Let’s explore some excellent places you can get a domain name for your website. We already have talked a little bit about Domains in the article about Naming your Business and Verify Availability. Let’s go into more details and nuances on what a Domain Name really means and the things you should know about them before you buy.
What is a Domain Name?
It’s the address of your website on the internet. Your website being the address of your house and the internet being the area your house is sitting on. This is what you need for people to visit you, without an address how do people know where to find you? Pretty simple right?
Technically, there’s way more to it than that and I’m not going to get into it because it’s outside of the scope of this article. And that’s not what you guys are here for but if you’re interested you can always do a quick google search and you’ll find tons of articles.
Do you need to Buy a Domain Name to create a Website?
Technically, NO but please read till the end.
There are some web hosting services that allow you to create a website even if you don’t have a Domain. They will let you use a subdomain instead. So for instance, if I would have gone with WiX’s free hosting service. My website address might of looked like this:
That is what a subdomain can typically look like and all it really is, is a folder within the host providers Domain that they are letting you use because their Domain is already registered but then you’re stuck with their domain name in your address.
I don’t know about you but it seems much more intuitive to use hvxfocus.com versus using the address of username.wixsite.com/hvxfocus.
But in order for you to use a custom name you would need to purchase a Domain Name from a Registrar.
What is a Domain Registrar?
“A domain name registrar is a company that manages the reservation of Internet domain names. A domain name registrar must be accredited by a generic top-level domain (gTLD) registry or a country code top-level domain (ccTLD) registry. A registrar operates in accordance with the guidelines of the designated domain name registries.”
So How can you buy a Domain name?
There’s generally 2 ways to buy a Domain name. You can buy it with a web hosting service but not all of them offer the option to purchase a domain name or you can buy it separately. Both are fine options but should you buy it separately?
There are a few reasons why you may consider one or the other. I know, I know. I’m giving you guys more things to think about but I want to arm you guys with enough information so you can make an informed decision. It’s your Business after all.
So there are a few reasons why you would want to buy your domain with your hosting service.
- The obvious would be, It’s convenient to manage your domain name with your web hosting service from one company, instead of managing them both separately
- Compatibility. If you purchase a Domain from the hosting service, it’s less likely that you run into any DNS problems, it can still happen though just less likely because they will do all the configurations needed to run your website with the Domain name.
- A lot of times when you purchase the domain name with the web hosting service they will give you a significant discount for the Domain name, it can even be FREE of charge. Just be careful because it’s usually free or discounted for the first year of service and renewing it could get pricey if you are not careful.
And a few reasons you would want to keep your Domain separate from your hosting service.
- Security. If for some reason your website gets hacked, your Domain name may be safe even if your Hosting service is not and vice versa. It just makes it easier to deal with if you run into these types of problems.
- It makes it easier to leave your web hosting service. Sometimes you may not want to be with your web hosting provider anymore or if their renewal prices are too high and you want to leave. Sometimes hosting services will have policies and contracts that prevent you from taking your Domain name with you but if you purchased your Domain name from a different Company you don’t have to worry about losing your name which you worked so hard to build your reputation on.
- If you have plans on having multiple Domains. Let’s say, you have multiple domains and each domain has different needs that one hosting service can’t give you. It’s much easier to manage all your domains in one place while having them attached to different web hosting services that have different requirements.
Whether you purchase your domain with your Hosting service or buy it separately, knowing the reasons above could really help your business in the long term.
Places to Buy a Domain
Below are some reputable places that you can use to purchase your Domain name.
And there are many more, probably too many to list out. But this should help you get started.
So how much does a Domain Name cost?
Generally a Domain name will cost somewhere between $10 to $20 US dollars per year but if you use a top level domain like .com, .net, .org it could cost more or less. And every Registrar has a different pricing scheme, some will charge more than others.
Here’s the thing guys. Essentially, all the Registrars like NameCheap and Domain.com will register your Domain name with a Registry that registers your Name in the same database. So the reality is why not just go with the cheaper option? Because you’re getting the same result for a cheaper price. But I’m going to reiterate, make sure to read the fine print on renewal prices and terms because what may seem like a good deal can turn out to be a deal breaker.
Get Domain Privacy Protection | WhoIs
What I’m about to tell you is super important guys. Regardless of who you buy your domain name from, I highly recommend you get Domain Privacy Protection which can be referred to as Who-Is protection. Why do you need it?
Well when you purchase your Domain Name, most if not all Registrars require you to register with your information that matches your payment method, like your credit or debit card. And your name, address, email and phone number that you used for your credit card will be publicly available if someone decides to search for your domain in the Who-Is search.
And Privacy protection is going to put random information for the domain’s contact instead of your information. Essentially hiding your contact information from Marketers and Scammers.
I made the mistake of not getting any protection once before. There will be people and companies out there that are always looking for information to scam or market information to you. And let me tell, I was bombarded with phone calls, emails and even physical mail from entities that want to sell me something or just straight up scams. And till this day, I still receive random scams.
Some Alternatives to Privacy
If you decide to use fake information for your domain name. Just be aware that if the Registries find out, they will terminate your Domain Name. Is your Business worth it?
And you may run into an issue where someone else decides that your domain belongs to them. How do you defend yourself if you use fake information? It’s just a huge hassle and could possibly be costly.
Alternatively, you could use a P.O box when you register your Domain and most of the information will be pulled from the location of your Box but P.O. boxes usually run around $20-$60 USD a year whereas getting Privacy Protection only cost 5-8 USD a year. I rather get the Privacy Protection than the P.O. box but there may be some cases where the P.O. box works better but that’s up to you to figure out but it is a viable option if you don’t want to use your contact info.
Free WhoIs Protection?
I’m a big fan of NameCheap because when you buy a domain name from them you get Privacy Protection for free and for the life of the domain when you purchase from them. I highly recommend them if you want to get a Domain Name. Here are a few others that offer free Protection when you purchase a Domain Name from them.
Regardless, do yourself a favor and get some sort of way to Protect your Information. But don’t just take my word for it, there is tons of information out there and I’d advise you to get as many different opinions and views for other sources before you make a decision.
Here is the Continuation of this article. How to Choose a Web Hosting Service.
If you have been following me thus far, by now you should know that links on this page or any of my other content will most likely contain an affiliate link. It’s free for you to use but if you make a purchase then I’ll receive some compensation that really helps me to continue to create content like this. So Thanks in Advance.