The Dos & Don’ts Of Domain Name Registration

It’s time to register a domain name for your up-and-coming website. You are excited to get started – but hold your horses for a moment! It is time to take a pause and master a few best practices that will make sure the process goes right. If you think about it, your domain name is going to be an incredibly important asset for your business or enterprise. It is going to be the first point of contact for your audience, and it’s going to be the home of a significant investment: your website itself. Good practices in this area will ensure that your online operations go smoothly, and help you avoid unpleasant issues such as domain expiration, or even domain hijacking later.

The initial steps that you are about to take in entering the world of virtual real estate might sound a bit technical, but the process is not as tricky or complex as you might imagine. There are, however, some important steps that you can take to ensure your domain name registration goes without a hitch. Following these tips will also make sure that your domain name is going to be secure, accessible, and ultimately yours, for as long as you desire to use it! So, let’s get started on the fundamental dos and don’ts of domain name registration.

Use A Trusted Domain Registrar

When scoping out the domain name of your dreams, you will want to be sure that you acquire it through a reputable domain name registrar. A well-known provider with an established track record, and substantial customer base, will offer the best rock-solid security for your shiny new domain. In contrast, a smaller or more obscure registrar may pose the risk of disappearing, placing your domain name at risk. If you are working with a web host (or even web design company like Teapot Creative!) they may well partner with a trusted domain registrar or be able to point you in the right direction. Always check out the credentials of any online entity before placing your brand’s virtual presence in their hands.

Register Your New Domain In The Right Name

When registering your new domain name, ensure that it is registered to the right person, or company name, right from the get-go! We all tend to be quite slap-dash about signing up for things online, but this is not the moment to be complacent. You would be amazed how many domains get registered in the name of an employee, contractor, or even friend. Down the road, if that employee leaves, or your relationship with a contractor or friend changes, you might lose access to your domain all together. Fundamentally, this would mean that you – as a business, or as the business owner, would not own the rights to the domain. Regaining that domain name could take years, not to mention the incurring of substantial costs. Not a great idea! Instead, make sure it is your name, or your company’s name, on that domain registration. This will secure your ownership, whatever the future brings!

Use The Right Email Address

Similarly, the email address associated with your domain registration is going to play an important role. In fact, it is going to serve as a vital point of contact for maintenance issues relating to your domain in the future. So, ensure that this is not a miscellaneous personal email, but is a secure account that you will always have access to. Also keep in mind that should your website become the target of those with nefarious intentions in the future, using a personal email that identifies an individual within your company may leave your domain more vulnerable to spear-phishing attacks.

While we are on the subject of emails, pay attention to emails you receive about your domain name with just a dash of suspicion. Unfortunately, this can be a route through which scammers may try to trick you. So, check the sender, and only act on emails that you have verified are from your domain provider. Quite often, scam emails arrive when your domain is about to expire, either phishing for your payment information, or hoping to dupe you into paying for a peripheral domain service, rather than the domain name renewal itself. If in doubt, do not click on links from emails you receive, but instead log in with your domain provider directly, and check from there.

Choose Strong Passwords and Keep Them Safe

Whether you plan on handling transactions through your website, or simply want it to be a portal of information for your brand, what you absolutely don’t want is someone else getting in there and messing things up! In this sense, all that talk about making well-thought-out password choices truly is worth paying attention to! In truth, a poor password choice is an unnecessary vulnerability that will leave the door open to hackers and hijackers. So, skip obvious passwords such as simple number sequences, your birthday, or your pet’s name. If you do not trust your memory, use an iron-clad password storing service like LastPass, so when you need to get back into your domain account, all the info you need is right there.

Keep Your Registration Information Up To Date

When you register and create your new domain, you will provide contact details to the registrar. This information will be stored, and made publicly available, thanks to a universal look-up service called WHOIS. There are a myriad of reasons why it is vital to keep this info up to date. Not only will your domain registrar use these details if they need to contact you, but others who need to reach your business will refer here too. If you want to stay abreast of content issues, security concerns, and operational updates, make sure your details are always correct. Also keep in mind that this data – for example, your address and phone number, should match your data elsewhere online. Search engines will factor in data consistency when deciding how to rank your website, so make sure you secure those SEO brownie points!

Take Steps Now To Ensure Your Domain Renewal Goes Right Later

Lastly, with your domain name registered, there is one more detail to attend to. This is laying a path to the successful renewal of your domain name – whether it is due next year, or three years from now. Renewing your domain in time is key in ensuring that your website stays functional.

Make sure you always renew on time by setting a reminder ahead of your renewal date in your calendar. Pay attention to notifications from your domain provider and arrange mail forwarding if you don’t often check the associated account. If you set up automatic renewal, ensure that your payment details are always current and, if in doubt, add an alternative credit card to your account as a precaution.

The stability and security of your domain name serves as one of the foundation stones for fostering confidence within your customer base, and fundamentally achieving business success. Choosing trustworthy providers at every step towards a thriving online brand presence is a gold-standard strategy for future prosperity. So too is keeping track of your logins and passwords! So, there you have it – head out and claim your chunk of virtual space in confidence!

About alastair

Self-proclaimed Lord Adwordz, I manage our client’s PPC campaigns and SEO accounts. Google is a huge part of my work, even more so as a recent Android convert. When not digging through data, you’ll find me beating the office at puzzle bubble or raiding villages on Clash of Clans.

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