Domain RegistrationWhy we recommend you register your domain and explain how.
Domain ‘Registration’ not Purchase
It is important to understand that no-one actually ‘owns’ their domain/s.
When you pay for your domain, you will be paying to Register it in your name for a set period of time (1 year, two years, 5 years etc.) At the end of the registration period, you will have the option to renew your registration.
You will not be buying the actual domain and unless you renew your registration, it will not continue to be ‘yours’.
Why Register Your Own Domain?
By registering your domain yourself, you have full control over it. In the years we have been creating websites we have often had clients come to us who have previously taken up an offer elsewhere of a ‘Free Domain with Hosting’ or have had someone else register their domain on their behalf.
When they then decide to move their website, they find that the domain was never actually ‘theirs’ and that if they want to keep it they have to keep their website where it is, or face losing their domain…and any ranking their website had previously earned with Google and other search engines.
We want YOU to avoid being put in the same situation.
Register your own domain and if ever you decide you’d like to move your website you simply make backups of your site files (and database if your site relies on one, such as with WordPress), ‘point’ your domain at the new host server, and upload your backups. There’s a little bit more to it than that, but the point is you get to retain your domain, because YOU registered it in the first place.
Domain Registration is Easy
Domain Registration is really easy to do, and is nothing to be afraid of. You don’t need to be a technical genius – if you can use a website like Amazon, you’ll be capable of Domain Registration.
You simply decide which of the Domain Registrars you’d like to use (it’s all online…no surprises there! We’ve recommended some below), set up your free account, search for your domain name and then make payment.
Domain Registration really is that easy.
One thing to remember: when you create your Domain Registrar account, the email address you use will be used for future Renewal Notices. If you ever decide to stop using that email address, you must update your Domain Registrar account otherwise you won’t receive the Domain Registration renewal notices the registrar will send you.
If you don’t renew your domain registration, you’ll lose it and someone else will be able to register it!
Our advice; don’t change your email address!
.com .co.uk .org..?
There are many, many choices of domains available – far more than when the internet first came about. Our advice on domain type comes from a position of Search Engine Optimisation consideration:
Without getting all technical and talking about TLDs (Top-Level Domains) etc. we simply recommend that if possible you register either a .co.uk or .com domain (both if you can!)
Avoid the use of hyphens-in-your-domain if you can (Google doesn’t like it, it’s harder to tell someone and people generally assume domains don’t contain hyphens).
You should be careful not to register a domain which inadvertently contains inappropriate words.
For example, if a luxury holiday location called ‘Pen Island’ was to register a domain, they’d want to avoid the obvious penisland.com (we made this up, but you get the point right?)
If you are in the UK, or your business (if you have one) is in the UK, we recommend you use a UK based registrar. We have an unproven belief that it influences ranking with Google.
Below are long-standing, reputable Domain Registrars all of which make Domain Registration very easy. They all enable you to search for domains and tell you which ones are available, and all of them have comparable prices.
For the purposes of clarity; we are not affiliated with the following Domain Registrars and receive no incentive or payment for providing links to their websites:
(We’ve been using and recommending 123-reg.co.uk since 2006)
Again, we recommend you avoid the tempting offer of ‘Free Domains’ that come with Web Hosting offers, especially when .co.uk domains only cost around £12 including VAT for 2 years registration.
How Many Domains Should You Register?
We are often asked by clients, “how many domains should I purchase?” – here’s the advice we offer:
Let’s assume your business or blog is called “Joe Smith Creative”…
If it’s available, you should register joesmithcreative.com…
We recommend you also register your Country specific domain. For example, if you are in the UK, and if it’s available, register joesmithcreative.co.uk…
Then, we recommend you have your website under the .com, so that when people visit www.joesmithcreative.com they find your website…
Then, with a little bit of technical wizardry, you ‘link’ joesmithcreative.co.uk to joesmithcreative.com – then, if people type joesmithcreative.co.uk into their address bar, they still end up at joesmithcreative.com and see you website.
We offer the ‘little bit of technical wizardry’ for free to clients to who we provide Website Hosting service – most Domain Registrars will provide you with clear instruction to enable you to achive the same result.
A Domain Registration Myth:
“Having lots of domains improves your ranking with Google!”
We can tell you; it doesn’t.
The only benefit of registering lots of domains is to prevent others (possibly competitors) registering them. A domain can only rank with Google if there is a website under it.
Since 2015 Google has been stating that over time, with the intention of making the web a safer place, they would start delivering the https:// (meaning a ‘secure server’) versions of website addresses in their organic search results, instead of http:// (no ‘s’ after the ‘p’).
For a website starting with https:// to load successfully, without a ‘Your connection is not private’ screen appearing, the domain requires an SSL Certificate. You will need to contact your host provider to find out how you can have an SSL certificate for your website, and how much it will cost (if anything).
We provide SSL Certificates to clients using our Website Hosting Services, the costs vary depending on the type of SSL Certificate they would like to have.
So, as you can see Domain Registration really is easy and the best start you can make to having full control over your website.
Hope this helps!