Domain registration - Everything a small business needs to know

We are often asked “If I have a .com / .info / .net / etc. domain instead of a. co.uk domain, does it make the website building process more difficult?”

No, it doesn’t. Technically, all domains work in the same way. Of course, ‘special domain names’ (for example .store / .shop / .services / etc.) are not available from every domain registrar company, but even these ‘new generic’ domains are absolutely the same in terms of technical approach.

What people don’t know about .co.uk domain registration

When you register your new domain name, you pay via a domain registrar or a domain reseller company. However, there is a top-level authority called Nominet (www.nominet.org).
Each person or company who has registered a new domain name has a new account on the nominet.org website. Your account is generated automatically, even if you’re not aware of it. You should be able to login to the nominet.org system using the email address which was given during the domain registration process.

Note: If everything works fine, you don’t need to login to Nominet, but it’s worth knowing about.

When registering your domain name, it’s vital you use an email address which will be kept for the life of your domain name.

Which domain registrar company to choose for registering your domain?

It doesn’t make any difference, because each registrar has to comply with strict regulations in terms of technical and legal reliability.

Choosing a domain registrar is less important than choosing a web hosting service. In general terms, the technical process for building a new website is:
a) choosing and registering a new domain,
b) choosing a web hosting service,
c) finding a web developer,

But I believe the process should be like this:

a) Find your web developer, have a talk about your website plans,
b) Listen to your developer, let him/her to choose the web hosting service for you,
c) Also let him/her choose the domain registrar company.

Why is the second version recommended?

Even if it really doesn’t matter who the domain registrar is, it’s much easier for the web developer to work in a ‘familiar’ technical environment. In the end, if your developer can work faster in a well known environment, it will save you time and money.

What to look at when you register a new domain?

  • If you ask somebody (for example your web developer) to help you with this, always make sure that the domain is registered on behalf of you / your company (Sadly we’ve met clients whose domain name wasn’t registered to them...)
  • Your email address is the ‘key’ to your domain. If you need to make any change in connection with your domain in the future, you will need this email address. This email can be a ‘free’ account (e.g. gmail, hotmail, yahoo, etc.) but when you give your details during the domain registration process, be prepared to keep the email address for a long time – for as long as you keep the domain name.

... and of course, the question is: What domain should I choose?...

Let me write about it next time.