New website? Avoid the domain-hell of a cheap-o registrar

February 17, 2018 Commentary

Your website is so closely tied in with your business that it almost IS your business.

Whether you’ve had the luck to find a great domain, or simply came up with a basic, but suitable one, it will now take on its own life as a digital asset.

So where do you register it? Why does it make sense to go with one of the leaders and avoid the many lesser-known companies that will register your domain at a lower price?

Well, for one thing, there’s flexibility. You may very well decide to build your website using the same company where you registered your domain, but what if you don’t? From our experience building hundreds of websites, we recommend that you find a company that lets you make your own choices for all the downstream functions hinging on that domain name: who designs your website, where it is hosted, and what type of email services you will be using.

That means having the ability to change your domain’s “records”. This simple act sets where your services are performed. So the “A-record” controls where the website is hosted. Your “MX-records” controls the server responsible for your emails.

It’s simple to change these: all it takes is updating a single number, called an IP address. With this one setting, you can designate any server to host your website.

But many of the registrars in the bargain category make it excruciating to do this. So hungry are they for the aftermarket services, that they hide, obscure or eliminate the tools to let you do control your own settings. We’ve seen grown clients driven to tears.

That’s why we only recommend three registrars: networksolutions.com, register.com and godaddy.com. Their tools are clearly labeled, give sensible feedback, and work promptly.

The off-price registrars also charge hidden fees for getting away from them. But that’s a story for a different day.