|How to Register Domains
When you launch a new website you must
register a unique domain name with an authorized registrar.
When the internet was first starting, all domain names and
IP addresses were registered through one organization, Internic.
Eventually Network Solutions took over the role as "keeper"
of the internet domain names. Today, there are hundreds of
websites where you can register your domain name but Network
Solutions still maintains the main database of domain names.
Some websites charge as little as $2.95 per year for your
domain name while others charge as much as $35 per year for
the exact same service. Some even offer one year free if you
register your domain name with them and host your website
on their servers. Why pay $35 when you can register your domain
name for much less at another website?
So why does Network Solutions charge $35 a year if they are
the keeper of the database and their resellers charge a fraction
or even nothing? Who knows and who cares! Register your domain
with one of the cheaper providers and you'll be fine. A word
caution - be care who you choose to host your website. Getting
a free year of your domain name isn't worth it if your webhost
is unreliable and your website is down more than it's up.
You pay for your domain name on a yearly basis. It's a separate
charge from your webhosting bill. When you register your domain
name choose the autorenewal option if it's available. This
way your domain name will not expire if you forget to renew
it. If your domain name expires, it's free for anyone else
to register so you need to stay on top of when it's expiring.
Also registering your domain name for a 3 to 5 year term will
often save you money. For example, godaddy.com charges $8.95
a year for your domain name but only $7.25 a year if you register
for a 5 year term.
When you register your domain you can create different contact
names. The three contacts are Administrator, Technical and
Billing. Most of the time the same person is all 3 contacts.
If you web designer registers your domain name for you, make
sure you are designated as the Administrative contact. This
gives you control over the domain name and you must be notified
if someone is trying to make changes to your record. If you
aren't one of the contacts then someone can transfer ownership
of the domain name without your permission.
To see a record of your domain name, go to www.networksolutions.com
and use their WHOIS utility which is located in the bottom
left corner of their home page. Simply enter your domain name
and click Search. You'll see the complete record of your domain
name, where it's registered and where your website is hosted.
For a complete video of how to use WHOIS, visit www.valiss.com/video/whois/whois.html.
When you register your domain name you'll have to the option
of making it a private registration. I highly recommend paying
the additional fee to make your information private. If you
leave your registration public anyone can look up your domain
information which includes your home or business address and
your email address. Many spammers scan public domain registration
records to find valid email addresses to spam.
I always use a yahoo or hotmail email account when registering
my domains. This way if spammers to find my email address,
I can just get a new "throwaway" email address and I won't
receive spam at my primary email address.
Always make sure your domain record remains locked. Locking
your domain name is a feature implemented a few years ago.
When you want to transfer your domain name to a different
registrar you must unlock it. Once it's unlocked the new registrar
can "pull" your domain name from your current registrar. Once
the transfer is complete, the domain name will be locked to
prevent anyone else from "pulling" your domain away from you.
About the author:
Ted Prodromou spent over 25 years in the computer industry
working for IBM, Digital, and Cellular One. Today he's the
owner of Valiss IT, a consulting firm that provides personalized
web design and small business marketing solutions. Visit http://www.valiss.comfor
lots of free "how to" articles about marketing your business