Advertised Price vs. Actual Price
Sure, you can find sites that advertise domain names for 99¢. But do you want to do business with them? Something you should consider as you decide is that while there are some standard and legitimate reasons for additions to this price when you check out, not all registrars are equally transparent. You may, in fact, find that there are hidden fees, and
you may also find that some things that “come standard” for some registrars are add-ons for others. A good fact to have in mind is that there is a registry price of $6.00 for each domain. If you see a domain name advertised for less than this amount, you need to ask yourself how the registrar is making ends meet.
For example, you may find that a registrar charges an administrative fee for changing the Domain Name System (DNS), a necessary step in registering a domain name that other registrars include in the cost of the domain name. You may also discover, once you start looking, that certain top-level domains (TLDs), such as .com, have a higher cost.
There may be hidden costs that don’t appear until later in your interactions, for example, when you wish to transfer the domain to another registrar and discover that there is a very large transfer fee. Nevertheless, there are also domain name registrars that are known for both inexpensive domain names and straight-up dealings, for example GoDaddy. Reputable sites may offer inexpensive domain name pricing hoping that you will host your site with them.
Availability and Price for Your Development Plans
On the other side of the coin, you may find that when you purchase web hosting services, you are entitled as part of the package to free registration of a domain name. Since you cannot leave a domain name inactive and will therefore need some services beyond registration, it is wise to look at the entire package of services you want. Because, after all, getting a reasonably priced domain name is not the whole of the story.
As you think about this, you should know that many people do in fact buy a domain name from one registrar and host their sites with another.
An important feature to look for is a company’s reminder plan. You want to be warned well in advance of, for example, a yearly fee to continue registration for your allotted period, as well as when your registration is due to expire. Warning is preferable to automatic renewal for most people, as it gives you the option to sell, and doesn’t just appear after the fact on your credit card bill.
Reliable customer service is another facet of domain name registry that can be overlooked at the buying stage. As more and more companies switch from phone support to “Live Chat” or e-mail support, the mode and hours of support are another factor that may loom large in your decision.
Lastly, there have been some fly-by-night registrars or resellers that simply up and disappeared without warning, and fraudulent e-mail and websites pretending to represent legitimate sites. To avoid problems, never include identifying personal information or financial information in e-mails, and check for verifying logos at the bottom of each web page, such as TRUSTe, Better Business Bureau (BBB) accreditation, as well as the VeriSign Secured Seal on payment transaction pages.