Typically, whether they know it or not, when someone talks about founding a website, they’re usually discussing two different elements. Sure, there’s the actual design of the site, as well as the choice of a web host and web hosting medium. But before all of that can even get out of dry dock, the website must first have a professionally registered domain name. That is, unless, they’re willing to saddle their hard work and livelihood with a third-party URL, like a .tumblr account, or some other derivative thereof. But how does one actually go about registering a domain name? Where does one go to do such a thing? And hang it all, what does it even mean to register a domain name? Before you lose your shirt, we’d like to offer a little bit of reassurance. Below, you’ll find our complete guide to not only registering a domain name, but also finding the right registrar for your business. We aren’t big on introductions, so without any further hubbub, here’s your all inclusive guide to registering a domain, as well as our top picks for actually doing so!
What is a Domain Registrar?
Before we dive into the companies that we actually suggest you take your business to, we feel we should first explain why registering your domain name is important. To begin with, not registering the domain of your choosing simply isn’t an option. Do you ever wonder how sites like Yahoo! manage to acquire each and every Yahoo! subdirectory, including the main yahoo.com domain name? To put things simply, Yahoo registered each of these points with a certified registrar, solidifying their claim to them.
The idea is relatively simple: When a child is born, the parents saddle the youngster with a name, a name that identifies the individual and also makes it easier for the government to track the little bundle of joy. Perhaps the latter is a bit of paranoia, but it’s much the same idea with the birth of a website. When creating a new website, you must assign a name to it that your viewers can access. And just as new parents submit a name to the State, so will you submit your site’s name to a certified registrar. These are bodies that legally bind and legitimize your claim to that domain name, preventing any other user from obtaining it without your permission—and typically a hefty check! You see, unlike babies, websites cannot have the same name. Otherwise, there’d be no way to access the content your after. This requires places like domain registrars to keep a running tab on all the Web’s domain names, recording who owns what, and what has already been taken.
If you’re still somewhat confused, think about a domain name in terms of real estate. When constructing a new home, you typically must first purchase the land the house will sit on. A domain name is the same concept as that land underneath your foundation. Without putting your name to it, others will have on idea where to go to find your content—or, in this metaphor, your house.
The 5 largest domain name registrars in the world, according to WebHosting.Info, are GoDaddy, Enom, Tucows, Network Solutions, and Schlund+Partner. Check out their numbers below.
All ICANN-Accredited Domain Registrars can be found at http://www.icann.org/en/registrars/accredited-list.html. But lets have a closer look at some of the most popular domain name registrars in the United States.
GoDaddy is a web host and domain registrar that has been around for almost literally ages. If you haven’t heard of them, or seen their expensively scandalous Super Bowl averts, we’d very much like to know what rock you’ve been hiding under. Essentially, if you’re looking for the most trusted and secure way to register a domain, GoDaddy is your best ticket. The site has suffered some recent controversy concerning the authorship of SOPA, but on the whole, GoDaddy benefits from a superb track record, as well as an expanse of services designed to benefit you and your site. If you’d also like to host with the provider, you’ll be granted discounts as far as domain registration. No to mention the company comes loaded with a heap of additional tools and services that help you in the creation and modification of a new website. All in all, GoDaddy is trusted, large, and budget-oriented.
We hesitate to mention Enom, but then again, we just didn’t feel right leaving it out. All in all, this domain registrar handles something like 10 million unique domain names, which is staggering to think about. However, they can only claim about 8 per-cent of the total market share. This is likely because of their slightly cheaper rates (about $35 a month). That being said, if you choose to register your domain name with Enom, you’re guaranteed one of the most secure and impressively solid performances in the business. In essence, you’ll get what you pay for and then some, though the payments will certainly be forthcoming.
All together, this registrar has handled something like 2.3 million domains and counting. Their market share is somewhat limited (only about 2 per-cent) but what gets our goat about Register.com is their simply stellar support network. If you have any complications or questions, you can rest assured the provider will work with you to find a solution. The price is on-par with Enom, but if you’re looking for an unbeatably secure and steadfast way to register your choice domain name, there’s no better option.
Have you picked the perfect domain name, only to find the listing taken by some lowly name squatter? If so, you may choose to invest in Moniker. The company is not only a domain registrar, but also a domain broker. This means they’ll work with whomever has your domain name to procure the listing, guaranteeing you the market and Web presence you’ve been looking for. Obviously, their rates will be higher for such services, but if you have to have that one domain name, there’s no better solution.
Domain Name Search
Finding a great domain name is an important part of every web project and the process of registering such domain name is getting harder and harder as many of them are already taken.
Luckily there are dozens of domain search tools that will save your time during this process. One of them is pcnames.com, an online domain search tool that helps finding a domain name in a more organized way. The search results displayed as-you-type, showing the availability of the most popular domain extensions. With the instant domain search feature, pcnames.com makes searching for domain names a breeze. There is no more waiting time on the next page to load to display your results.