Are you considering setting up your first website? First, you’ll have to secure a name for your website by purchasing a domain name. Below, we discuss some factors to consider before registering a domain name.
Top-level domains (TLD) or domain extensions
At the inception of the public internet, there were just a few domain extensions (otherwise known as top-level domains). Most US websites then ended in .com, .org, .net, .go or .edu.
Throughout the world, a large number of websites used their country code top-level domains (ccTLDs) such as .co.uk for UK websites and .co.nz for New Zealand websites from hosts like Freeparking Domain Names NZ. Although .com was the most dominant domain throughout the world. Till present, it still maintains its popularity and dominance over others.
In 2014, many new domain extensions were created. They’re called gTLDs or nTLDs, otherwise known as the new generic TLDs, an initiative which drastically improved the quality of domain names.
Though it’s indisputable that TL domains are more preferable among site owners, one can succeed in online business using any of the new domain extensions. Those who drive traffic through social media can get as much traffic as they want in either of the TLDs. The old TLDs may have some search engine optimization (SEO) advantage than some of the new gTLDs. But with a good brand, you should get great search engine results.
However, a scam replica TLD could be harmful. Historically, there’re only a few spam websites buying up domain names that are somewhat similar to real brand names on TLDs. As long as your brand is genuine, and is not similar to fake websites that use suspicious wrong spellings, random letters or characters like dashes, that’s OK.
That said, there’s been a gradual reduction in the discrimination against new domain extensions. This is evident in the increasing number of legitimate sites using the new domain extensions.
According to IANA rules, registering a domain name that has a trademarked word or phrase, thereby dubiously making it look like the website of a public entity, person or company, could result in being forced to forfeit the name to the genuine owner and pay damages if sued. One should be very careful to avoid being a victim of such act.
Unknown to many online business owners, domain parking is a lucrative business. For instance, when you make a typo by entering a wrong web address, and you’re referred to a search page with numerous pop-up ads, this is a parked domain. Some people can park hundreds or thousands of domains and monetize them using domain parking and end up earning a huge amount of money.
Some players register domains at very low prices to park and monetize such domains. You may not be bothered about this. However, what you won’t know is that you’re paying for domain names whose registrars use to make more money for themselves.
If you’re considering website hosting in NZ, the organization where you’ll buy the domain name is called the registry. You need to choose the right company among several ones selling domain names. Reliability is the first quality to consider. Ensure that the company has been in business for long to avoid facing problems from new sellers. Accessibility is another quality to check from such companies. It should be easy to reach them if you need any issue resolved.
You might decide to transfer your domain to another registrar. Ensure there are no “transfer-out” fees for transferring a domain to a different registrar. Some of them charge high fees that violate ICANN policy. (ICANN refers to the non-profit organization that supervises internet usage.)
Besides the cost, some registrars make transferring domain names extremely difficult, so, before you register your domains, verify that your registrar’s transfer process is easy.
Terms of Service
Before registering a domain, be wary of hidden terms and conditions written by the registrar. Read very carefully to avoid overlooking important points which may result in challenges eventually.
You’re expected to provide your details to the registrar when registering a domain name. Your details can be seen by the public. With an extra charge, however, you can hide these details. You might ask the registrar to give you detailed information on the protection of private data. If your email is available in the public domain, it’s easy for advertisers to sell them to email list providers or spam your email.
Secure Sockets Layer (SSL)
If you make online transactions on your website, own information that’s password protected online, or any data or information that you wish to keep away from the public, SSL is essential.
WHOIS is an easily accessible database of registered domain names. Observe that anytime you register a domain name, it’ll be published in the WHOIS database and available to the public to get your details. Also, note that third party marketers often explore WHOIS’ databases, using the information to send spam messages. Such unethical practice has seen many domain registrars offer to protect their client’s data by offering masking services or WHOIS privacy. While some registrars offer free WHOIS privacy, others charge very low prices.
The reality is that your WHOIS privacy has its price increased geometrically at domain renewal. Occasionally, some registrars offer you free WHOIS privacy for only the first month of registration. They bill your credit card automatically from the second month despite a year’s worth of increment in domain name registration.
Some registrars make it easy to enable your WHOIS by granting you access immediately after registration. They give you the option of opting out whenever you like. However, they make it difficult to disable your WHOIS by requesting your photo ID to verify your identity. This is one of their many ways of frustrating your effort to transfer your domain to competitors.
Besides getting the right domain name, the above are some of the important things you should consider whenever you’re registering a new business domain name. Ignoring important factors like these may lead to avoidable issues later. However, if you consider the above points, you’ll be able to register a viable domain name and maintain it for long at an affordable rate.
If you’d like to register a domain to start your online business, you must first search for your choice of a domain name from the TLDs such as .com, .org, .net, .edu, .biz and the likes. Registering a domain name for a long period using your name or company name is common practice.