Selecting A Domain Registrar

You need more than an idea and hosting plan to set up a web
site. You also need a domain name. A domain name is your unique
address on the Internet. Cheapwebhostingreport.com, google.com,
microsoft.com, and yahoo.com are examples of domain names.

Why “Free” is sometimes bad

Many web hosting companies will offer to give you a domain name
when you sign up with them. This can be a great deal, provided
they register the domain in your name. Unfortunately,
some hosting companies register the domain in their name.
That means that they own your address and they don’t have to let
you move your domain name to another web hosting company. This
can be very bad. It would be like someone else owning the name
of your company. So before you take advantage of free domain
registration with the hosting company you choose, be sure that
they register the domain in your name. If they do not say they
do, it’s probably safest to assume that they do not.

Fortunately, registering a domain name is simple and
inexpensive. Unlike a few years ago when one company had a
virtual monopoly on commercial domain names, there are now a
large number of registrars to choose from and competition has
lowered prices and increased the ease of domain name
registration.

What to Look For

There are two important things to look for in a domain
registrar: reliability and location. No one knows exactly what
will happen if a domain registrar goes bankrupt. There are
supposed to be safeguards in place to protect domain registrants
from losing their domains, but you don’t want to be one of the
people testing these procedures, so a solvent, reliable domain
registrar is a must. Location is important because domain
registrars are subject to the laws of the country where they are
located and some have been known to refuse to grant (or worse
yet, grant and then take back) domain names that are
unacceptable under the laws of their home country. A registrar
in the US may be your best bet if you have possible “freedom of
speech” issues with the domain name (or the site contents in
some cases) you’d like to use.

What to Avoid

Most registrars now offer all sorts of additional features –
like web hosting. Most of the web hosting plans we’ve seen at
domain registrars are feature poor and over priced. If you are
tempted by one, think twice and check out other hosts before
buying web hosting from your domain registrar. Many will try to
make it sound like it is a lot of extra work to host elsewhere.
It isn’t. All you have to do is point your domain account at the
registrar to the nameservers your web hosting company gives you.
This involves typing two urls. It is not hard at all.

My clients and I have had good luck with the following three
domain registrars.

First Choice: GoDaddy
http://www.cheapwebhostingreport.com/zgodaddy.php

Our current first choice of an affordable, reliable, US-based
domain registrar is one of the most popular domain registars, GoDaddy. They can register .com, .net, .org,
..biz, .info, ,ws, .us and .name domains for $9.95 a year or less
(and there are additional discounts when you register for
multiple years). If you already have a domain name and are still
paying $35 dollars a year for it, you can reduce your domain
costs by transfering you domain to GoDaddy and paying just $7.95
(for most types of domains) to renew your domain for an
additional year.

Second Choice: Dotster.com
http://www.cheapwebhostingreport.com/zdotster.ph

Dotster.com is our second choice of an
affordable, reliable, US-based domain registrar. They can
register .com, .net, .org, .biz, .info, .us and .name domains
for $14.95 a year (discounted when you register for multiple
years). If you already have a domain name and are still paying
$35 dollars a year for it, you can save money by transfering
your domain to Dotster and paying just $8.95 to renew your
domain for an additional year.

Third Choice: Yahoo
http://www.cheapwebhostingreport.com/zyahoodomains.php

Many of my small business clients like Yahoo Small Business. They only register
..com, .net, .org, .biz, .info, .us domains and they charge $9.95
a year, but many small business people seem more comfortable
with a major name brand — and Yahoo qualifies

Randall Stukey is the chief editor of the monthly The Cheap Web
Hosting Report (http://www.cheapwebhostingreport.com/) which
lists the top five low cost web hosts and several special
purpose web hosts along with articles on web hosting, web site
design, and site promotion.

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