What’s in a name? Shakespeare will have us believing that “a rose by another name will smell as sweet,” but in the case of a domain name, this isn’t always true. A domain name represents your business online and you want to ensure that it is appropriate and embodies everything that you’re all about.
When getting started online, there are two essential parts: a domain name and web hosting. Here are our tips and tricks on how to create and maintain your domain(s).
Selecting the Right Domain Registrar
When you’re looking for a registrar, there’s more to it than just the price. For example, picking a plan that’s ten dollars more expensive might mean better customer service and more service product options. You might also want to consider selecting a domain registrar that can also be your web host for convenience. Having both your domain and web hosting with one provider makes billing, support, and overall web hosting administration much simpler. At Canadian Web Hosting, we’re able to provide domain registration and renewal services for all our customers who are looking for that convenience. When signing up or if you’re a current customer, just get in touch with our team and we’ll be happy to help.
Renewing Your Domain
When purchasing a domain name, you select the period of time that you want to purchase the name for. Eventually, your domain will expire and you will have to renew it or risk losing your site. Familiarize yourself with the domain name cycle to avoid running into problems like losing your domain. One way to ensure you will always keep your domain is by allowing your domain to auto-renew. You won’t risk losing the rights to your domain name and it saves you the hassle of remember to do it yourself when your domain name is about to expire.
You can also consider registering your domain for as long as possible. The longest time you can register a domain for is ten years. By doing so, you won’t have to worry about this for a long time. If you’re afraid of committing to one registrar for this entire period, know that if you decide to transfer your domain elsewhere, the time you’ve registered still applies until your domain expires.
Picking Your Top Level Domain
Your top level domain (TLD) is essentially the last part of your website address. For example, “.com”, “.ca”, “.gov” are all TLDs. When choosing your TLD, there are several things to consider. Typically you should try and pick a domain name that ends with “.com”. This is the most common TLD and most people when being referred to a website assume that the address ends in “.com”. However, due to its popularity, securing a “.com” with your chosen name may be difficult so you might want to consider an alternative name where the “.com” is available or, in certain scenarios, select an alternative TLD.
If your website caters to a specific market or local audience, it might make sense to purchase the TLD for that area. For instance, if your local audience is mainly Canadian, you may opt for a “.ca” website to demonstrate that you are local and in that specific country. However, it would still be beneficial to eventually purchase the “.com” for your website, especially if you’re interested in expanding your brand beyond the one market.
A third option is to go a little more unconventional and select a unique TLD like “.blog”, “.tech”, or “.jobs”. These TLDs can help describe what your website is about and can help with branding. These usual TLDs allow you to stand out and clearly demonstrate to visitors what they can expect on your website. Alternatively, you can also get creative by using country TLDs at the end of your brand name. For example, the TLD for Anguilla is “.ai” and could be used for websites about AI or “.fm” from the Federated States of Micronesia for FM radio stations.
Once you’ve settled on your main domain and TLD, you might also want to consider purchasing your same name with other TLDs. This can prevent impostor sites from popping up, others buying the domains and selling them to you for a much higher price, or visitors mixing up your TLD and not getting to your website. Once you’ve acquired other domain names you can redirect them to your main domain to ensure all visitors find your website.
Purchase Misspelled Versions of Your Domain Name
Sometimes when you’re searching for a website you might miss an extra consonant, or add extra letters to a word without knowing it. The same can happen to your customers. Even if your brand name is simple and easy to follow, there is still a chance of misspelling it. For example, it can be as simple as adding an extra letter or missing one in the case below:
To rectify these scenarios, register misspelled versions of your domain name so that these erroneous spellings of your domain will inevitably direct visitors back to your main page.
Consider Additional Security and Privacy
Once you’ve purchased your domain name, be sure to lock the domain so it can’t be stolen. Domain registrars allow you to lock your domain name to prevent unauthorized individuals from trying to transfer your domain. When locked, your domain’s registration information and DNS can’t be changed until it is unlocked by you with the registrar.
Furthermore, you can opt to add domain privacy to your domain. This means when someone looks up your public WHOIS record they will find generic contact information that hides your personal information. By using that contact information, individuals can indirectly reach out to you via the privacy provider. However, note that since GDPR came into effect, domains are automatically listed with a registrar contact email by default so your personal information is already somewhat protected.
What tips and tricks do you have to manage your domain?