Registering a domain name for your website is a big step towards getting your business online. While you might expect this to be a difficult process, it's actually quite simple, quick, and inexpensive. In this post, we’ll show you how simple registering a domain name is and give you some tips on choosing a registrar and starting your website.
Find the right domain name
In a previous post, we discussed how to choose a domain name for your business. Once you've chosen a domain name that you love, search to see if it is available. If it's not, continue to search until you find one that is. You can search for an available domain name on the CIRA website or through a Registrar (learn more about Registrars in the next section).
If the domain name you want is unavailable, you can search the WHOIS database to see when the registration expires or to contact the current domain name holder if you'd prefer to attempt to purchase it from them.
Choose a Registrar
A Registrar is an online retailer that sells domain names and related services like hosting, email, and website builders. This is the company that you will register your domain name with. When you perform a search for a .CA domain name with CIRA, we provide you with a list of our trusted Registrar partners to choose from. Every Registrar has a unique offering in terms of the price they charge, the products and services they sell, and their customer service offerings. With that said, all Registrars that sell .CA domain names are trusted providers that are evaluated and recertified by CIRA every year.
Choosing the right Registrar that meets your business needs is important, since you'll be dealing with them for everything related to your domain name.
Tips to consider when evaluating registrar options
- Ensure the Registrar offers the types of products and services you will need. For example, do you need website hosting or professional email? You can use the filters on CIRA's domain name search to see if they offer that service.
- Research the Registrar’s customer support offerings. You may need to rely on their customer service team for help. Do they offer live chat, 24/7 support, toll-free calling, or support in French? These may be important factors for you.
- Shop around to get a good understanding of how much your domain name will cost. Every new business must take budget into consideration. Also consider what other products or services (e.g. hosting, email, websites) will cost and if the Registrar offers bundles or packages. Be on the lookout for special promotions. Keep in mind that cheapest isn't always necessarily best.
- Do your homework. Read reviews and testimonials and ask friends or colleagues about their experiences and recommendations when it comes to specific Registrars. You may find that some Registrars come highly recommended by your peers.
While choosing the right Registrar is important, you can always transfer your .CA domain to another Registrar if you are unhappy or if you find a better fit elsewhere. Keep in mind that there is a small fee associated with transferring a domain and that transfers are not possible within the first 60 days of a newly registered domain name.
Register your domain name and build your website
Once you've found a great domain name and selected a Registrar, it's time to register your domain name. Consider registering the domain for more than one year as it may be cheaper, and that way you won't have to remember to renew it annually.
Now it's time to build a website for your business. Building a professional and affordable website has never been easier. Remember, many Registrars offer website building tools for their customers. If not, there are several other affordable and easy website builders to choose from such as Squarespace, Wordpress, Wix, Weebly, and many more.
With a professional website on a branded domain name, your business is ready to take on the world. Make sure you keep your website up-to-date and promote your domain name on social media and promotional materials like your packaging, signs, and business cards.