Why Do Domain Names Need to Be Registered?
One of the beautiful things about the internet is that it’s free. Or, at least it seems to be. However, that big, world-wide superhighway does have a structure behind it too make it work. That’s why you pay for access through an ISP or a hosting service to make sure your website is up and running 24/7. When it comes to domain names, you may wonder why you have to pay. This is especially true if your domain name is your own name or the name of your company. It also avoids having a URL that looks like MikesPlumbing22894.com, as happened with free email.
You Want Exclusivity
In the early days of the internet, companies didn’t realize the possibilities. Unfortunately, some forward-thinking entrepreneurs did. That’s how companies like Coca Cola ended up in a bidding war to purchase the rights to their own brand name. Whatever your purpose for buying a domain, you likely want that website to be successful. Buying your domain means no one else can use that name.
Because Transparency and Credibility Are Important
Legitimate businesses have nothing to hide. Once you purchase your domain name, it gets registered with Internet Corporation of Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN). Every registered domain is listed within their data base. The registration includes the legal name, physical address and phone number of all domain owners, among other information. That makes it easy to track down who might be behind a scam website. You owe it to your visitors to offer the same transparency.
So People – and Their Computers – Will know How to Find You
ICANN does more than just provide directory services. Each registered domain has a unique identifier that tells DNS servers how to find it. Without that identifier, there’s no means for your computer to locate a specific web address. This also keeps others from re-directing your traffic to their website.
So You Can Protect Your Image or Brand
If you’ve been on the internet for any length of time, you know that not everyone has benign motives. Some people want divert business their way and others just like to cause trouble. Register your domain under every available suffix, like .com, .net and .org, so you can to avoid copycats with bad intentions.
Unless you want to reserve a super-exclusive widely popular or common name, you probably won’t have to pay a lot to register it. In fact, you can use the cheapest domain name registration possible and still protect your name. It may even be wise to register several versions of your domain name to keep competitors from trying to capitalize off your success with a domain that’s just a few letters off from yours.