Here’s the thing; it’s rare that anyone needs to buy just a domain name. Here’s some questions about domain names and website hosting to consider before diving in too deep into something you don’t know a lot about.
Before buying a domain name (or web hosting) ask yourself these questions…
- Do I want a domain name because I want to have a website?
- Or do I just want to reserve that domain name for later use? This is called domain “parking” which is legitimate if you are planning to use it down the track. Some people however try to profit by speculating that someone will want that domain at some point in the future and basically ‘squat’ on the domain hoping that they’ll be able to sell it for a profit one day. This is a poor strategy today as any decent domain name has been snapped up years ago which is why we are seeing startup companies coming out with ridiculous names like Shutl, Referly, Saya, Recurly, Drumbi and Hunie, because there are simply no ‘proper’ names left
- If you do want a website as well, what type of website?
- what is my geographic audience. Am I targeting Australia only, a specific country or the world? This will determine whether you should have a .com.au, .co.uk or a .com domain name. There are dozens of other types of domain name suffixes for nearly every country. But you need to pick the domain suffix that relates to your market because; lets say you want to market igloo blocks online, you really don’t need to market them in Australia (.COM.AU). You might instead go for a domain suffix for Antarctica (.AQ) or the US/global suffix of .COM
- do you want a few basic pages only? (static website)
- do you want to sell things online? (eCommerce/shopping cart site)
- do you want a picture gallery for friends/family or business?
- do you want to create a newsletter subscription service?
- do you want people to login or signup for membership?
- do people need to login to obtain a free download?
- do you just want to add your voice and opinions to a blog?
- If you want a website as well as a domain name, you need to host that website with a Hosting provider (where you pay for the online disk space on a monthly or yearly basis)
- If you do want a website, how will you build it and what would be the best tool to use? Answering question 3 above will help to determine this
- Do you have the skills to build, register, maintain and present the website? If not, you’ll need to seek out some professional help
Hey, I don’t need a domain name after all!
No, I still want a domain name and/or web hosting
- Cheap domain names (beware!): some websites offer domain names for as little as $1. However, don’t be misled by these prices, they are usually for obscure domain suffixes that are virtually worthless or used domain names that may have an unsavoury past. Buying domain names that have expired and are re-released for registration is a very risky business and it is to be avoided in almost all circumstances. Be aware that domains like this may have been linked to websites that have been added to a blacklist for illegal activity, spamming or pornography etc so that they will never be listed by the major search engines like Google, Yahoo and Bing. Buying one of these domains could be suicide for your venture
- Registrar domain names: Reputable domain name registrars offer Australian domain names at prices starting from $12/year for .com.au or around $8 for a .com. These prices are self-service where you need to know how to setup email accounts, related services and be comfortable with administering the domain yourself
- Reseller domain names: Other companies, usually non-registrars, offer the same domain registration as full registrars but they administer the domains without you having to worry about setting them up, it’s all taken care of by the reseller. However, always confirm that they do offer this service first. Prices for reputable Australian reseller domain registration starts from around $60/year. Metaweb Australia is a reseller of domain names and can help secure your domain name for you
Need more help?
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