Many hosting companies will offer a free domain name when you sign up for hosting with them or they might offer to buy it for you. That is very nice isn’t it? Actually it might not be…
Let me explain why:
In the world of web, your domain name is your business. It defines you. Your domain name is how people find your business and then how they recognise your business. It is very important that you own that name and that no-one else, no matter how nice or helpful they seem, has control over it.
I am afraid I often come across different stories which have this similar thread: “He (or she) bought my domain name for me and I set up my site. Everything was great until the next year (or even two years later) when he charged me £100 (or much much more) to renew my domain.”
It is an easy way for web developers and hosting companies to make money for nothing. They “buy your name for you” but they still control it and after you have built up your business and are dependent on your website for business the renewal fee suddenly goes sky high.
Remember back in the old days when your grandma told you you never get anything for free…she was right! The truth is those free domain names are not really free. Someone pays for them and in this case it is your hosting company. But don’t be fooled, in most cases they will pass on the cost to you in some other way. And don’t forget the small print, that domain name is usually only free the first year. In year two, you will pay for the domain name. And as a rule, you will pay more then if you had bought the name through an independant register.
So why use an independent domain register? Each domain name has four “contacts” associated with it. The owner or Registrar, the Administrative, the Technical and the Billing. Each one plays a different part in the functioning of your domain name. The Registrar is all about who legally has the right to use the domain name. This is important because you don’t want someone else to actually own your name. Many people do not understand the importance of the second contact. This one is all about who actually controls the domain name.
So lets go through each Contact and what parts they play.
Registrar: This is the person that actually owns the rights to the name.
Administrative: The administrative contact usually has the highest level of control over a domain. Management functions delegated to the administrative contacts may include management of all business information, such as name of record, postal address and contact information of the official registrant of the domain and the obligation to conform to the requirements of the domain registry in order to retain the right to use a domain name. Furthermore the administrative contact installs additional contact information for technical and billing functions. In short, they have complete control of the name.
Technical: The technical contact manages the name servers of a domain name. The functions of a technical contact include assuring conformance of the configurations of the domain name with the requirements of the domain registry, maintaining the domain zone records, and providing continuous functionality of the name servers (that leads to the accessibility of the domain name).
Billing: This is who gets the bill each year.
As you can see the person that has administrative rights to your domain name actually has more control over your name then you do as the owner.
This is why we never buy your name for you. We give you instructions on how you can “point” your name to us and help you with any questions you may have but we make sure you own your name and have control over it.
There are many domain name registers where you can search availability, but if you want our recommendation it is:
(please talk to us first, because there are things to consider in choosing your name for SEO rankings)