Don't do it. I don't care what kind of fabulous deal it is, or how convenient. Don't do it! Register your own domain. Just the domain!
Registering a Domain Name
Recently I've had to help several businesses reclaim their domain name and a few have lost it all together. Why? They went for that deal.... You know the one. Sign up today and we'll give you 1, 5 10 free domain names.
I'm telling you don't do it!
Too often should you decide to upgrade your website away from that discount provider, or all in one provider, you will find you can't do it. In some cases you can change the settings to what your new website requires, but more often than not you can't. I'm going through this with an organization at the moment. First, they let their domain name expire. There's always a grace period, but even that expired. Unfortunately they lost the domain name. Someone else snapped it up promoting a bogus company capitalizing on the traffic the original organization used to generate. This organization then registered a new domain name, but they did so as a complete package which included a website which they didn't need. After countless hours on the phone I was able to cancel the website deal and transfer the domain out of the providers name, but we're still waiting for the transfer to happen. What a mess!
By registering the domain yourself through a reputable provider, you will maintain control of your domain name. Purchase just the domain, privacy protection if you want it (this hides the owner of the domain site when someone searches for this information), and nothing more. Don't get roped into a website, or a hosting package or even email accounts until you know for sure where your website is being built and what you need. If you have hired a web designer, often they will do all of this for you. If you haven't hired a web designer yet, but want to make sure you have your domain, just register the domain.
TUESDAY MARKETING TIP #5:
When deciding on your domain name (URL for your website):
- do your homework as to where you purchase your domain, better yet, ask your web designer
- put some thought into your domain name -- is your company name really the best name for your domain name (think about what people will search for when looking for your product or service)
- decide whether you want .com .ca .biz .(your industry) etc.
- decide whether you want both .com and .ca (the average business does not require both, if you anticipate being a global brand, then yes)
- keep the domain short if possible - if it is too long, it makes it hard to remember and hard to fit on your marketing material at a reasonable size
- don't abbreviate your company name to initials - who would search for abc.com?
- consider having the best keyword for your product or service in the domain name, ie: if you sell widgets in Niagara only, consider NiagaraWidgets.com instead of your company name. If you sell widgets throughout canada, maybe CanadaWidgets.com and if you are a distributor maybe widgetsdistributing.com or wholesalewidgets.com
- seek the help of a good web designer
And one last point -- don't skimp on your website. After all, it is selling when you're not.
After 30 years in business, we have built 100s of websites, when I think back to our early sites when the internet was just becoming a thing, I have to laugh. Flashing buttons, scrolling words -- images that took forwever to load -- oh my.. The internet has come a long way in 30 years. If you can imagine it, chances are good it can be built. If you would like to see some of our recent websites for our clients visit our showcase.