What is a Domain Name? How Do I Get One and How Do I Keep It? 

What is a Domain Name? How Do I Get One and How Do I Keep It? 

Domain Names & Their Importance in Building a Website 

If you are looking to start a website so you can get your Internet marketing strategy off the ground in mid-Michigan, you’ll need a domain name for potential customers to search for. The domain name of a website is what you or anyone else on the Internet types into their preferred browser to find the website they are looking for.  It is like the address for your online business home. For example, our domain name at ACE Design Studio is “acedesignstudio.com”. A domain name is vital to having a website. Now that you know what one is, how do you get one? We at ACE Design Studio are here to help by explaining how you get a domain name and how you manage to keep ahold of it.  

Obtaining Your Domain Name & Keeping It 

Obtaining the Name to Your Website – When you search Google for domain name registrars, you will find a variety of options. Do some reading of reviews to establish which registrar is right for you. One important distinction to make about domain names is that you don’t buy the name itself, but you are instead paying for the leasing of the domain name. Generally, the default timeline is one year until you renew it or choose to drop it, but this can be extended based on your preference. Once you have bought the rights to the name, it’s yours to attach to your website.  

Always be mindful of who exactly is registering the domain.  If an employee registers the domain under their email address, then leaves the company, you might have a challenge in accessing the domain registration.  Similarly, never let your website designer be the registrant of your domain.  This allows them to keep your domain name should you ever choose to cease doing business with that company.  Instead, they could be a technical or admin contact to allow them the access needed.   

Keeping Your Domain Name – As mentioned, you lease your claim on the rights to the domain name you choose when you shop with a domain name registrar. This is usually an annual renewal, and you always have priority on the name when it comes time to have the name renewed. You should get an email notification when your website’s domain name is getting close to needing to be paid for again. If you neglect to pay for your name, or you choose to drop the name, the domain name goes back into the public for another individual or company to lease. Therefore, plan financially and in your Internet marketing strategy for yearly renewals of your domain name.  Most registrars allow you to auto-renew so you do not have to be concerned about missing a renewal email.   

Similarly, make a record of the company your domain name is registered with.  You will likely receive both emails and postal mail with seemingly ‘renewal’ bills for the domain from other companies.  Knowing which company you actually have your domain registered with is essential, so you do not inadvertently pay the incorrect company and authorize the transfer of your domain to a less reputable business.

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