Best regards from Dick Detering, one of Linux Hosts Inc. many happy customers.
Why it's risky to buy a domain name from Godaddy and some other domain registrars
Some people think that registering a domain name is simple and without risk. I disagree and think it's an important (first) step into the online world, with certain risks involved. As with web hosting companies there are bad and good registrars. Having full DNS and Whois Control over your domain name is an important matter. If your personal or business address changes, you should be able to modify your own information in an online account. Registrars should never be allowed to act as if they are the owners of your web address. If you have to change your DNS servers, you should never need your registrar's permission to do so. And then I don't even talk about the risk of disputes related to your domains. For example, what is the appropriate action if someone tries to steal one of your web addresses? So, in any possible situation, you should be in full control over your domains. The Godaddy registrar is notorious for "stealing" domain names from customers who forget to renew. The company also regularly increases the price of domains without an owner, once they notice that the available web address gets a lot of attention of potential buyers.
You Should Have Full Control Over:
1) Your Whois information. 2) Your DNS creation. Examples are: dns3/ns3.my- site.com/dns5/ns5.my-site.com/ etc. 3) Your Custom Records. Examples are: A, AAAA, MX, TXT Records, SRV, CNAME, NS. 4) Your URL Locking & EPP Key. 5) Your Parked Domains. 6) Registrar Changes and, last but not least: 7) Your Status Alerts.
How To Choose A Domain Name Provider
Many select their registrar based on popularity. However, what people may forget is that some top registrars create serious problems for your web address registration and ownership. People often overlook one of the most important aspects: keeping the registration under your control. Here are some tips:
1) Choose a registrar with a good reputation and do not confuse that with popularity! One of the biggest registrars/web hosts, Godaddy domains is notorious for customer service. We are talking here about possible trademark infringements or registration problems. A good registrar will not demand a high ransom to release you of a domain registration dispute.
2) Some registrars/web hosts lock domains when customers are searching for it. This way they can force the customer to register the domains with them. This is called web address squatting and another big hosting company was caught doing this.
3) Don't forget your personal privacy online. Most registrars offer Whois Privacy Protection Services. This is a plus for any webmaster.
4) Choose a specialist. In other words choose a company that is specialized in cheap web addresses and related products.
5) The single most important feature: Choose a company that gives you Full Control over your DNS servers and over your Whois database information. You should be able to modify your own Whois database and DNS information online.
Go Daddy's pricing structure
The real price is what you pay upon renewal. Let's assume you found a discount coupon allowing you to buy a .com name for $0.99 only. There's a good chance that the renewal price will be $15. In other words, just 12 months later you pay 15 times more! It's obvious that the Registrar selling the name is willing to sacrifice profit of the first registration in the expectation that they will make more money from you once it's time to renew. A reasonable price for registering a .com name is $10. So this would cost you $100 over a period of 10 years. In the Go Daddy example you pay $135.99 in 10 years which is almost 36 percent more expensive than an address without promo offer. Another problem with GD is that if you purchased privacy protection you will be forced to continue this option which will cost you another $7.99 a year per domain name.
Discount Domain Club
There is one specific situation in which GD is cheaper than others and that is if you're a member of the Discount Domain Club and you regularly purchase new domain names. The Club is a membership program designed for those who frequently register new names. Membership is open to anyone and is valid for 12 months after the start date. The fee is 9.99 a month. After joining this Club, you can log in to your account right away to see the discounted web addresses. New names, transfers, and renewals are discounted for participating TLDs. Discounts are limited to the base tier for participating TLDs, and are available for pre-registrations, registrations, transfers and renewals. Discounts automatically apply when you check out.
We heard complaints that it's getting more difficult every year to transfer domain addresses from the world's largest Registrar to another company. Most of these complaints are from people who own many domain names and who reported to us that the transfer failed partly. According to the web host's support department the addresses were locked for 60 days because something in the account had changed. The web hosting provider could not tell them what had changed and the company also could not inform the complainants exactly when it would be unlocked. So beware, if you're planning to move your Internet addresses to another company, don't modify anything in your account prior to the move.
What to look at before buying your web address.
When it comes time to take your business to the internet by setting up a website and/or blog, you may be at a loss as to where to start. While there are people and businesses that can certainly help you design your website and get it up and running, there are some things you'll have to do on your own, and one of them is choose a domain name. Of course, you probably already have one in mind (most likely the name of your company), but you may have a difficult time securing the name you want. In case you didn't know, thousands of websites are added to the internet on a daily basis, each one of them searching for a unique URL. But before you settle on a name, you're going to need to take a few things into consideration. Here are a couple of caveats that could help you choose the right name.
Is it informative? If you can't get the exact name you want (and you probably can't), then you're going to need to come up with alternatives until you find a name that isn't taken. Even those who have long or difficult names might find themselves subject to this tedious process. So when it comes to selecting a name that is not yet in use, think about creating something that is indicative of the products or services you plan to offer. And if at all possible, work in a portion (or all) of the name of your business so that you can utilize proper keywords.
Is it easy to remember? The other problem that many people face when coming up with a domain name is ease of use. If it's too oddball or too long, nobody will be able to remember it (or find you a second time, if they even find you the first time). So you're going to have to walk a fine line in order to strike a balance between a domain name that customers can easily associate with your brand and one that hasn't yet been selected by someone else.
Is it taken? If it happens that the domain name (the name of your business) is taken, that doesn't necessarily mean you have to give up on having it. In many cases, people buy random domain names for dirt cheap in the hope that someone will want them later and pay a little more to have them. In short, domain names have become somewhat of a commodity. So if you absolutely have to have your first choice, then see if you can find out who holds the domain so you can haggle to make it yours. Just go to GoDaddy's WHOIS information or any other reputable WHOIS lookup to get all information you may need.
Has it been used before? Before you rush into buying a domain just because it's available, you might want to take the time to do a background check. If your domain name was previously associated with a site that engaged in say, porn (or worse, spam), then you probably want to look for something else. And watch out for names that are involved in legal disputes. If you find an amazing URL that's selling dirt cheap, this is probably the reason why.
Is it top level? TLDs (top level domains) are more desirable because people will use them first. Think about how many times you've gone searching for a .net or .biz domain. Never, right? You always try .com first. That's why it's top level. Just keep in mind that TLDs are changing. Since ICANN (Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers) recently approved the addition of branded domains, businesses now have the opportunity to create their own (example: sony.sony rather than sony.com).