You finally got the perfect name for your business online. Your domain name, a name that perfectly represents who you are and what you have to offer. Maybe you chose a .com or a more descriptive domain extension to name your online presence. Now, what’s next?
Take full advantage of your domain name
If you have registered a domain name, you probably have some idea about what you want to do with it. I bet, you had a website in mind when you secured your domain name. But there’s more to a domain name than a website. You can do much, much, much more (even though the website is pretty important ).
- Use your domain for a custom email address
You’re a professional, so why are you still using that personal Gmail, Hotmail, Yahoo, MSN etc…email address you created years ago?
If you register a domain like mydomain.fun, you can set up a personalized email address such as YourName@mydomain.fun. That’s so much better than YourFirstLastName_1950@gmail.com, right? You can put that custom email address on your business cards, everywhere you promote your business.
- Sell your domain name
Stuff happens. Maybe you want to drop your domain name for a new one, or just are not interested anymore. In this case what to do with that old domain ? It can still help you out.
You can get it in front of interested buyers via domain aftermarket sites that only take a small percentage of the sale. Your domain name is no use just sitting in your account collecting dust, so take it out for a spin and see what wonders it can do!
Those are just some of the options you have with your domain name. Feel free to make more research about all the things you can do with your domain name.
Let’s own that domain, shall we?
There are some simple steps you can follow, to assure your domain is properly configured to be yours.
Shop around to Find the Best Price
Even though all domain registrars offer the same product, the pricing can sometimes be very different. For that reason, it’s always a good idea to shop around with different registrars and compare the prices of the domain name you want to get. The price always depends on the specific domain extension you want to get, so always go to multiple registrars and see what’s up .
Pick a Trustworthy Domain Registrar
You want to choose the best price for your domain, but don’t settle for mediocre registrars. The key with registrars is to only use respectable and trustworthy companies. You really don’t want to run into any domain problems further down the line, when your website’s brand is already established.
Always Register Your Domain Name Yourself
It’s a good idea to not let anyone else (such as an agency) register a domain name for you. Even though it’s slightly less hassle that way (since someone else does all the work), it may lead to trouble later on.
If someone else registers the domain, you’re giving them a hold over you and your website.
- If you ever want to move away from their services, you can encounter trouble in terms of them not being too eager to transfer the domain over to you and give you full control of it.
- They may take an awfully long time to complete the transfer, they may try to extort some fees from you to do that, or they may decline completely (based on some fine print in your initial agreement).
- Plus, perhaps most importantly, if the agency/person goes bankrupt or loses access to the domain registrar for whatever reason, you could lose your domain name entirely.
Bottom line, always register your domains on your own. It’s not that difficult anyway .
Lock the Domain So It Can’t Be Stolen
Domain hijacking actually happens more often than you’d imagine.
Your domain can be stolen via several means. Most commonly, this involves either hacking your password or convincing you to give out your password via a phishing attack, etc….
Basically, if someone gains access to your registrar’s user account, they can do whatever they wish with your domains.
Some domain registrars offer a feature in which they keep your domain in Registrar-lock status, which prevents unauthorized attempts at domain transfers. In this state, your registration information and DNS configuration cannot be changed until you unlock your domain name.
Enabling this option is often very easy and only requires you to select a specific box in your registrar’s user panel. So, look if your registrar has that option, it may be very useful.
Enable Domain ID Protection
Domain ID protection masks your personal contact information from anyone performing a whois lookup on your domain name.
By default, and under ICANN rules (the organization that regulates domain names), all domain names must have publicly viewable contact information assigned to them. The same information you had to provide during registration. This includes your name, address, phone number, and email address.
Which means, by default, all of this is visible to anyone who puts your domain name through a tool such as who.is.
So, anyone can see those info, which means your personal details are exposed . But no panic, the way to solve this is to set domain ID protection with your domain registrar (all domain registrars offer this). This is usually a paid feature, though. The price tag can be around $1 a month (a small price to pay for your privacy).
Once under domain ID protection, the whois details of your domain get replaced with your registrar’s information. And all is well.
Set Your Domain to Auto-Renew
When you register your new domain name, you get to choose the registration period (the time span during which the registrar keeps the domain active on your behalf). Most commonly, everyone registers their domain names for either 12 or 24 months.
After that initial period, your domain name needs to be renewed (for another X months). Otherwise, it becomes inactive. And, after a while, if you miss your window, the domain goes back to the pool of available domains, which means anyone will be able to register it.
In the end, stay safe by opting to renew your domain name automatically whenever the time comes. Nearly all domain registrars give you this option.
Register Your Corresponding Social Media Handles
People are much more likely to check what’s going on with your brand on Facebook than by actually visiting your website. This is just one of the reasons why you absolutely have to have your professional profiles set up on the most popular social media sites.
Whenever possible, get the same handles as your domain name. If these are taken, be creative and use some suffixes or prefixes.
Buy the other main domain extensions and common misspellings of your domain
This, however, can grow your annual domain bill even further.
To protect your brand, consider purchasing various domain extensions, as well as misspelled versions of your domain name. Once you have those, redirect them back to your main domain name. This prevents competitors from registering other versions. You wouldn’t want to end up competing with another site with the same domain. Would y’a ? It also ensures your customers are directed to your website, even if they mistype it.
Some other things you don’t want:
- People creating imposter sites, sites that look like yours but aren’t.
- People registering some of those missing TLDs and then trying to sell them back to you at a much higher rate.
- Genuine visitors mixing up your domain extension and not being able to access your website.
Those are some of the tips I know to assure your domain is well secured. If you have others share them in the comment section.