For quite a long time now, if you asked any of the self-proclaimed internet gurus about the important things to know before registering a domain, you would usually get two common answers.
The first was, make sure that you choose the right domain name. The right domain name should be as closely related to your niche and target market as possible. You also had to make sure that this name was not too long.
The second answer was, make sure that you register the domain with the right web hosting provider. Here are some valid points you should add to your decisions.
Know the Registry
The registry, simply put, is the company that is going to sell you the domain name. You can find them all over the Internet, literally in every corner of the world. Some of them, popular in their regions are: RU Center, WMD or America Registry. So how to choose the right one? First of all – you will choose some with who you can be in contact when ever you need help.
The second major issue here is their reliability. Try to find out just how long they have been in business. Although being a newcomer to the business may prove to be an advantage in some cases, this is rarely one of them. The newcomer will be more likely susceptible to cyber-attacks and even common human error from lack of experience. This can cost you your user traffic and consequently your business. It is better to opt for a registry that has been around for a while with a proven track record.
Know the Maintenance Cost
One of the biggest mistakes first time domain-name buyers make is only considering the one time buying price of the domain name. You have to realize that there are also maintenance costs involved in keeping your domain yours and running. Web hosting providers like web.com, GoDaddy and Network Solutions can provide you with .com or .org domains that will only set you back $1/per month for maintenance. When it comes to the newer domains like .cab and .bike however, you can expect to see those costs triple or even quadruple with the same providers.
When considering costs, you also have to look at whether the provider has a 'Transfer-out Fee' hidden in the clauses. This albeit illegal according to ICANN, allows the provider to charge your credit card a fee should you opt to move to another hosting provider or registrar.
Know the Whois Fine Print
Everything pertaining to your domain is going to be placed on a Whois database. This can be easily accessed by the public to check who registered the domain. Make sure that you have the right to change the details on your Whois without any charges. Some registrars will charge you a fee every time you want to change details about the domain. The only way they can do this is by keeping rights of ownership therefore getting them permission to charge you for managing it.
Another concern is need for your email privacy. The providers have to keep all your incoming or outgoing emails and email contacts as private as possible. They should not have a reputation for selling any of your data to any third parties like email list providers, advertisers or spammers. Basically, take the time to make sure that your Whois ownership and clauses are as see-through as possible.