Domain registration service providers also referred to as domain registrars, help businesses reserve Internet domain names. Domain registration services are used by organizations to process domain name registration and reserve domain names for a set period, typically one or two years. Domain registration providers frequently offer a domain search service to users, which allows them to search for domains and check for their availability.
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What are Domain Registration Providers?
There are nearly two billion websites as of January 2018. That number will continue its ascent for the foreseeable future; registering a domain is practically a rite of passage for businesses and individuals alike. A registrar is the gatekeeper of sorts for your domain names, whether you plan to have 1 or 1,000. The registration service is a booming industry, to say the least, and many companies may claim to offer cheap domain registration to capitalize on the demand.
With that being said, you must trust your registrar when you go to register a domain, regardless of its intended purpose. A website is often much more than a random place to visit; it’s an identity that can make or break your business. When your name is incorrectly processed, for any number of reasons, it can cause a domain name dispute involving substantial time and financial consequences. Amidst these complications, you can also miss out on the perfect domain extensions, which can forever alter the fate of your business. In short, choosing the wrong domain registry can be far more costly than other software or service choices. The value of verified reviews cannot be overstated in this particular category. It is prudent to take your time in researching your potential solutions as you seek to register domain names for yourself or your organization.
Why Use Domain Registration Services?
The internet is complicated. It has become increasingly accessible as a business tool thanks to the thousands of software and service providers around the globe, including domain registrars. Even if you have expert web designers on your team, there are some tasks they likely cannot perform.
Through privileged access to the naming database on the web and the ability to modify it, these platforms can help bridge the gap between your vision and the reality of a successful website. A domain name registration business informs you which names are available within your desired range, starting with top-level domains (TLD) that have the highest authority in searches—not to mention general visitor familiarity. If your preferred names are taken using the generic TLD (e.g., .com, .org), the provider will suggest variations in the spelling of your second-level domain or SLD (the main body of your URL) that allow you to keep the most valuable TLD. It may also suggest different extensions that are perhaps less ubiquitous but that allow the registrant to maintain their ideal SLD. Depending on the person or company, one of these compromises may be preferable to the other.
Once you lock down your domain, the provider will assist with terms and conditions, payment, and selecting the registration period length. It will also establish email communication with the account holder to send notifications such as impending renewal dates and if or when certain domains become available. In the event your ideal domain becomes available—or you simply decide to change it at any point—your chosen domain registration registrar can help transfer your domain as needed. Domain transfer is a common business strategy based on branding updates or any number of issues related to a website’s functionality or success rate.
A solid web presence is key in the modern business landscape. Whether you’re in the early stages of your company or an established brand looking to reach new customers, registering a domain name with a qualified provider is a simple process with far-reaching ramifications.
Who Uses Domain Registration Providers?
Technically speaking, anyone could register a domain. Being a domain name registrant does not have a learning curve like, say, being a developer. But when planning a website (or websites) for your business, domain selection and registration comes with a sizeable responsibility. You wouldn’t ask an intern to register your domain—similarly, you wouldn’t bother certain individuals or teams to get tied up with the process. In a standard business model, a select number of people will be tasked with executing this critical task and the various subtasks that go along with it.
Business Owners – These days a branded website, or at least the building blocks of one, are table stakes in the same vein as a company phone number. It’s not uncommon for founders and business owners to seek the best web hosting and domain name registration platforms before even deciding on a business model. If you start a business and are fortunate to find your chosen name is still available as a domain for purchase, it can be a cause for celebration. This goes for solopreneurs as well; a one-person company draws the same benefits from an easy-to-find, well-designed website as a Fortune 500 company. It all begins with securing the ideal address through an online registrar.
Legal Staff – Along with human resources and executive assistants, precarious tasks like these can often fall in the laps of the company legal team. Whether in-house or hired through a legal services agency, lawyers may insist on being involved with website matters such as filing domains. Issues like domain privacy and trademark disputes can deliver crushing blows to even the strongest organizations. Having your legal representatives understand and communicate the dispute policy from the beginning, among other details, can safeguard you from a bombshell lawsuit or years-long legal battle with a competitor or unrelated company that claims rights to the valuable domain. To be especially safe, some company lawyers may take the lead on registering domains altogether.
Marketing/Content – In the case of some startups, the marketing and content teams are the same. The two remain closely aligned in those organizations where they are different entities. Even when certain orders come from the top, these departments often control the company’s voice through website copy—in conjunction with product and user experience. This responsibility may come packaged with the handling of domains, whether a free domain for a supplemental site or the transfer of massive amounts of content to new web properties. This may also mean registering and assigning new URL-specific email addresses. In these cases, the HR department may get involved as well. For brands with content spread across multiple domains or simply a single robust domain, content and marketing teams will play a hand in the URLs and extensions based on proper SEO and optimal navigation for the user.
Web Designers – The nearly two billion websites out there have not materialized out of thin air. It takes a combination of artistry and technical skills held by the growing community of web designers around the world. You may have one or two full-time employees assuming the challenge of website design. There are also countless web developers and website design companies who build fresh websites day in and day out for clients of all backgrounds. For these fast-moving teams, engaging with registry operators and web hosting service providers is a daily requirement. In addition to a site’s hardwiring and beautification, web designers will often take charge of locking down a client’s preferred domain or researching and offering suggestions based on what is available and what would be most effective. There are web designers out there who have likely registered hundreds if not thousands of domains throughout their careers. All in a day’s work for publishing a functional site that unites a company with its past, present, and future customers.
Domain Registration Features
Domain Search – A typical platform in this category is built around a search function. New and existing users will enter a preferred domain name and the platform will scan the web to see if it’s available for purchase, and with what top-level domains. It will determine registration prices based on the demand value of a particular domain. Once a user purchases a domain, the provider—often with assistance from a web hosting service—will process the domain into an accessible site through the DNS. This converts a character-based URL into an IP address so disparate machines can access it from wherever they are in the world.
Domain Transfer – Rebranding is a multilayered concept. It could mean changing one detail in your company’s name or a complete overhaul from all angles. Even the most recognizable brands must make the difficult decision to pivot their approach to communicate the right message to their customers. To help in this arena, domain registration providers will either offer features for or direct users to where they can change their primary domain to a promising alternative. This can also occur after a dispute or sale related to the property. Domain transfers allow businesses to find an appropriate replacement and redirect the site’s content to the new location. There are also transfer services that allow users to move a domain registered with one provider over to a new provider if the business is trying to centralize several sites into one hub or simply desires a new provider based on service offerings or issues with the old one.
Domain Marketplace – When a business shutters its doors, transfers its domain, or simply has no use for an old property, it can list the domain on a marketplace to be purchased by another company. This is a feature of some domain registration sites and also a standalone solution of various other providers. Domain marketplaces ensure that valuable URLs do not simply fade into nothingness by remaining attached to broken websites or outdated material. Reselling domains on a marketplace can be performed through a set resale price or, if preferred by the seller, put up for auction and sold to the highest bidder. If you are seeking a certain domain name and cannot find it through a standard search, you may consider browsing a domain marketplace to see if a comparable name is back on the market from an earlier owner.