how much you are paying for your domain name registrations, and if it’s too much… it’s time to find another registrar. Even though it might only seem like the difference of a few dollars to register a domain name, this could add up to hundreds or even thousands of waste dollars per year if you have several domains that are up for renewal.
I Hope You Enjoyed My Domain Registration Tips
As someone who has been buying and selling domain names for nearly 20 years now, I’ve had my fair share of experiences with each of the points I highlighted above. Your domain name is going to be the beginning and end for your site, so make sure it’s pretty great. Don’t rush to go live with your site until you found a perfect domain name to represent your brand, it’s mission and content.
Once you’ve found that perfect domain name for your next site, be sure to follow my blogging guide for a complete walkthrough of how to start a successful website or blog from day one.