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Purchasing a domain name? Here are some commons Q&A

posted on Oct 18, 2010

Domain Purchase

Q. Do I need to buy the various .com, .biz, .info, .ca, etc. domains?

A. No, not unless you have a valuable brand name or trademark that you wish to protect from impostors.

Q. What is the difference between .com, .org, .ca, .bc.ca, etc.?

A. It is a trade-off between recognizability and exclusivity.

Anyone can get a .com, so they are recognizable and popular all over the world. But they are non-exclusive which means the domain type is shared with everything from legitimate businesses to personal blogs to shady scams, which makes them less prestigious. For this reason, organizations that qualify might want a more specific domain type such as .edu or .org.

Canadian individuals or organizations can use .ca domains to help distinguish them from the sea of .com domains. These domains are restricted to Canadians, so they are more exclusive. They are still very recognizable in Canada, but might be seen as more obscure outside of Canada.

Provincial domains like .bc.ca are even more exclusive than .ca. Organizations must have a provincial affiliation; since there is no provincial citizenship, that means .bc.ca domains are typically used by regional governments and provincial branches of national associations. This can increase the impression of "official status" for a regional website, at the expense of appearing more obscure to visitors who don't understand Canadian geography.

Q. Why do some registrars charge more for the same domain? Is there any reason not to go with the cheapest?

A. Registrars provide a service - they maintain your directory listing in the Internet domain system (DNS). This service is used indirectly every time someone looks up your web address. You also use this service directly whenever you renew your domain name, or reconfigure how lookups of your web address are done (for instance if you change nameservers). The price you pay for your domain might reflect the quality of service you can expect. A cheap registrar might provide simple automated tools for common service requests, but poor service if you have a specific request that requires a real tech support person. However, as with all purchases, there is no guarantee that high price = high quality service. Buyer beware.

Tagged as: Web Domains

Top Ten Domain Registration Mistakes and How to Avoid Them

posted on Jul 11, 2008

Apple

We have seen many mistakes made by people and companies registering domains.  Here are some tips to help you do it right, and avoid some common pitfalls.

Think "Keywords"

When picking a domain name, try to include some of the keywords that potential visitors might be searching for.  It will help your site rank higher on the search engines.     

Spell it Like it Sounds

A good domain name is one that you can tell to people, and they will know how to type it.  The easier it is to spell, the easier it can be remembered and spread by word of mouth.  Avoid difficult-to-spell words, words with multiple spellings, and hyphens.

Watch Out for Hidden Meaning

When picking a domain, watch out for letter combinations that may make an unintended word or phrase.  Notorious examples include Therapist Finder therapistfinder.com, and Speed Of Art design speedofart.com.  These are embarrassing, and can also run afoul of automated porn-blockers and spam filters. 

Watch Out for Hidden Meaning – Part II

You may also want to check that your domain doesn't translate into something odd in Spanish, French or other languages.  Even English has obscure words you may not know about.

Forget the Alternatives

When you register a .com, you really don't need to worry about also registering the corresponding domains in .net, .org, and .biz.   Almost nobody will go to those domains, so in most cases you are just wasting time and money.

Register It Yourself

You want to make sure your domain is registered in your name or your company's, and the best way to ensure that is to register it yourself!  If you leave it to a third party, there's a good chance they could end up owning the domain.  Getting domain ownership right the first time is especially important with Canadian .ca domains, as changing ownership of a .ca requires costly legal paperwork. 

Avoid the One-Stop Shops

Many domain registrars are also hosting companies, and offer package deals that combine registration with web hosting.  Avoid them, as it's a case of putting all your eggs in one basket.  It's better to keep the two roles separate – register with a dedicated registrar and host with a dedicated hosting provider.  It gives you greater flexibility and you avoid getting locked in to one provider. 

Don't Cheap Out

Registering a domain is not terribly expensive, so it's better to go to a reliable registrar that costs a bit more, than trying to save a few bucks and end up paying for it down the road.  If your registrar ever goes out of business, then your domain could get tied up in technical and legal hassles for many months.

Print and Save

When you get to the part of the registration where they tell you to print out and save your domain login information, then PRINT OUT AND SAVE YOUR DOMAIN LOGIN INFORMATION.  Whoever has this information has control over your website and email, and if you don't have this information, then you don't have control.  Don't rely on password reminders, as they don't always work. 

Watch Out for Scams

Once your domain is registered, be wary scams.  If you receive an invoice to renew your domain, make sure it is actually from your domain registrar.  You can also safely ignore emails from any company warning you that somebody is about to register a domain similar to yours,  or offering to register variations of your domain for the Asian market.

Questions?

Call Exware at 604-684-9440.

Tagged as: Web Domains