Domain name registration is your first step to owning your own little corner on the Internet. When you register a domain name, you are publishing an address that is unique to you. No one else in the whole world can register a domain name exactly like the one you register.
Sure, competitors can use some of the same words or use your exact domain name and add .org, .net, or .us or whatever other hot extension there is out there at the moment. But, no domain name registration can be, letter for letter, extension for extension, exactly like the domain name you registered.
Importance of Proper Domain Name Registration
Think of it this way. Your website is your heart. The content you produce on your website is your blood, muscle and bone. The design you use is your skin. But, your domain name…well, that’s a whole different story.
You see, your domain name is your identity. No one can touch it. No one can pick it up and carry it to another room. You can’t replace it with something else. Your domain name has one unique identity. It must be registered so that the world can realize its uniqueness.
With such a high level of importance, here are few domain name registration tips:
Register Your Own Domain Name
Above all else, always register your domain name in your own name, address and phone number as the official “registrant.” If my earlier description of a domain name being that intangible component that makes up your entire persona, then one could argue the domain name registration process is the most important thing you can do for your online presence! How could you possibly allow anyone other than you to create that persona for you?
Resist the urge to allow your webmaster, computer IT guy, designer, administrative assistant or trusted relative to register your name for you. You just cannot bank on the idea that even your most trusted business allies will be on speaking terms with you a few years down the road, let alone be willing to take time out of their busy day to release control of your domain name to you.
Use Your Own Email Address
In the event that you ever lose the ability to access your domain name account, you will be able to get access to the account much easier if you register the domain name in the first place using your own email account.
In fact, I’ll go so far as to say the most important step of the domain name registration process is adding your own email address that the account is registered to. There are ways to get control of a domain name (known as domain name rescue) if you lose access to the email address that was originally used for the account, but life is MUCH easier when you just make a point to keep that email address active. Be sure YOU, as the business owner, have full access to the email address used in the domain name registration process.
Secure Your Domain Account Login Details
From my experience working directly with hundreds of clients around the world, I’m going to make a personal guess that only 10% of people can locate their domain name user ID and password within five minutes. Most would have to dig and hunt for their domain name registration login credentials. They might even have to call their computer ID guy or virtual assistant.
For some peculiar reason, people register domain names and then they forget where they registered that domain name. The account user ID or username and password is typically never even written down or added to a password file. Maybe the reason for such mishandling is because domain names are so cheap to purchase.
But, I’ll say this: Your primary company domain name is THE single most important control point to keep track of for the entire lifespan of your business! Yet, so few make a priority to keep login details handy for their domain names.
Make it a priority starting now! Start a new account, register your domain names, and then store your login ID (usually a customer number) and password in a very safe place that you can get to quickly.
Register Domain Names for More than One Year
When you register a domain name, register it for the longest period of time you can afford. Some registrar companies allow you to register domain names for 20 years or even more. For products or websites you might be testing, sure, register those for one year. That way, you haven’t invested much if you decide to pull the plug on that project. But, if you register domain names for things you are expecting to be around for a while (your name, book title, company name), always register those domains for at least five years. Usually, you will be awarded discounts for buying multiple year use of a domain name.
Protect Your Domain Name from Theives
Protecting your domain name can be as simple as adding a difficult password to hack. There are more advanced methods for preventing domain name theft such as private registration if it’s within your spending budget. A registered domain name that keeps the registration information public can be purchased for under $10. With varying levels of privatizing (for added security), you can easily spend up to $100 per year, depending on the registrar company you’re using.
Think of buying a domain name as you would purchase a computer. Figure out what you can afford…and then figure out a way to spend a little more. If you skimp now to save a buck, you could be paying a lot more down the road.
Choose the Right Domain Name Extension
People still trust .com websites the most. And, there are plenty of great domain names available using traditional domains like .com, .net, and .org. So, make every attempt to register a .com domain name.
Follow these steps and you will be on your way to profitable domain name ownership and a successful domain name registration.