Although at first glance it seems like it would be one of the simpler aspects of setting up a website, choosing and purchasing a domain name can actually be one of the trickier parts of the process. It’s hard enough to come up with a name you know you’d like to have in the first place. Navigating the practicalities of actually obtaining that name and making it yours presents its own set of challenges.
Let’s say that you’re in the furniture business and are trying to brainstorm a good name for your company’s online authority website on the subject. You’ll want something catchy, simple, and easy to remember so that you stand a good chance of becoming people’s go-to resource for solid information on furniture. However, it’s important to remember that everyone else in the furniture business will as well… and that quite a few of them will have already purchased their domain names before you came along.
Getting Your Hands on a Great Domain Name
Generally speaking, the best domain names are only one or two words long. They’re the easiest to remember and the most straightforward. However, most of the one-word domain names out there today are already taken and the great majority of the two-word ones will be as well. This means you may have to get creative when it comes to choosing yours.
If there’s one that you’d really like to own, you can always check out domain name auctions, see if the owner of the domain is interested in selling, or look for existing domain names that have been dropped by the original owners. Scanning registries of dropped names can be an especially great way to make a decision, as they don’t cost much more than a brand new one would. You just might see a real gem that you never would have thought of on your own. However, before you select a name that’s been in use before, it’s always a good idea to do some homework on any reputation that might be attached to it.
Understanding the Difference Between a Registry and a Registrar
Once you’re ready to buy, it’s important to take some time exploring your options as far as the services you sign up for. However, it’s important to know the differences between some of the terms you’re likely to come in contact with first. Two of the most frequently confused are “registry” and “registrar”. Although they are indeed related, they are two very different things.
A domain name registry is an entity that keeps track of registered domains in regards to a certain TLD (top level domain) – for example .com or .net. Registries also manage the root zones responsible for converting existing domain names into actual IP addresses. A registrar, on the other hand, is a service provider from which you’ll actually buy your domain name. The relationship between the two helps to keep things fair as far as who has access to the available names on the market, especially those with popular extensions like the ubiquitous .com.
Choosing a Good Registrar
The importance of choosing the right registrar from which to purchase your domain name can’t be stressed enough. Keep in mind that you will be counting on this service provider for a lot when it comes to maintaining your website or blog as you move forward into the future. That said, you need to focus on reliability and stability as far as qualities the registrar needs to have. Don’t simply assume that all of your options are created equally. The wrong registrar could wind up going bankrupt or deciding they’re not interested in being the business anymore and you’ll be right back where you started from.
The key to making a good decision that you can trust with your website and your reputation is doing your homework before making a final decision. Look into a given option in detail. Examine their reputation and read reviews that detail other consumers’ experiences with them. Do plenty of comparison shopping as well. Look for service packages that not only fit your needs, but are also priced reasonably in comparison to the competition.