Buying a domain name can be a daunting prospect for anyone that hasn’t done it before and doesn’t have a lot of experience in the internet business world. The good news is that buying a domain name is actually a very easy and painless process. There are some great sites out there that make buying a domain name easy and painless.
That being said, there are some things you have to watch out for when buying a domain name. I have personally bought hundreds of domain names over the last 20 years (yes I’ve been at this a long time) and I have made my fair amount of mistakes over the years. Hopefully you can learn from some of my mistakes. Below are three things you should watch out for when buying your domain.
Mistake 1 : Buying the cheapest you can find
When it comes to domain name pricing, the basic pricing for a domain can vary quite a bit. It’s always good to shop around and make sure you get the best price but be careful about prices that look too good to be true. In general you can get a .com domain name for around $10 to $12 these days. If you find somewhere charging more than this then you should look hard to see why they are charging more and decide if it worth the extra money.
Taking out a debt management plan instead of, say, an IVA, helpes you get debt free without declaring insolvency. This means you avoid lengthy insolvency procedures and don’t have your details placed on the public insolvency register.
There are also places that will charge a lot less than this and these are the ones you have to be most suspicious of. One common practice that some websites use is to give away a free domain or sell you one for only a couple of dollars. Make sure you read the terms of these providers carefully however, often you will be locked into purchasing add ons such as web hosting with them or into long term contracts for multiple years.
Each domain is purchased for a single year and you should be free to cancel your domain after the first year or move it to another domain name provider at the end of the year if you want. For example if you bought a domain from Provider 1 and wanted to switch to Provider 2 for better pricing or any other reason.
Also keep an eye out for pricing that increases year over year. Some providers will offer you the domain at a discount price for the first year and then charge you more the next year to renew the domain. Always checkout the renew prices as well as the purchases prices for the domain provider
Mistake 2 : Getting suckered by add ons
When buying a domain, sometimes you will be pushed to buy ‘add ons’ as part of your purchasing processes. Often these add ons will include items such as email services, web hosting, privacy services, domain insurance etc.
While you may eventually need some of these things, you don’t need any of them at the time of purchasing your domain. During your purchasing process decline them all, just focus on buying just the domain name. Your domain name provider will be more than happy to sell you the extra add ons later on if you decide you need them.
Some add ons you may go back and want to purchase later however it should be an independent decision from your domain name purchase and you should make those decisions when you are informed as to what each add on is and the benefits, not as part of a quick upsell on checkout.
Some of these services such as web hosting and privacy you may well end up purchasing afterwards but other services such as domain insurance and business cards etc are just quick way for the domain name registrar to make an extra buck in your checkout process and you don’t really need them.
Mistake 3 : Forgetting to set up auto renew
Once you have your domain name, make sure you enable the auto renew feature provided by your domain name provider. When you register a domain, you are only really leasing that domain for a year. Each year you have to pay the registration fee again to lease it for another year. Once you have spent the time and effort to pick out your great domain name, the last thing you want to do it to forget to pay the registration fee in the following years and lose your domain.
I have seen a number of people forget to enable this option and subsequently have lost their domain names. If you forget to pay your domain name fee when it is due, the domain name provider will give the domain name back to the pool of available domain names and more often than not it will be registered by someone else very quickly. It can then be either very expensive (thousands of dollars in most cases) or impossible to get your domain name back.