A domain registrar is whom you purchase your Internet domain name from. For example, jm2marketing.com purchased their domain name from a company called GoDaddy. They are not the only game in town. There are names like Network Solutions, 1&1 Internet, and Namecheap is just a few of the main players in the United States.
With that information what really does a domain registrar do besides take anywhere from $5-$40 a year from your pocketbook?
- The first item they do is control your ownership of the domain name that you purchased. They make certain that once you own the domain you are the owner as long as it is paid for. The exception is when you purchase a name that is trademarked, another company, you are cybersquatting etc. that someone could potentially fight, and win, if they have merit that you took a name that violates their copyright. For example, years ago people were mis-spelling Google with extra O’s for people that miss typed. Those domains Google now truly owns.
- They will send you out reminders to pay it unless you have auto-renew on but often this doesn’t happen as credit cards can expire. We set calendar reminders 30-days before expiration and manually renew even if we have auto-renew on so we know we don’t risk losing a domain.
- Note: There are also scammers that will also send out domain renewals that are not your domain registrar. These are scams and you should work with your Information Technology or Web Designer to make certain you don’t get sucked into these schemes.
- Another is the domain registrar will point your domain to a set of domain name system or DNS servers. A DNS server changes your domain name from domain.xyz to 126.96.36.199. Your domain name is an easy to remember the name for us humans but a computer treats that domain name as a unique set of numbers called an IP (Internet Protocol) address. It is common for many domain registrar companies to have their own DNS servers which you can use or you can choose to use your own.
- Some domain registrars can also host your website on a shared server. These are normally your $5-15/month solutions to get many businesses started off quickly and within a single platform.
- Some domain registrars will also include an email so that you can be yourName@domain.xyz.
The first step of being online is purchasing a domain name from a domain registrar. Where you host your DNS, your website, or your email is up to you.