Every website needs a domain name. This is how your website is going to be reached by your users. This article is a list resource of the common questions about domain names, registering them, and any additional questions you may have had about domain names.
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What Is A Domain Name?
Domain names are the home address of your website and are often recognized as the .com, .net, and .org in a website address. Recently, more domain suffixes (known as Top-level domains) have been added, with common popular ones being .io, .info, and .co.
Do I Need A Website To Have A Domain?
Domain names aren’t only used for websites. They are also used for e-mails and online collaboration tools. If you want your own custom e-mail address at a domain of your choosing, you’ll need to register that domain name and attach it to the service.
Is Having A .com Better Than Any Other Extension?
This is a question I get asked often, and while a simple web search will say that having a .com is the most important thing or not, the real answer is, it depends. A .com domain is more common and memorable than some of the other domain suffixes. So, many may assume that your domain ends in a .com. However, if you’re running a non-profit a .org may be more beneficial for you to use than a .com. A domain extension doesn’t have any impact on your website’s SEO or functionality, it’s more helpful when it comes to branding and marketing. For instance, if you have an app you want to develop a website for, a .app extension may work just as well as a .com.
However, some extensions have certain restrictions for using them. An example is .law is an extension that’s only available for qualified lawyers, firms, and legal institutions. Some domain extensions are attached to countries that have certain laws and regulations in what content they allow while using their domain extension. The .com, .org, and .net domain extensions do not have any restrictions on who can register them.
How Do I Get A Domain Name?
Domain names are acquired through a domain name registrar. There are many that exist, however, two of the most popular ones are GoDaddy and Namecheap. Additionally, you can purchase a domain name through tools like my domain registration tool (which is powered by WildWestDomains, a large and popular domain registrar that runs the registration of many of your favorite websites).
How Much Should A Domain Cost?
The cost of a domain name varies based on the popularity of the name, the type of extension, or if someone is reselling a domain they’ve previously purchased. However, in general, most new domain names are available for around $10 for the first year and renew at around $20 every year afterward.
My Web Host / Website Platform Offered Me A Domain Name, Should I Take It?
Many website hosts or website platforms (such as Squarespace and Wix) offer the ability to purchase a domain at a discounted rate or acquire a domain name for free for the first year. If you’re simply looking to purchase a domain, these offers tie you to their services and may not benefit you in the short term (you often get reduced prices for your first year of signing up with these services). If you’re planning on sticking with your hosting provider or website platform for longer than one year, I highly recommend taking the offer and benefiting from the reduced cost.
Should I Lock My Domain Name
Once acquiring a domain name, all reputable registrars offer the ability to perform some sort of “Domain Lock” or “Transfer Lock”. I highly recommend performing this action, without this lock, your domain can be changed or transferred without your knowledge.
Can I Transfer My Domain To A Different Location?
Yes, you can. Just about every web host, platform, and registrar gives you the ability to transfer your domain from your current provider to another. Each performs this action differently, however, generally, a transfer requires:
- Initiating the domain transfer on the provider you want to transfer to
- Unlocking your domain on the current domain provider
- Obtaining a domain transfer code and submitting it to the new provider
- Waiting up to six days for the transfer to complete.
If you have any additional questions about domains or domain registrars, feel free to contact me, and let’s see how I can help with any of your domain questions!