Does it matter where you buy your domain name?

By Tim Priebe on April 14, 2021

By Tim Priebe on April 14, 2021

Buying a domain name can be exciting, frustrating, or even both. You have to consider whether you want a .com or something else, deal with your first choice being taken, and at the end, you’re finally the proud owner of your own real estate on the web. Well, you will be once you get a website created for the domain name.

But does it matter where you purchase it? Where is the best place to buy your domain name?

As it turns out, all domain name registers are different.

Domain name registars

The companies that sell domain names are known as domain name registrars. Years ago, you could only purchase domains through one company, Network Solutions. Then in the late 90s, there was an antitrust suit filed. Fast forward a few decades, and you have tons and tons of domain name registers:

To make things even more confusing, some companies resell domain names but are not actually a domain name registrar themselves. It can often be confusing to track down who your domain name registrar is if you lose that information.

The differences

Domain name registers are not all the same! Sure, at the basic level, they all sell domain names. But that’s where the similarities end.

Different domain name registrars offer different:

  • Privacy options
  • Top-level domains (TLDs, i.e. .com, .net, etc.)
  • Email capabilities
  • DNS editing capabilities
  • Domain forwarding options
  • Transfer fees if you switch later
  • Website hosting options
  • Email hosting and forwarding options

And the list goes on. Some of them even charge hidden fees or fees that just aren’t obvious if you don’t read each screen carefully.

Do your research

Do some research ahead of time. Look at reviews online. It also helps to know exactly what capabilities you’ll need so you can check and see if that matches the capabilities a specific registrar offers. And search online to see what reputation their support has.

If you’re working with a digital marketing company to help you build your website, ask who they recommend. They may even include domain name registration in your investment with them.

We typically use GoDaddy, although they’re not for everyone. If you use them, be careful when signing up. They do offer a lot of add-ons that you can accidentally sign up for if you’re not careful.

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