Domains - you need one and yet you have no idea how to get one. There are hundreds of options as to where to purchase your domain (domain registrars), but which one is right for you? Well, that depends on a few factors, so let’s get into it.
First of all, some things you need to know.
Don’t search for a domain if you’re not ready to buy the domain. This means, don’t type it into your web browser, don’t type it into Google, don’t type it into GoDaddy or another domain host. With this being said, if you’re interested in buying your domain right away, go ahead and search.
Where you buy your domain doesn’t matter. You can point it to your website even if you’re using a website building platform such as Shopify, Wordpress.org or Squarespace.
You can transfer your domain from one registrar to another. This means, you can buy your domain on GoDaddy and Transfer it to Namecheap or Tucows if you need to.
There are hundreds of websites where you can go to purchase a domain. Arguably, the most notable is GoDaddy. This is a great place to get your domain if you want to purchase for multiple years as they usually have a deal where the first year is very inexpensive. Something like 99 cents for year one and $14.99 for year two is very common. The downside with GoDaddy is that year three, four and five tend to be even more expensive.
Namecheap provides you with WHOIS privacy protection. When you register for a domain, ICANN, the governing board, requires information such as your name, business name, phone number, and address. Mind you, if you’re purchasing a Canadian (.ca) domain, it comes with WHOIS privacy protection anyways, do there is absolutely no benefit to purchasing your .ca domain through Namecheap. In addition, if you have a brick and mortar store, this information is typically readily available on your website, so you may decide you don't want WHOIS privacy protection anyways.
If you build your website on a platform such as Shopify, you often get the purchase your domain directly and have it setup for you straight away. In this case, Shopify would facilitate the purchase, but you're really purchasing from Tucows. The upside of purchasing your domain through Shopify is that you will be paying the same amount year after year.
Tip: Go over the spelling of your domain a few times before you complete the transaction. You can't get a refund if you purchase a domain you don't want. I've seen quite a few instances where clients have purchased a domain such as gdcomerce.ca instead of gdcommerce.ca.
You're ready! So go out there and purchase your domain with this new found knowledge. Let us know if you need any help with your new site.