How do I register a website domain name?
Your website domain name should reflect your business or organization. However, the domain name selection and registration process can be fraught with problems and pitfalls. ECS can help you through this process. In fact, most customers ask ECS to handle all of the complexities of their domain name registration and domain name transfers.
How to register a domain name
A domain name is essentially your website's name (but without the www). You can register (lease) an available domain name for a period of from one to ten years, with options for renewal. It costs approximately $10 US per year to register a domain. Ideally, your webdesigner or webmaster will help you register your domains and watch out for pitfalls along the way.
Your domain name(s) should reflect your company name or organizational purpose. For example, if your business is tree trimming, a domain name of trees.com would be good, but a name of treeTrimming.com would be better. However, it is likely that those common domains are already registered, perhaps by domain name resellers who try to make a profit off of registering and reselling domain names. So after searching for available domains, you might find that bobsTreeTrimming.com and bobsTrees.com are available. Both are reasonably good, but the shorter name is easier for people to remember and probably better.
You might be inclined to register bobs-trees.com, but the dash is hard for people to remember and even harder to explain to people. One to three words placed together is usually better than using dashes.
There are a number of top level domains, including com, org, us, net, info, biz, and various country names. If you are a commercial business, you will want to register the com variation of your domain name and most likely the newer biz variant. If you are a non-profit organization, or even an individual, you will want to register the org version and quite possibly the com and us variant (for US-based organizations).
It makes sense to register several variants of top-level domains (like com and org), for the following reasons:
Although people most often find websites via search engines, they may also try guessing at your domain name and entering it in their browser's address bar. Therefore, it makes sense to register common misspellings, singular and plural variations, and other variations of your domain name - if you can afford it. You may in fact want to register variants that your competitors might use, like treeTrimming.com, but don't take this to excess.
Also, a popular shorthand is to use "2" for the words "to" and "two" and "4" for "for" and "four", as in bob4yourtrees.com. Do not do this, as it will only confuse people, especially those who are less computer literate!
Which domain name registrars to use
It makes a lot of sense to both register your domains and host your website in the country you are doing business in. This ensures that you will adhere to applicable rules in that country and that you will also use the correct top level domain registrar for that country.
Likewise, there usually is no good reason to register a domain name overseas. This particularly applies to U.S.-based com and org domains. Prices and service are competitive within the U.S., and it may be more difficult to transfer your domain to another register if it is registered overseas.
There are a large number of domain registrars, and you need to be very selective when choosing a domain registrar. Here are a few pitfalls:
ECS will research available domain names and will work with you to select the best domain names for your organization. Our experience is invaluable - check with us before you register a domain name on your own. ECS has been retained to regain control of lost and stolen domain names. As a service, ECS registers most of our clients' domains - correctly, under the client's ownership. Contact Elbel Consulting Services for more information about registering your domain name.