5 Tips For Buying a Domain Name

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We’ve already talked about warning signs when buying a hosting account.

Now, let’s look at the pitfalls of buying a domain.

Domains are usually significantly cheaper than hosting accounts, but we tend to buy many more domains. It doesn’t take long for domain name ownership to become expensive.

So how do you avoid getting burned on your domain purchases?

1. Never Host with Your Registrar

Some web hosting companies offer a free domain, or a very big discount, if you buy your hosting and domain at the same time.

It’s a worthy perk for some people, but in general, we’d suggest avoiding this.

When you leave the hosting company, your domain becomes a problem. Who really owns it? How much hassle will it be to move?

And if you don’t move hosts, what’s the cost of a renewal? Chances are it’s a lot higher than it would be with a normal registrar.

2. Watch Out for First Year Deals

If a domain’s heavily discounted in year one, it’ll almost certainly be sold at an inflated price when it’s time for a renewal.

In order to get the price down, you’ll have to switch.

It’s better to factor in the discount and the subsequent 2-5 years to figure out the true cost.

3. Watch Out for Up-Selling

When you buy a domain name, you can add on a range of extra features: Whois privacy protection, SSL certificates and so on.

These extra services can be quite expensive.

Look out for special offers – or avoid the temptation to bundle in things you don’t need.

4. Use a Trustworthy Registrar

The domain ‘tasting’ scam has largely been done away with, but there are still other ways that a registrar can scam customers.

  • It might make it difficult to move your domain away.
  • You might not actually own the domain.
  • Your host might force you to auto-renew.
  • You may find that your card details are stored permanently and can’t be removed.

Outright domain scams are fairly rare, thanks in large part to the efforts of ICANN, but some registrars sneakily make things more difficult for you.

Avoid those companies: they’re not worth the hassle.

5. Try to Use One Registrar

Once you find a registrar you like, try to stick with them.

It’ll cut down on the amount of transfers you need to do, and it’ll make your domains easier to manage.

Normally the cost difference between registrars is so minimal, it doesn’t pay to make your own life harder by spreading domains all over the place.

Buying a Great Domain

Overall, most registrars are providing the same basic service. Find one you’re comfortable with, and if your registrar pulls any stunts, transfer your domains somewhere else.

A good registrar should offer a hassle-free domain name service at an affordable price.

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