If you’re in the market for a domain, you might be wondering which domain registrar is the best one for you. Choosing the right domain registrar might seem overwhelming, but there are a couple of things to consider to help you make the right decision for yourself. In reality, domain registrars all do the same thing – they sell domains. But beyond selling domains, some registrars sell surrounding products and services that may be necessary for your website and brand. Here are 5 things to consider when choosing the right registrar for you:
One of the most important things you need when buying a domain and building a site is an SSL certificate. An SSL certificate secures and encrypts any data that a user might send to a server such as personal information, emails, credit card information, etc. The SSL is what makes the lock on your address bar next to a website appear. Without an SSL, any data that a user submits is considered not secure. Additionally, web browsers such as Google Chrome are getting more aggressive in warning users that a site is lacking an SSL certificate. Here’s an example of a warning that displays when users are prompted to enter sensitive information on a site without an SSL certificate:
Needless to say, SSLs are very important. Many large domain registrars such as 101domain sell a variety of different SSLs based on your site needs, while some of the smaller registrars still do not. When choosing a registrar, it’s essential that they sell SSL certificates because those that do not will require you to purchase an SSL certificate from a third party which can be difficult to set up (whereas registrars like 101domain offer a point and click solution for easy set up that takes only a few minutes).
#2. Email Services
The second key feature to look for when choosing a domain registrar is email services. If you’re a company, brand, or blog, having a dedicated email that matches your domain is important. Having an email associated with your domain name shows professionalism, as only those looking to create a long-term business or website will take the time to get a domain-specific email (could you imagine your bank reaching out to you from a Gmail address?)
I recommend using the email services provided by your domain registrar as they are usually affordable and easy to setup. Configuring your DNS MX records can be challenging when using a different mail provider, so I prefer to stick with my registrar.
Final note here — if you’re looking to use G Suite products (such as using the Gmail interface to check email, access to Google Drive, Google Ads, Google Analytics, etc.), you’ll need to have a G Suite email address. Some Registrars sell a G Suite email address associated with your domain for as low as $6/month. I highly recommend purchasing your G Suite with your domain so that the MX records will be configured automatically.
#3. Trademark Protection
In a world of scams, lookalike sites, and cyberattacks, protecting your brand online is very important. If your trademark has a site with one of the common gTLDs (ex. ‘.com’) there are still thousands of other extensions that could be used against you. For example, if my site was ‘trademark.com,’ I need to protect against all other sites that are similar to mine such as ‘trademark.xyz.’
Thankfully major domain registrars sell packages to registered trademark holders that protect against these attacks. Many of them protect against a number of different domain extensions and charge an affordable annual renewal fee. If you’re creating a site for a business or brand, trademark protection is a must.
#4. Domain Acquisition Services
We’ve all been there, you want to start a new site and go to search the perfect domain name only to find out that it’s already been taken. To even further frustrate you, the domain is being used by an inactive site that looks like it hasn’t been touched in the last four years. Some domain registrars have domain acquisition services that will reach out to sites on your behalf asking to purchase their domain from them. These services are extremely valuable because their teams are experienced and have credibility in negotiating with site owners or domainers.
#5. Domain Monitoring
Another useful tool for brands beyond just the securing of additional domain extensions is dedicated domain monitoring. Some domain registrars take these B2B services very seriously by offering a second pair of trained eyes to monitor all your digital assets across the web. These services will scour the web looking all of the new and obscure gTLDs, every ccTLD, and sites that appear to be infringing on your trademark.
Additionally, these services will reach out on your behalf to resolve any issues and find the best solution to guarantee a positive outcome for the least amount of disruption to your brand or business. These services open the door the for recovering domain names with UDRP and URS which provide an alternative to court that saves a significant amount of time and money filing a case. These brand protection services can be very useful and highly effective. For example, 101domain has a 100% success rate in all UDRP and URS cases