Getting started with your own website can be a complex process and knowing where to start and who to trust can be difficult. One question we are often asked is ‘Where should I purchase my domain name from?’
With hundreds of registrars out there, it's easy to feel bamboozled by what's on offer and how each provider differs. Through our experience with many registrars, we’ve compiled a list of important considerations and our top domain name registrars.
You should always make sure your registrar is ICANN accredited. ICANN is the official body that oversees the huge and complex interconnected network of unique identifiers that allow computers on the Internet to find one another. They also draw up contracts with the registrars and run an accreditation system which ensures consistency.
Domain duration and renewals
If you are just starting up, you may only want to register your domain name for one year, however, if you are an established business or organisation you should consider a more extended registration plan, such as five years. Some registrars offer auto-renewal for no extra cost or a security period to renew should your domain name expire.
It is always worthwhile to consider auto-renewal for your domain names, as domain expiration can cause many issues including your website no longer being visible to the public and loss of e-mail if a custom domain is being used. Although rare, if your domain name expires and is not renewed, it is then available for anyone to purchase and will result in you losing your domain name indefinitely.
When comparing registrars, price will often be a major consideration. Domain names are often a case of ‘what you pay for is what you get’. Cheaper registrars often have hidden fees, strict no refund policies and overriding ownership clauses.
Low-cost registrars may also lack ICANN accreditation and responsive customer service, should any disasters arise with your domain name. Be sure to check for included phone or live chat support, as this may not be included in your domain name registration fee.
Domain information security
Ensuring your personal and payment data is kept safe and not shared with or sold to any third parties is essential. Recently, GoDaddy and PayPal facilitated in hacker to change the account details of their victim. Never use the same password for multiple accounts or allow any third party to purchase your domain name for you.
We recommend the following domain name registrars for our Australian customers:
Where to next?
Once you have purchased your domain name, you will need to somewhere to host your domain name so the world can see your website.