Buying a domain name is a relatively simple process, but it can be confusing managing them. There are a lot of options to consider, and there are hundreds of registrars to choose from.
There are several important decisions you’ll need to make. It’s not enough to simply register a domain from the first place you find. You need to choose the best possible domain for your website, buy from a registrar you can trust, and manage it effectively.
You’ll also need to decide whether or not you want to use WHOIS protection, whether to park the domain, and how long to register it. Believe or not, these things do make a difference.
So let’s get started so that you can find out exactly how to register a domain and manage it correctly.
Choosing a Registrar
The first thing you need to do is decide which registrar you wish to use. GoDaddy is a popular choice, but I don’t recommend it. According to many people, they are prone to disabling domains even over false spam reports, and then charging a huge fee to reinstate the domain, even if you can prove you did nothing wrong.
NameCheap is a popular option. They have free WHOIS protection for the first year of each domain, and they have a coupon each month that lets you get a nice discount, making each domain less than $10.
I will use NameCheap as the example in this guide, because I consider it to be the best registrar. It is affordable, the support is good, and their interface is easy to use.
I don’t recommend using the domain services of a hosting company. They will often hold your domain hostage and make it difficult to transfer it if you decide to leave their hosting. Always register your domain yourself, and always do it directly through a registrar.
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Finding a Domain Name
Many people believe all the good domain names are taken. This isn’t true. While it’s true that you aren’t going to be able to pick up books.com or anything similar, there are still plenty of great domains available.
In order to choose the right domain for your purposes, you need to decide what you’re going to use the domain for. There are two main classifications.
If you want to create a niche-based blog or website or you want to invest in a domain that you can sell for a profit later, you’ll want to buy a keyword-based domain name.
You should look for domain names that have high-traffic keywords. If you wanted to make a site about Discount Golf Clubs, you would ideally want to get DiscountGolfClubs.com.