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How to choose a website domain registrar for your small business

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You’ve decided you want to set up your own website and you’ve thought of a great domain name, but you’ve reached the bit where you actually have to buy the domain and drawn a blank.

There are so many places to buy domains from that choosing which is best can seem a daunting prospect. Today we’re giving you some handy tips to help you settle on the right domain registrar for you.

What is a registrar?

Before we go any further, what exactly do we mean by ‘domain registrar’? A domain registrar is simply a company that sells domain names and there are thousands to choose from.

Many offer other services such as website hosting, website building and security, digital marketing and so on. You can compare different registrars by searching for your domain on our domain search tool

Choosing the right registrar for you

Start by jotting down what you’ll be needing in addition to your domain name, as this may help narrow down your selection.

You’ll probably be needing website hosting (the service that allows you to post webpages to the internet), for example, and you may also be wanting a user-friendly platform on which to build your new site.

Once you’ve decided exactly what you’re looking for, here are some tips to bear in mind when you’re checking out domain registrars.

Shop around for the right deal

Don’t automatically buy from the first registrar you click on, whether from Google search results or our domain search tool. Take the time to look at a few different options, and remember that as with anything, the cheapest one isn’t necessarily the best. Look beyond the headline price, as there may be hidden charges that you only discover when you’ve read into it more carefully.

Read reviews

What experiences have others had with this registrar? Look at some online reviews and forum posts to find out whether opinions are generally favourable. While there will always be some people who go online to complain, you should get an overall sense of whether experiences have typically been good or bad. You can also read into the registrar’s website and find out whether they’ve won any awards, and whether they’re officially committed to any industry codes of conduct.

Read the Ts and Cs

It’s common sense, but always read the terms and conditions before you agree to anything. In particular, you’ll want to know that the domain you’re buying will be registered to you personally, and not to the registrar or a third party. Find out whether you’ll be able to move your domain and/or any other services to another provider at a later date, and whether you’ll have to pay for the privilege of doing so.

It’s also worth reading up on the registrar’s renewal policy. It may seem a long way off, but your renewal will come up sooner than you expect. You’ll need to know whether you need to renew other services at the same time, whether everything will renew automatically, and so on.

Find out what support they offer

It's good to know that there’s someone there to help if you need it, so take a look at their website to find out what each registrar offers in the way of support. Are they based in the same time zone as you?

How easy are they to contact? When you have an issue, it makes a big difference whether they only offer phone support during office hours or if you can chat online with someone 24/7.

Armed with these tips, you're ready to find your perfect domain registrar and get your website up and running. Find out more about launching your own website at The UK Domain.