Your domain name is the core component of your online presence and choosing the right domain name and registering it are the essential first steps!
Whilst purchasing a domain only requires a few steps, finding the right domain name can take some time and thought, plus the help of online tools to perform a domain name search and check availability. I’d hate to think how many times I came up with a business name, only to find the domain name was already taken.
BUT…once you have the name and you’ve checked that the domain name is available – my advice, is REGISTER IT!!! You will usually get the first year free, so you’re only looking at around £12-£15 for two years. Bargain, right?
But how do you buy it?
Whilst HBS are able to check and purchase domains on your behalf via our Domain Management service, you could just as easily go to someone like GoDaddy or 1&1 IONOS.
Whoever purchases your domain is known as the registrar. It makes no difference who your registrar is when it comes to your website and I’ll explain more on that below.
Now you have your domain name, what’s next?
You may have heard mention of DNS but not really understood what it means.
It stands for Doman Name Settings, and basically is a series of settings which tell the web where to redirect your emails, or where your website is hosted, for example. Hence why I said above it doesn’t matter who your domain registrar is as your website can be hosted anywhere.
So what is Domain Management?
Domain management, purely refers to making sure your domain name is active, secure, and renewed each year (or every other year if you opt for the two year renewal option), but as briefly mentioned above, it also serves as a portal to your website. Business owners may be tempted to focus all their attention on setting up and maintaining the website itself, but managing the domain is a key factor in keeping the website live and accessible.
Many registrars recommend buying as many related domain names as possible to keep them from being used by competitors and to capture all possible variants that might be typed in during a search—including misspellings. Personally I think that is a tad overkill as it can result in an overly large portfolio of domain names, some of which may never be used. I do always recommend purchasing the .co.uk and .com domains though, as a minimum.
How does Domain Management work?
A domain owner needs to be able to perform tasks such as renewing or terminating domain name registration, and making changes to DNS as needed. Those DNS changes could be anything from changing your web hosting, to moving your email to Microsoft 365 or GSuite, or even setting up Google tools which require domain ownership to be verified. These actions all require changes to or additional domain name settings.
Domain Management Services
At HBS we utilise a suite of domain management tools to handle registrations and renewals, delete unused and unneeded domains, and also maintain domain security.
While domain management services are widely used by larger businesses, they can also be a useful solution for busy domain owners running small to medium-sized businesses, or even individuals who don’t want to manage their domains themselves.
Your domain is what keeps your brand online
A domain name makes it possible for individuals and businesses to create an online presence. Whether you’re a sole trader, a small business, or a large corporation, managing your domain is as important as managing your website.
If you’re not sure who your registrar is, or where your domain settings are held, then tools like Whois are essential for locating this information.
Simply type your domain name into the search box and you will find out the following:
- Registrar: who this is, and their website
- Relevant dates: when it was registered, last updated and more importantly when it’s due for renewal (expiry date)
- Name servers: where your DNS is hosted. Your registrar may be one company, and they may hold your DNS, but they don’t have too. Your web hosting company may have the DNS and this section of the report will tell you that.
If you have questions or concerns regarding your domain names, please don’t hesitate to get in touch