Typically, whether they know it or not, when someone talks about founding a website, they’re usually discussing two different elements. Sure, there’s the actual design of the site, as well as the choice of a web host and web hosting medium. But before all of that can even get out of dry dock, the website must first have a professionally registered domain name. That is, unless, they’re willing to saddle their hard work and livelihood with a third-party URL, like a .tumblr account, or some other derivative thereof. But how does one actually go about registering a domain name? Where does one go to do such a thing? And hang it all, what does it even mean to register a domain name? Before you lose your shirt, we’d like to offer a little bit of reassurance. Below, you’ll find our complete guide to not only registering a domain name, but also finding the right registrar for your business. We aren’t big on introductions, so without any further hubbub, here’s your all inclusive guide to registering a domain, as well as our top picks for actually doing so!
What is a Domain Registrar?
Before we dive into the companies that we actually suggest you take your business to, we feel we should first explain why registering your domain name is important. To begin with, not registering the domain of your choosing simply isn’t an option. Do you ever wonder how sites like Yahoo! manage to acquire each and every Yahoo! subdirectory, including the main yahoo.com domain name? To put things simply, Yahoo registered each of these points with a certified registrar, solidifying their claim to them.
The idea is relatively simple: When a child is born, the parents saddle the youngster with a name, a name that identifies the individual and also makes it easier for the government to track the little bundle of joy. Perhaps the latter is a bit of paranoia, but it’s much the same idea with the birth of a website. When creating a new website, you must assign a name to it that your viewers can access. And just as new parents submit a name to the State, so will you submit your site’s name to a certified registrar. These are bodies that legally bind and legitimize your claim to that domain name, preventing any other user from obtaining it without your permission—and typically a hefty check! You see, unlike babies, websites cannot have the same name. Otherwise, there’d be no way to access the content your after. This requires places like domain registrars to keep a running tab on all the Web’s domain names, recording who owns what, and what has already been taken.
If you’re still somewhat confused, think about a domain name in terms of real estate. When constructing a new home, you typically must first purchase the land the house will sit on. A domain name is the same concept as that land underneath your foundation. Without putting your name to it, others will have on idea where to go to find your content—or, in this metaphor, your house.
The 5 largest domain name registrars in the world, according to WebHosting.Info, are GoDaddy, Enom, Tucows, Network Solutions, and Schlund+Partner. Check out their numbers below.
All ICANN-Accredited Domain Registrars can be found at http://www.icann.org/en/registrars/accredited-list.html. But lets have a closer look at some of the most popular domain name registrars in the United States.
GoDaddy is a web host and domain registrar that has been around for almost literally ages. If you haven’t heard of them, or seen their expensively scandalous Super Bowl averts, we’d very much like to know what rock you’ve been hiding under. Essentially, if you’re looking for the most trusted and secure way to register a domain, GoDaddy is your best ticket. The site has suffered some recent controversy concerning the authorship of SOPA, but on the whole, GoDaddy benefits from a superb track record, as well as an expanse of services designed to benefit you and your site. If you’d also like to host with the provider, you’ll be granted discounts as far as domain registration. No to mention the company comes loaded with a heap of additional tools and services that help you in the creation and modification of a new website. All in all, GoDaddy is trusted, large, and budget-oriented.
We hesitate to mention Enom, but then again, we just didn’t feel right leaving it out. All in all, this domain registrar handles something like 10 million unique domain names, which is staggering to think about. However, they can only claim about 8 per-cent of the total market share. This is likely because of their slightly cheaper rates (about $35 a month). That being said, if you choose to register your domain name with Enom, you’re guaranteed one of the most secure and impressively solid performances in the business. In essence, you’ll get what you pay for and then some, though the payments will certainly be forthcoming.
All together, this registrar has handled something like 2.3 million domains and counting. Their market share is somewhat limited (only about 2 per-cent) but what gets our goat about Register.com is their simply stellar support network. If you have any complications or questions, you can rest assured the provider will work with you to find a solution. The price is on-par with Enom, but if you’re looking for an unbeatably secure and steadfast way to register your choice domain name, there’s no better option.
Have you picked the perfect domain name, only to find the listing taken by some lowly name squatter? If so, you may choose to invest in Moniker. The company is not only a domain registrar, but also a domain broker. This means they’ll work with whomever has your domain name to procure the listing, guaranteeing you the market and Web presence you’ve been looking for. Obviously, their rates will be higher for such services, but if you have to have that one domain name, there’s no better solution.
Domain Name Search
Finding a great domain name is an important part of every web project and the process of registering such domain name is getting harder and harder as many of them are already taken.
Luckily there are dozens of domain search tools that will save your time during this process. One of them is pcnames.com, an online domain search tool that helps finding a domain name in a more organized way. The search results displayed as-you-type, showing the availability of the most popular domain extensions. With the instant domain search feature, pcnames.com makes searching for domain names a breeze. There is no more waiting time on the next page to load to display your results.
No penalty whatsoever.
Is there some penalty if I have registered domain with Go Daddy and hosting with some other provider?
We are very satisfied with the service godaddj, primarily because it is always available for communication with customers via ticket support – rapid response, fast service – we recommend!
And again, one more question about the popularity of the domain. Has anyone noticed that domain. Com has found favor with Google in relation to say. Net, or. Org domain? Do you think it’s better to keep the domain name of your region? thank you
I agree with you. Managing domains with Godaddy is quite easy, especially when it comes to managing your domains portfolio.
To answer your question about what is recommended, then it really depends on your situation. You can get a free domain for life while you host with webhostinghub.com for example and save $100 over 10 years. But this is only good for single domain needs. If you have multiple then get a free one with HUB and the rest carry at GoDaddy.
Don’t be fooled by low prices at GoDaddy – they pay to Verisign (now Symantec) for the .com domain ~$8 & .net costs them ~$4, and privacy normally doesn’t cost them anything. So they will upsell you no matter what with either privacy or hosting (that is really bad) or another 10 domains, that cost then much less. If not today, they have your contact info and will do it later. I wrote an article on free domains just about a week ago. Have a look: webhostinggeeks.com/freedomainnames.html
If you have many domains (5+) – its easier to simply manage them all at one place – GoDaddy is a good option for that.
We think that Go Daddy is the best when it comes to domain registration.
Do you recommend that are registered with a domain and hosting with another provider? How is this correct thinking? Thanks for the great article!
I’d like to buy a Go Daddy domain for my italian site, cause it has got really good prices.But that could grow the latency.What should I do?
I have hosting at 1and1 hosting,would it make sense if i am managing several domains for clients to become a reseller,to me it would make sense to control many of the facets for my clients. I’m kinda new at all of this, I am a good designer and my roster is starting to fill,just wanted to see if anyone is a reseller and to get another persons experience as a reseller…thnx
Hello, I would like any kind of answer the following question:
If I bought a domain for a year after the expiry of the registration … how long it be marked as “busy”. Is it regularly to keep some hosting providers domain occupied by more than a year? Do I have the right to ask to buy this domain? thank you