Posted Saturday, November 20, 2004
About a year ago if you wanted to register a domain name there was only one place to go: "Network Solutions". For $70.00 (for the first two years) you could register a name of your very own.
Today that's no longer the case. Now that the Internic no longer has the stranglehold on domain registration, there are a variety of websites that will register a domain for you with varying prices.
One word of advice: Don't pay $70.00, but don't go with the cheapest you can find, either. The old adage, "you get what you pay for," rings very true here. I have been using Registrars, which charges $60.00 for 2 years. Although I have seen registration advertised for less, I like the nice password protection control panel that Registrars gives you. This control panel makes it easy for you to go in and alter the IP addresses anytime you wish in case you switch web hosts. For more on Registrars go to their site at (http://www.merlesworld.com/tk.cgi?registrars)
Make sure that you read the fine print before committing to some of the less expensive services. I have heard stories of companies that lock you into hosting on their servers for the first one or two years, or some other unusual demand. While I haven't confirmed any of these tales, it always pays to be careful.
Some other registration sites with good prices are:
(http://www.budgetregister.com) 14.99 per year
(http://www.dnscentral.com) 15.00 per year
(http://www.123domains.com) 13.99 per year
(http://www.000domains.com) 13.50 per year
(http://www.domaininvestigator.com) 20.00 per year
(http://www.joker.com) 12.00 per year
For a complete list of alternatives go to (http://www.newregistrars.com/registrars.html)
If you have someone else register the name for you, like your host, make your name is put down as the owner and administrative contact. The only place the host's name should go is under the "technical contact." If they set themselves up as the owner they will then have complete control of your domain, which could be a nightmare down the road if you ever decide to change hosts. Trust me on this, I've seen it happen.
For help choosing a name try NameBoy (http://www.nameboy.com) It works great for generating new ideas.
Registering a domain is not difficult. When you're ready to do it, make sure you shop around and compare prices and features. You'll be glad you did!
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