As the world becomes more digital, your domain name will be more important than ever. It's like an address, search engines link to it, others use it to visit your website or send you email. Unlike a physical address, it can follow you from host to host and doesn't ever have to change.
Domains are important, portable, hard to change, critical in SEO, and represent you or your brand: I urge everyone to carefully select a reputable domain registrar. It is possible to change your domain registrar, but it isn't always easy.
Domain registrar DO's:
- DO set nameservers with your domain registrar to use the domain with any web host.
- DO pick a reputable company that specializes in domain registration.
- DO use WHOIS or privacy protection services when possible. It's worth it to prevent scams and spam email, snail mail, and phone calls.
Domain registrar DONT's:
- DON'T transfer the domain to your host to use it with them.
- DON'T register the domain with your web host unless you have a good reason to do so.
- DON'T cheap out on your domain registrar. One year for free or a few dollars cheaper may not be worth the hassle or potential lock in.
- DON'T fall for renewal and transfer scams scaring you into transferring to a new registrar for outrageous sums of money.
- DON'T forget to renew your domain BEFORE it expires. The cost to renew can skyrocket, or the domain could be snatched up by someone else and you may never see it again.
One more thing...
Your web host is probably reselling domains using a reseller registrar. Thats two layers of middlemen to complicate everything from policies to support. Two middlemen making a markup off you, too.