From the SEO, webmaster and small business owner points of view, below are a few considerations that I look at when registering a domain name. I hope these tips help you to make the best decision for your business. If you are stuck please be sure to ask us for more details.
Number 1: Choose one of the best registrars on the internet
There are a number of service providers who will offer to register the domain for you. The problem being, these service providers are often not an actual ICANN approved registrar. This especially holds true for bundled domain and hosting packages. This will make it difficult to move your domain when you change hosting providers and prevent you from doing advanced configurations as you grow.
Here is a list of accreditedregistrars. The top two on the list I recommend are promotemysales.com and Google. is the best place to buy a domain name because they are cheap, make it easy to sign up, offer reseller opportunities and also offer a way to purchase expiring domains (if you are in to that).
WARNING: If you don’t choose a registrar, and decide to bundle the website domain in with your yearly hosting subscription, be prepared to face difficulties in transferring your domain when you want to grow.
Number 2: Register the website domain name for 3-5 years
If you have made the choice to start a business, register the domain for the foreseeable future. First time registration is usually the lowest cost you will pay, and by registering for 3-5 years upfront at that rate you will save money in the long run. It will also spare you the annual hassle of having to renew the domain and updating your credit card information when it changes.
Number 3: Say Yes to Domain Privacy Protection
The WHOIS database was once much, much more accessible. Still today if you register a domain any information you provide such as telephone, address, email and name will be publicly visible by default. By paying the additional privacy protection fee the registrar will hide your information. This prevents a high volume of spam emails, phone calls, snail mail, social engineering and phishing attacks.
Number 4: Set up your new domain as non-www instead of www
It wasn’t until a few years ago that I realized how great a strategy this is. I now set up every domain as non-www. If you have a brand new domain, most online tutorials will tell you to setup the DNS as:
However for a brand new campaign, the best long term option is:
With mobile as the future and because most users will be too lazy to type in the WWW, setting up your DNS without it will cut down on redirects and reduce page load time on direct traffic.
Number 5: Create a very secure password and save it somewhere you will not lose
There are some horror stories about people stealing passwords and hijacking domains for ransom. Many of these are phishing and social engineering hacks. It looks pretty ugly. I’ve also lost passwords and went through the trouble of snail mailing a photocopy of my driver’s license to the registrar to get it recovered. The company refused to communicate by email or phone and insisted it be mailed to them. They were in New Zealand and it was a painstaking process