Virtual Dont's – #1

Yesterday I published a post entitled “A Quick List of What You Shouldn’t Do When Going Virtual” wherein I listed 9 items one should NOT do.  Throughout the coming days I will take each item listed and explain why it is a definite “virtual don’t”.

The first item on yesterday’s list was:

1.  Let someone else register your domain

I like to consider my domains as web real estate and just as you need your name on the deed to own the property in the real world, you need your name as registrar to own the domain in the web world.

Many web hosts/developers will offer to register your domain for you – but they neglect to tell you that they are placing their name as owner and their e-mail address as the administrative contact.  As such, they will be notified and provided with the option to renew, not you.

This means should you change hosts or developers, they either have to transfer the domain to you (and in many instances will charge you a hefty fee for the transfer); or even worse, let your domain registration lapse, which could allow someone else to scoop it up.

To avoid either of these scenarios, simply register your domain yourself.

Registering a domain is not hard – you don’t need any special coding skills or anything like that.  My preferred registrar is GoDaddy – they’ve been around a long time and in the 8+ years I’ve been registering domains, I’ve never had a problem with their service.

In a nutshell, you open an account with GoDaddy, research your preferred domain, when you find one you like and that is available, you buy it.  Cost is about $10 for the year; and every year you will need to renew.

As GoDaddy is really into the upsell, you’ll need to scroll down to the bottom of each page during the order process to find the link that says “No Thanks”.  You don’t need webhosting, traffic building or any of the other offers – and I don’t recommend you host with GoDaddy – just register your domain through them.

The only item you’d need to consider is how many years you wish to register.  I typically register for 1 or 2 years and make sure that there is no automatic renewal.  Unlike a first time buyer, I have 60+ domains so having to manually renew each gives me the opportunity to determine if I still wish to develop that particular domain.

You don’t have to worry that you will forget to renew – GoDaddy sends out a ton of reminders to the administrative e-mail for each domain getting ready to expire.

Given the potential pitfalls of not registering a domain yourself, along with how easy and inexpensive it is to register a domain – don’t let anyone else do it for you.

Of course, if you have questions or need help, I’m here for you.  Simply set up an call with me and I’ll walk you through it (and help you brainstorm too).