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  How Do I Choose a Host
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  How To Register A Domain

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How to Register a Domain Name



The process of registering a Domain Name is actually quite simple. Where most people run into trouble is in choosing a good registrar (the place you pay to do the actual registration) and in choosing a good domain name. To help avoid common pitfalls we've put together the following guide and at the end we've listed our current recommendation for your next domain registration (Host Monster).

Choosing a Registrar

In 1998 Network Solutions lost its goverment sanctioned monopoly as the sole domain name registrar. Because of this there are now many options and each has it's own pros and cons. When choosing your registrar here are some features you should consider:

Accredited: Is it ICANN accredited? You can check quickly for Accredited Domain Registrars on ICANN's website.

Control: What controls does the registrar give you for administration of your domains, billing, and technical issues.

Price: Fees for registering or transferring domains vary greatly (generally from free to $35 dollars a year). Domain registrars actually have to pay about $6 dollars a year for each name they register so you can guage how much money you are being charged above their cost easily. Most places that offer lower cost domain name registration make up for this in another area. Those charging more than about $6 dollars are probably just giving you a bad deal.

Additional Fees: Be careful when choosing a registrar. Many have additional hidden fees for transferring domains, making updates to records, "parking" domains, and many other things of this nature. They are all rediculous and if your registrar wants to charge you for something like this you probably aren't choosing a good one. There's little reason to have to pay for any of these "features" which are now commonplace AND free at most good registrars.

Ownership of Domain: Here's a real tricky one you'll want to watch out for. Some of the more shady registrars will actually only give you usage rights to your domain. If you realize they are horrible and want to move it to another registrar they'll deny it and you'll find that they actually registered it in their name and were only letting you "borrow" it. These guys are scum. Make sure you don't get stuck with a registrar like this. Ask if there are any restrictions to your full discretionary use of your domain. Another trick they sometimes use is while you're searching for a good domain name they'll actually register anything that comes up on their system as a good potential name. This basically means that before you can register it for yourself they'll buy it up and then your only option is to buy the domain off them (which can cost anywhere from the normal price to thousands and thousands of dollars depending on the quality of the domain name). I hope this point has been made clear - do your research and don't get tricked into a bad situation.

Interface: How easy is it to make changes to things like DNS servers, manage multiple domains, or do other common tasks? Every registrar has their own system and some are really poorly designed or limited in their functions. For many of us there's nothing more frustrating than having to sit on the phone for an hour to have a "technician" make a change that should have taken you 10 seconds.

Customer Support: Does anyone need a lecture on making sure that your registrar has good customer support? If you're at all concerned call them before buying and see how things go. If you get stuck in a queue for a long time don't expect anything better when you have a real issue.

Choosing a Domain Name

Choosing a good Domain Name is also a very important step of domain registration. Once you've bought a domain the name you chose is it. There's no going back. So make sure you choose something that is going to work well for you. If you need some tips on this check out our other article here.

Our Recommendation

We've dealt with many of the top registrars and feel confident in making some suggestions on which registrars to go with. Our current top choice is Host Monster. Since most domain names are going to have a website why waste time seperating your domain registrar from your web hosts? With Host Monster you not only get a free domain name with your hosting, but you also have everything in one place, and that place is one of the top ranked web hosts on the internet. You can check out our full review of Host Monster here!

We hope this guide has helped you figure out how things work and filled you with a sense of confidence. Enjoy your new domain!

 
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How to Register a Domain Name?
The actual process of registering a Domain Name is actually quite a simple. Where most people run into trouble is in choosing a good registrar (the place you pay to do the actual registration) and in choosing a good domain name. To help avoid common pitfalls we've put together the following guide as well as our top ranked domain host.
Looking For More Articles? Here's Some Places We've Found Great Articles
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