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Home > Marketing Guide > Web Design > How to Register Your Own Domain Name

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How to Register Your Own Domain Name

Web Design/Domain Name Registration

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If you have a web site, you should seriously consider registering your own domain name. A domain name is a name like "MPMarketingCenter.com" or "chinesefooddiy.com", which you can use to refer to your website. Note that you do not have to be a company or organisation to register a domain name. Any individual can do it too.

 

 

Importance of a Domain Name

 

There are a number of good reasons for having a domain name:

  • If you ever change your web host, your domain name goes with you. Your regular visitors or customers who knew your site name as www.MPMarketingCenter.com (for example) would not have to be informed about a change of URL. They would simply type your domain name and they'd be brought to your new site.

  • If you are a business, a domain name gives you credibility. Few people would be willing to do business with a company with a dubious URL like http://www.geocities.com/whatever/12345.

  • If you get a domain name that describes your company's business or name, people can remember the name easily and can return to your site without having to consult their documents. In fact, if you get a good name that describe your product or service, you might even get people who were trying their luck by typing "www.yourproductname.com" in their browser.

  • If you want good sponsors (advertisers) for your website, a domain name is usually helpful. It tends to give your website an aura of respectability.

 

 

Registration Overview

 

Getting a domain name involves registering the name you want with an organisation called InterNIC through a domain name registrar. For example, if you choose a name like "mycompanyname.com", you will have to go to a registrar, pay a registration fee that ranges between US$15 to US$35 for that name. That will give you the right to the name for a year, and you will have to renew it annually for (usually) the same amount per annum.

 

Some web hosts will register it and pay for the name for free (usually only the commercial web hosts), while others will do it for you but you'll have to foot the InterNIC fees.

 

My personal preference is to register the name myself, so that I can be sure that I am registered as the owner, the administrative and technical contacts. Being the owner is vital - if someone else places himself as the owner (such as your web host), he can always decide to charge you for the use of the name later, and there is little you can do. The various contacts are less vital, but still play important roles. For example, the administrative contact's approval is required before a domain name is transferred out of a web host. If he/she cannot be contacted, the technical contact is used.

 

Although many web hosts suggest that you put them as the technical contact, you may prefer to keep yourself as one, so that when you want to transfer your name to a new web host, you don't have to wait for your old host to approve the transfer (apparently some have been known to take some time to do this, while unscrupulous ones have actually refused to do it).

 

Domain names disappear extremely fast. Many people claim that all the good domain names are gone. I doubt that - but it is probably true that most good domain names that are descriptive of products and services have been taken. If you want a domain name for your site, I suggest you act now, or face the anguish of having lost that name later. After all, US$35 (the price charged by the most expensive registrars) for a year's ownership of the name is pretty cheap when you realise that you're cornering a good name for your website.

 

 

Step By Step Instructions

 

If you want to register a domain name, here's what you need to do. Please read it all before acting.

  • Think of a few good domain names that you'd like to use. It won't do to think of only one - it might already be taken (it probably is!).

  • Obtain from your web host the DNS IP addresses and names of their primary and secondary name servers. Don't worry if you don't understand what these things mean. Just save the information somewhere. The information can usually be obtained from their FAQs or other documentation on their site, usually under a category like "domain name" or "DNS" or "domain name transfer" and the like. If you can't find it, email their webmaster. If you don't have a web host yet, all is not lost. Read on.

  • Get your credit card ready. This is a requirement of most if not all registrars. It will allow you to claim and get the domain name immediately on application. This is not an option (unfortunately).

  • If you already have a web host, you can just go to one of the registrars listed below and apply for the domain name. Be sure you have the information mentioned earlier.

  • If you do not have a web host, you can always use one of the registrars listed below that allow you to park your domain name at a temporary website specially set up for you. This way you can quickly secure your domain name before it's too late and still take your time to set up the other aspects of your site. Some of those registrars also provide you with a free email address at your own domain name, like sales@yourdomain.com.

 

 

List of Domain Name Registrars

Please visit Domain Name Registrars.

 

 

Conclusion

Once you've decided, you should not procrastinate. I've lost more than one domain name by procrastinating (I lost the latest one by only one day). After all, at the price you're paying, it works out to be about US$3 a month if you're choosing the most expensive registrar. It is even cheaper, of course, if you use the other registrars (slightly more than $1 per month).




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