Join James Williamson for an in-depth discussion in this video Registering domain names, part of Introduction to Web Design and Development.
- Although it seems like choosing and registering a domain name would be one of the more simple tasks in web design, it can actually be quite frustrating. There's so many registered domains that finding the one you want can be almost impossible. In this movie, I'm going to offer some suggestions to picking your domain name and then discuss some of the different ways you can register them. The first thing to consider is which domain or domains you want to register your site to. Common top-level domains are .com, .org, .net or .info.
Many people try to register their site with multiple domains so that visitors don't have to remember whether it's a .com or a .org site. Often the availability of the domain name may prevent that, but I highly encourage this practice when available. It keeps competitors from registering the same name in a different domain and then redirecting clients to their sites. Yes, that does happen. It also makes it easier for clients to find your site. If none of the top-level domains are available, you could try one of the country code level domains available such as uk, de and io.
It has actually become rather trendy to use these to create more memorable URLs. Just take care as some countries have restrictions as to who can register a site using their domains. When choosing a domain name, it's important to be a bit flexible. Make sure your client understands their company name might not be available and have a list of alternate names or variations that they find acceptable. If I'm designing a site for Morris Flowers for example, I'm not only going to look at morrisflowers.com but flowersbymorris, morrispetals, morrisflorist and other variations as well.
Discussing this with the client before you register the domain name is important, to make sure the client knows that the top choice might not be available or that they might have to purchase it if the name's already been registered. When possible try to make sure that your domain is memorable for visitors. While that's getting harder these days, it shouldn't be too hard to make sure that your domain is one that people can type in from memory. If visitor's can only get to your site by clicking or by looking up your site address, your site isn't going to be as successful as it should be.
Don't let link scare you off. Jameswilliamsondesign is a long string of characters but at least its memorable. Shorter URLs are better, but memorable is the most important aspect of all. When you're ready to register your domain name, you have two choices. You can use a dedicated domain Registry Company or you can register the domain to a Hosting service. Cost is rarely an issue, as most Registry Companies charge a minimal fee and many Hosting Companies will actually make it part of their hosting plans.
If you have a Hosting Company, you may want to take advantage of their registry services. Several Hosting Companies will have plans that allow you to register multiple or even an unlimited number of sites. This can be a great time saver if you plan on using them for hosting as well. Regardless of who you use, make sure that you own the site that you're registering, not the Hosting Company or the Registry Company. It's really rare these days for a Hosting Company to register the site in their name instead of yours, but it does happen. It's very important for you or your client to actually own the domain.
If you don't, you won't be able to transfer the domain to another server without the owner's consent. With that in mind, make sure that when you're registering a domain for a client that ownership is clearly established. You want to make sure that you or your client has the proper amount of control over the domain. If you don't, you won't be able to transfer the domain to another server without the owner's consent. With that in mind, make sure that when you're registering a domain for a client that ownership is clearly established. You want to make sure that either you or your client has the proper amount of amount of control over the domain.
Once you're ready to register the site do it right away Don't check the availability of a site and then think about it for a while. The web is full of unscrupulous people and it's not uncommon to find the domain you researched yesterday is now gone and available for a higher price. Once your site is registered, make sure you know the primary and secondary name servers. If you're using a Registry service, this will usually be listed under the DNS information. For Hosting Companies, it should be part of your normal site information in the control panel.
You'll need this information once your site goes online so that your domain gets directed to the proper site. Hosting Companies will usually handle this for you but if you're using a Registry service you'll need to either point your site to the proper named servers or transfer the DNS once you choose a Hosting Company.
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- What is web design?
- What is a web designer?
- Learning to code
- Choosing a web host
- Working with a CMS
- Exploring how websites are structured
- Choosing your framework or software
- Designing with standards and accessibility in mind