Fortunately, choosing a domain registrar is one of the simplest things you’ll do. Just keep in mind:
- Domain names shouldn’t cost more than about $10 a year.
- While there isn’t much to having a domain name, when there is a problem, you’re going to want good customer service. So find a company that offers that. I just had a problem with my domain names and I really needed that customer service.
- Avoid getting your domain name from the same company that hosts your site. If you have trouble with the host and decide to switch, it’s helpful if your domain name is registered with a different company. It may not be a problem, but better safe than sorry.
- Be sure you aren’t planning to go through a website building program before registering your domain name. If the program already offers you a domain name as part of the package, it may be hard to transfer the name properly, and it could cost you some money.
Good Resources for Finding a Registrar
I found a couple of truly helpful resources for finding a good registrar.
The site below is dated March 2007, but it has some excellent reviews of several registrars as well as some good advice:
This next one is a forum called NamePro. Users rate a variety of registrars. Remember, you’re better off with a company with 200 very good reviews than a company with four excellent reviews. NamePros Registrar Reviews
From the research I’ve done, including reviewing the sites above, I’ve decided that domain registrar NameCheap is the best choice. It took me a while to come around, given the company’s tacky name.
I have two domains with NameCheap, and I’ve had no problems with them. They’re in the background, where no news is good news.
The main thing to keep in mind after you’ve registered your domain name is that you’ll need to renew it at the same time the following year. You should get a notice in your email, just be sure you don’t ignore it.
Or, if you’re site isn’t working out for you, you’ll want to keep it from renewing if you’re set up for automatic renewal.
One Final Bit of Advice
Keep track of your renewal date and information, especially the name and contact information for your registrar. I recently got “renewal notices” in the mail for one of my domain names from not one, but two different registrars. Only problem: neither one was my registrar. And both offered a one-year renewal for about $30, as well as options for two years at $49 and five years for $94. The companies are Domain Renewal Group and Liberty Names. Avoid these companies at all costs. And keep in mind, those are just the two that contacted me.
So be sure you renew with your own registrar.
Best of luck with your brand new domain name!