If you’re new to the world of domains, it can definitely be overwhelming trying to buy your first domain name. First, you need to actually find a good name that isn’t already taken. Once you’ve successfully done that — which can be a big challenge on its own — you then have to figure out what extras you’ll need when purchasing it. The complexity of this process will vary from domain registrar to registrar, but the question always remains: what else do I need for my domain name?
What you need for your domain will change from person to person, but there are still some essential add-ons that most domains will find the need for at one point or another. Here’s a list of domain extras that you should go ahead and opt in for:
Most people don’t realize how easy it is to look up the private information of a domain name’s owner. A simple WHOIS search will tell you information like the person’s name, email address, phone number, and even mailing address — that is, if they haven’t enabled WHOIS privacy.
With the exception of a few top-level domains (the last part of a domain name, typically .com), you can enable WHOIS privacy to protect your information. When enabled, this will present your domain registrar’s information instead of your own. This will ensure that they get all of those spam phone calls, letters and emails — not you.
At Hover, we include WHOIS privacy at no charge for domains using a top-level domain that supports it. If you’re registering elsewhere, services will often charge for this service, but we’d still recommend it as a must-have.
It might not be necessary for everyone, but those using their domain name for a portfolio or business will especially benefit from using their domain for email. At the most basic level, you can set up an email like firstname.lastname@example.org that forwards to your existing email address. Going one step further, you can set up a unique email address using your domain to both send and receive emails. In either case, adding an email address to your website that matches your domain will create a more cohesive experience for your visitors.
If you know you’re going to use your domain name for a while, you might as well register it for as many years as you think you’ll need it for. You can of course renew it year-by-year, but this way you’ll have the piece of mind of knowing that there’s no way your domain will unexpectedly expire anytime soon. Plus, you never know when prices might increase — paying for multiple years at once will lock down the great rate you found at the time of the initial registration.
Similar to multi-year registration, auto-renew is another step to ensure you don’t lose your domain name. It’s true that you’ll receive numerous reminder emails warning you that your domain is set to expire, but you will still need to ultimately take the step of renewing it. Even if you have every intention to do so, sometimes life gets in the way and you forget to do it until it’s too late. By enabling auto-renew, you’ll guarantee that your domain will be renewed even if you forget to do it yourself.
And that’s it!
Know any other features that are must-haves for your domain names? Let us know in the comments!