SMALL BUSINESS DOMAIN REGISTRATION ISSUES
Over the past few years I have worked with a number of start up businesses who have experienced frustrating domain issues which has cost them time and in the long run, money!
I have found that a number of small business owners are not aware of their domain registrar details or even hosting details and therefore have no control over their website settings. When hiring a web designer, this can become a rather timely event in trying to track down domain and hosting information.
Here are a few tips on registering a domain for your business and setting up a hosting account:
Most important fact when registering a domain: know your registrar and account details so you always have access to your domain!
Registering a domain name is the first step in creating an online presence. Basically, a domain is the name of your website. Usually this will follow your business name but you may find that your preferred domain name is not available. If this is the case, you may have to look at other options such as abbreviating your business name. Try keep your domain short so it is easy to remember and also easy to type. Avoid using different spelling as this creates confusion.
There are many domain extensions which basically means what the domain ends in such as .com or .com.au. If you are an Australian business it is better to have a .com.au but you are still able to use a .com domain. To register a .com.au domain you will require an ABN number.
Registering a domain is actually very simple. The cost will depend on the registrar, the organisation that manages the reservation of Internet domain names. A domain name is registered for a 2 year period and needs to be renewed in order for you to maintain ownership of the domain. Registrars such as SiteGround, offer affordable domain registrations and web hosting. It is very easy to register a domain name with any registrar online.
By registering online, you will set up an account with the registrar. It is very important that you make note of the login details to this account as you can manage your domain from the account. If someone is registering the domain on your behalf, always make sure that you receive the login details and account info for the domain.
If you are thinking of registering with an overseas registrar, keep in mind that contacting them may be difficult. It is best to stay local and have the peace of mind that if you need to get in touch quickly, that you can easily do so.
Before choosing a registrar, do your research on whether the registrar locks the domain. What this means is that you will need to have the domain unlocked in order to move it to another registrar. This is where it can become tricky if you have no account details for the domain.
Some Web Design Businesses will sell domain registrations and hosting as a reseller. If they register the domain on your behalf, they will hold the login details. Keep this in mind if you are using a reseller. It may be better to register the domain yourself so that you have control over the account details.
Domain Name With No Hosting
It is important to note that you can register a domain name without having hosting. You may find that a domain name is available however you are not ready to set up your website as yet. You can still register the domain name so that you have ownership and only set up a hosting account when you are ready to build your website.
You can also register a domain name through one registrar and set up hosting through another provider. This is not a problem if you have access to your domain name account settings as you can point the domain name to the hosting provider. You may find it easier to have both your domain name and hosting with one provider as it will be easier to manage.
To sum up:
- When registering your domain, keep it short and easy to remember, type and read.
- Do you research on the registrar that they do not lock the domain. You want to have full control to be able to move the domain to another registrar if required.
- Try use one provider for both domain registrations and hosting as it is easier to manage.
- You can register a domain name without having hosting. You can set up hosting when required. So if you have your business name but are not ready to set up the website as yet, it is wise to register the domain.
- Try use a local registrar as you need to be able to contact them easily if required.
- Always know your domain account details so that you are in full control of your domain at all times!