4 Things To Be Aware of When Buying a Domain
1. Hidden Costs
In the domain register world, the old adage, “you get what you pay for,” doesn’t necessarily hold true. For example, sometimes registrars offer extreme discounts on the first year, only to charge you exorbitant renewal fees after the promotional period. Registrars may also hide fees in the fine print, or charge you extra for services that you don’t want or need.
Here are some tricks registrars often pull in order to increase their bottom-line:
- Add-ons. Registrars may include additional services at an increased cost that you must buy in order to register the domain. This is similar to when a cable company requires you to bundle phone with Internet in order to get a better “deal.”
- Charging extra for standard services. As the industry progresses, certain services that used to be considered “premium” are now standard. For example, domain information (including personal contact information) is kept in a public record data pace called the WHOIS. Watch out for registrars that charge extra for “privacy services,” such as keeping your WHOIS information private.
- Charging transfer fees. Some registrars may charge high transfer fees, or make the transfer process overly burdensome in order to retain customers. Make sure to read the fine print of your terms of service agreement to make sure you can easily transfer the domain to a different registrar if you so choose.
2. Data Security
Registrars have a responsibility to protect their customer’s data, but this may not always be the case. Registrars have been known to sell their customers’ data to marketing companies. Before registering your domain, always make sure to check in the terms of service how the registrar can use (or misuse) your data. As a business, it’s important that your data does not get into the wrong hands.
In order to protect their privacy, many business owners chose to keep their personal information private from WHOIS searches by using registrar-offered “privacy services.” In order to protect yourself from malicious actors, look for registrars who offer WHOIS privacy services for free. Certain registrars charge extra for “privacy services.”
As with any service, you should look for registrars that provide full transparency in all aspects of their business practices. Throughout the registration process, if anything seems vague or unclear, it is a red flag. Some key things that you should always understand clearly upfront include:
- Initial registration and renewal rates
- Transfer and cancellation policies
- Order cancellation policy
Choosing a Registrar
As you can see, there are many considerations you should make when choosing a registrar. Extensive research is required to ensure that you avoid some costly mistakes. If this sounds time-consuming, you’re right – especially for someone new to the whole domain purchasing process. This is why Saw.com offers a full “domain concierge” service to handle the domain registration/transfer process after the purchase of a website domain.
Similar to when we get in over our heads on a big home project and decide to call a contractor to finish the job, sometimes it’s better to hire a professional to do the work for you.