In Q2 of 2018, there were 339.8 million top-level domain names registered worldwide. That’s a staggering 6 million increase compared to the first half of the year.
Ireland also had a huge increase in domain registrations — 51,040 new .ie domains in 2018. That’s a 29% increase from the year before!
Those new registrations brought the total count of active .ie domains to 262,140.
So, what does this tell you?
That if you’ve been putting off registering your domain, now’s the best time to do so. Before your dream domain gets swiped by someone else.
Besides, there are many ways to get and register a domain cheap and safe. We’ll let you in on how exactly to do that, so be sure to keep reading!
A lot of folks who create a website from scratch tend to overlook this, but a tiny mistake can lead to messy lawsuits. One of the most important you should know is copyright and trademark infringement.
Let’s use the case of Green Products Co. v. Independence Corn By-Products Co. as an example.
These two were companies involved in corn by-products, making them direct competitors. But ICBP went ahead and registered the domain name “greenproducts.com”.
As such, Green Products filed a lawsuit against ICBP, even though the website wasn’t up yet. The court ruled that ICBP had the intention of using the domain name to confuse customers. They held that the defendant would use it to “lure” Green Products’ potential customers to the site.
Granted, customers may know right away that the site wasn’t of Green Products’, but of ICBP’s. But since they were already on a site selling similar products, they may end up buying what they need there. If this was to happen, the profits would end up in ICBP’s pockets.
So, the court used these facts to determine that ICBP committed infringement.
Our point is, make sure your domain name doesn’t breach the trademark of another company. Check for registered patents and trademarks first, especially of your competitors. If you’ve thought of a name, run a search for it first to see if similar names are already registered.
By similar, we mean domain names that look, read, and spell almost the same. These include a few extra characters (like Google1.com for example) or those with hyphens.
Another is a domain that already has a .com version. If there’s already a well-known brand using the .com version, don’t register the .net, .biz, or .org versions. These extensions are cheaper, but legal complications may arise by using them.
Now that you have some idea on the legal side of registering domains, it’s time to think of your domain name!
It may be hard to become the next Google, but you should take a page out of their book when coming up with your domain name. You want it to be catchy, memorable, recognisable, and simple at the same time. But you don’t want it to be too simple that people may mistake you for being a James when you’re a Jack.
If you have a business, then you may want to use your brand name (or part of it) as your domain name. After all, your domain name is your online identity. Making your brand name part of your domain name is one of the best online marketing strategies.
You can also use the name of your best-selling product since people are already aware of it. But make sure it’s not too long, as this may only annoy your potential visitors. You can check out these other tips on creating future-proof and creative domain names.
But what if your business is still new and you don’t have an established following yet? Then your domain name should have a keyword in it that will tell people what the website is about.
If you’re in the car industry, using “car” or “cars” as part your domain name may be a good idea. If you’re running a small hotel, then you may want to add “hotel” or “hostel” in your domain name.
What’s important is to ensure people would have an idea on what they’ll find on your site based on your domain name.
Let’s delve a bit deeper into why you should avoid similar-sounding or -spelt domain names.
Aside from legal issues, these domain names can confuse Internet users. If only a hyphen differentiates your site from a competitor, they may end up on the competitor’s site.
This may then drive more traffic to your competitor’s site. You may lose profits if they buy stuff from the other site.
They may also forget where the extra number or hyphen goes, and they may end up on a 404 page. They may try searching for you again, but if they still get the spelling wrong, they’re likely to give up. That’s loss of site traffic, or worse, loss of profits on your end.
Cheap domain names don’t have to sound cheap, but these mistakes can make you appear like an amateur.
TLD stands for “Top Level Domain”. It’s the last part of a domain name — the .com, .net, .org, or .biz. Its main purpose is to identify the website’s purpose, it’s owner, or its location.
There are four types of TLD, but we’ll focus on gTLDs and ccTLDs.
This is where .com, .net, and .edu belong in. Commercial businesses can opt for .com, while charitable organisations can go for .org. Educational institutions can register .edu domains.
All ccTLDs are for a specific country and usually consists of only two letters. For instance, Ireland’s ccTLD is .ie.
More than 137 million .com domain names are already registered and in use. That means it’ll be hard to find an available .com domain, especially in competitive niches, like IT or cars.
