The DOs & DON’Ts of a winning new domain registration

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The introduction of hundreds of new domain extensions means we can register keyword extensions that are both descriptive and memorable. They can be industry identifiers, professions, skills, social causes, interests, or geographical locations. Finding your perfect domain name with so many to choose from can be daunting. So stop! Grab a coffee, sit down, and take a look at how to choose and secure your domain name.

DO your homework and draw attention to your uniqueness

Want makes you stand out from the rest; your location, your specialised area, your social cause, your profession? Identify your uniqueness and highlight it.

DON’T restrict your choice to .COM

The majority of good .COM domain names are already registered, and standing out in this crowd of millions is hard. The new domain extensions will personalise your website and focus on what makes you unique.

Bogus restaurant, Food On Your Plate, is a chain exclusive to London. Should it register .RESTAURANT, or .LONDON?

DO consider registering more than one extension

Food On Your Plate is exclusive to the capital, so it registers .LONDON. But it also registers .RESTAURANT and redirects to its main website. It wants to highlight its unique features; it sells speciality .COFFEE, Thursday is .PIZZA night, on Monday .BEER is half price, the .MENU changes weekly, and it invites diners to submit .RECIPES. Finally, it loves to share .REVIEWS from its customers.

If you register related extensions and redirect to your main site, you’ll reach a larger audience which in turn, will bring more visitors to your site and your business.

DO your research when choosing your registrar

Ultimately, your online presence depends on making the best choice so ensure your registrar has been in business for a while and has a good reputation. You’ll be sharing your personal data and credit card details so check out their security measures. SSL certificates are a must to protect you and your customers' online transactions. If two-step verification is available, activate and protect your accounts. Domain management will be enhanced if your registrar’s products include web hosting, a free email address, and domain privacy.

DON’T forget to enter your name as domain name owner

If you don’t enter your name as domain name owner, choosing to delegate to a member of your team, what’s going to happen if they leave? Your domain name and website are your property, business, and livelihood – if it’s not in your name, it’s not yours. If online anonymity is important to you, domain privacy hides you whilst you remain the legal owner.

DO keep your account contact details up to date

Your registrar uses these details to notify you of important updates and renewal reminders. There are four fields to complete; you can take all four roles or assign each accordingly.

  • Owner (that’s you) has the right to use the domain name(s) for a specific period of time.
  • Administrative is authorised to interact with the registry or registrar on behalf of the owner.
  • Technical manages the name servers and all technical operations on behalf of the owner.
  • Billing receives invoices for the domain name registration fees.

If you'd like to delegate certain task whilst retaining overall control, you can activate shared access.

DON’T forget to set up auto-renew

If your domain name expires your website will go down, you’ll lose your email address, and you might lose your domain name. The aftermarket industry is full of names that have expired by accident so it’s imperative that you set up auto-renew. Ensure that your credit card on file doesn’t expire and/or that you have sufficient funds in your account, otherwise auto-renew won’t work.

Even big brands get this wrong, take a look at how Sony nearly lost their domain name, and what they should have done to set up auto-renew.

If anyone wants to open a Food on Your Plate restaurant for real, I’ll be there Monday - mine's a pint!

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