I only recommend one registrar for domain registration. This registrar is a lot better priced and more generous in its services than others I've seen. Its customer service is great (state-side representatives always answer the phone during their business hours and they actually have time to talk) and this company doesn't charge for things like URL forwarding and other things that you should be free to manage yourself. In addition, this particular registrar is extremely compatible with the only DIY website-building platform I recommend to my "Design, Build and Manage Your Own Web Site" workshoppers.
I no longer publish the name of my preferred registrar, but if you're interested as an honest consumer, you may click here to contact me via e-mail (please include your phone number). No matter which registrar I prefer, however, these are some of the things you need to consider before choosing one for your website's domain . . .
- Always secure your own domain name! Never let anyone else--even a website developer--register it for you. After reading this post, come back and click here to read more about this issue.
- Beware of the domain registrar services of DIY website platforms/hosts (such as Wordpress, Shopify and others). Most DIY platforms offer free use of subdomains of their own platforms (yourname.wordpress.com, for instance) and also offer the ability to register your own domain through them. It's almost always preferable to have your own domain name, not a subdomain of someone else, and once you figure that out you might be tempted to "upgrade" to your own domain, purchased through the website platform. But many of these platforms will charge much more than others--up to three or four times as much as my favorite registrar--to register a domain name. It's part of their bait-and-upsell strategy. I recommend an independent registrar for this reason and others. In addition, many of the site-building platforms will charge you a substantial upgrade fee for the privilege of pointing your own domain, if registered elsewhere, to their platform. That cost is something that people should consider when comparing platforms on which to build their sites.
- When registering your own domain, be careful that you're not signing up for WhoIs privacy unless you want it. What is Who.is? Who.is is like the White Pages for website domain owner contacts. In other words, when you register a domain name through any registrar your contact information will be made public by Who.is, just like the White Pages lists a land line's homeowner name, address and phone number. Just as you can pay the phone company for an unpublished number, you can pay to make your Who.is information private (about $3 or $4 per year is all my favorite registrar charges; some others charge more). While this might be an important service for some, usually there's no good reason to privatize your domain contact information. So when registering a domain name, be careful not to purchase it if you don't want it.
- Know that if you're planning to register a .co top-level domain, or TLD, (example: myexcellentdomain.co), the initial price is often comparable to that of a .com, .net or .org registered at the same registrar, but the price to renew it each year can be three times as much as the original registration price. This is a function of the .co registry (sponsor), not (necessarily) of the domain registrar, so the price to renew is higher regardless of which registrar you use. Some registrars, however, will add more than others to their cost of registering with the sponsor. So you need to compare these prices from one registrar to another. Many other TLDs to arrive on the scene each year also vary in price to initially register and/or renew.
There's a lot to learn about domain registration, DIY platforms, writing for your website, etc. That's why I developed Step-by-Step Presentations' "Design, Build and Manage Your Own Website" workshops. The abundance of great information combined with the patient, hand-holding means of instruction facilitates success for even the most intimidated to embark on this awesome endeavor! Contact me any time for more information.
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