Besides, .com names can be pretty expensive, like Fund.com, which fetched $9,999,950, or almost €8.9 million.
When you use .ie as your TLD, you’re telling Internet users that you’re an Irish entity. If your business or website caters to the Irish community, then this TLD may be better than .com. As soon as people see your site uses .ie, they’ll know that you’re an authentic Irish business.
Plus, .ie has ranked as Europe’s safest internet address. It’s also the second safest worldwide.
Domain registrars are companies where you can buy and register domain names. Today, the best web hosting companies can register your domain and also host your site.
Some even throw in a free (or low-priced) domain name in the web hosting plan. So, going with a web host offering domain registrations is one of the best ways to get a cheap domain name.
To find the best domain registrar, consider the following factors.
The TLD (or extension) and registration period influence domain name prices. Add-ons, like domain privacy and extended expiration, also affect rates.
You may not need these add-ons now, but it’s best to choose a registrar offering them. That way, you can buy them from the same source once the need arises.
If you don’t have a website yet, check if the registrar offers cheap internet or web hosting services. You may get a better deal if you combine domain registration and web hosting in one package.
All domain name registrations come with a specific “expiration date”. When a registration expires, it goes back on sale and anyone can then buy it and register it.
One year is usually the shortest domain registration period. But the best registrars and web hosts offer longer terms, with some letting you secure a domain for up to 10 years! They may even offer discounts when you choose a longer registration period.
What’s important is to ensure you renew the registration before the domain expires. The last thing you want is for someone else to take your domain name, and possibly, your brand name. You may have to file a lawsuit to retrieve that expired domain name.
If you’ll register only for one year, make sure you opt-in for automatic renewal. Check if the registrar also has a grace period, and if so, how long. You should also set your own reminders, be it on your phone or computer, on your domain’s expiration date.
Moving or transferring domain names from one registrar to another is possible. People usually do this if they’re unhappy with their current registrar. Some also move their domain to a web host offering registrations.
Note that under internet laws though, you can only move a domain name after 60 days from its registration.
When choosing from your domain registrar options, check their transfer policies and fees. While not all companies charge for a domain transfer, some do or have a complicated process.
News of bad customer experiences reaches twice as many others as positive ones. That’s why you’ll find more negative reviews about businesses than good ones.
Use this as an opportunity to find out how reputable a domain registration company is. Look up reviews online about your prospective registrars. Reading these will give you incredible insight into how great (or poor) their services are.
Check for specific complaints, like if previous customers had difficulties transferring domains. Too short or non-existent grace periods are also common complaints. Other things to look for in reviews include hidden fees and huge increases renewal rates.
If you’ll choose a domain name registration and web hosting package, be sure the web host has 99.99% uptime! Anything lower than that means your website will experience more downtime issues.
You should also avoid getting your domain and website on a shared host. Shared hosts aren’t only slow, but they can also be full of security concerns. They may offer cheap domain registration and hosting, but at the cost of cyber threats.
What you want is to register your domain with a company that has excellent customer service. They should have both customer service and technical support teams operating 24/7. That way, you can get in touch with them anytime you have issues with your domain or website.
With all the competition for domain name registrations, it’ll be easy to find cheap offers. But if it’s too cheap, then it likely is too good to be true. There may also be downsides that aren’t as transparent unless you read the contract twice (or more).
Before you hit that “Pay Now” button to register your domain, read everything in the contract again! That’s because you may have missed some add-ons that were automatically included. Failure to “uncheck” these options can cause make your bill skyrocket.
Say you found a company offering to register your domain name for €3.99 for one year. Seems like you hit the jackpot, right?
Before you get into a contract with them, check how that super cheap price will look like when it’s time for renewal. In most cases, the cost of registering a domain for the first time is different from the cost of renewing it. Hidden charges can have a massive effect on renewal fees.
Follow these tips, and you can register your domain cheap and quick with one of Ireland’s best registrars. If you consider the 51,000 .ie domains registered last year, that means over 140 new .ie addresses get swiped a day. Put off registering your domain, and someone else may register your dream name before you.
Ready to own that perfect domain name for your business or personal website? Feel free to get in touch with us then! We can help you not only with domain registration but also with hosting your website.