This is a guest post by Emma-Julie Fox, a writer at Pitstop Media.
So, you’ve decided to try making money from domaining the way other people have successfully done. The problem is that you don’t really know much about domain management. Should you hire a webmaster and let him do all the work? Should you outsource your domaining activities and let a third-party company manage your domains and websites for you? The answer: You should do neither of these options!
You need to realize that there are now a good number of domain registrars that offer ample support in the management of your domains. Furthermore, there are domain services experts like Lawrence Ng who’ve gone before you and from whom you can learn a lot about managing your domain information. There’s really no need to blindly trust another person or company with your domains when it’s easy enough to learn the ropes yourself.
Here are seven useful tips you’d want to bear in mind when you start out in the field of domaining:
1. The Process of Domain Name Registration Is Simple
The very first .com commercial domain name was registered in March of 1985. By March of 2010, the .com TLD had 84 million registered domain names. The main reason why the number of registrants has grown so much is the ease with which one can register a domain name. You can sign up for an account at a domain registrar of your choosing. Upon signing up, you’ll be asked to provide some basic information, with the information fields typically taking only a few minutes to completely fill out.
As soon as you’ve completed this step, you’ll receive a confirmation email from the registrar to verify your new account. If you’ve ever signed up for anything online, then you’ll know that this is standard procedure with practically any site. As soon as you get the confirmation email, you can add your registrar to your “safe” email contacts list to make sure you receive all communications they may send. Registrars usually send “Help and Support” information links via email, so it’s best to make sure you get these emails.
2. Never Let Someone Else Register a Domain Name for You
It may be convenient for you to let a son or nephew who’s well-versed in anything that has to do with the Internet to register domains on your behalf, but that’s not really advisable. For one thing, YOU should be the one primarily in charge of managing your domains, and this begins with the registration. When you’re the one taking care of registration, you’re less likely to forget details such as when you registered a particular domain name, how much you bought it for, and which registrar you chose for that name. In the same way, you should be the one carrying on conversations with your registrar/s, especially in terms of help and support.
3. Consolidate Your Domains
Since your plan is to earn a decent income through domaining, it’s only logical to assume you’ll be buying and managing several domains at a time. It is often smart to shop around and register your domains with different registrars, depending on who offers the best price for a particular name (provided their services meet your requirements, of course). The problem is that it can be a bit difficult to manage several domains registered with several different registrars. The solution: consolidate your domains on a site like DomainCentral.
This kind of site allows you to view all of your domains in just one table. The best thing is that you see not just the name of the domain, but also their respective registrars, the expiration dates, the respective renewal options offered, and other important details. Seeing all of your domains in one place certainly makes it a lot easier to manage them!
4. Get Familiar with WHOIS
The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers, or ICANN, is currently in charge of all domain name registrations. As such, they require all accredited registries to comply with WHOIS database requirements. This means your registrar is required to submit the information they get from you to the database whenever you register a domain. Your listing will then appear on the WHOIS public directory where anyone who cares to check will be able to view it. Make sure you know what your rights and responsibilities are as a domain registrant, per the guidelines of ICANN.
5. Every Domain Name Registrant Has Access to WHOIS Privacy Services
It’s understandable for you to be concerned about the fact that your personal information will be made publicly available on the WHOIS database. You’ll be glad to know, then, that WHOIS privacy services are offered to every registrant who wants to mask their personal details for whatever reason. Most accredited registrars also offer privacy protection services. If privacy is a major concern, then you’d do well to make sure the registrar you choose offers these services.
6. Adopt The Habit of Registering for Multiple Years
Domain registrations are generally valid for a year, but many registrars give you the option of registering your domain for multiple years. This strategy is also known as “locking” your domain so it cannot be transferred to another registrar without YOU unlocking it. It also helps ensure that you retain ownership of the domain for as many years as it is registered for, unless you decide to sell it. This also saves you from the hassles of yearly renewals and keeps you safe from spammers and hackers.
7. Keep Your Contact Information Current
Whether you choose to use privacy protection services or not, it’s always a good idea to keep your contact information updated. After all, your registrars will want to keep in contact with you for important announcements and updates, so you’ll need to make sure you won’t have any problem receiving communications from them.
When you get right down to it, it’s really not that hard to learn the ropes of domaining. As long as you’re open to learning, you’ll soon find it easy enough to manage your domains on your own. Of course, it’s still advisable to get assistance from others, particularly those who know their way in the field, but the key word should be ASSISTANCE. The primary role of management should still rest on you.