There are thousands of registrars you can choose from in order to buy a domain for your business website. However, these registrars – online retailers offering online services, including domains – can vary to a surprisingly large degree in not only their products, but also their reputation, reliability and technical support. Here are a few checks you can make to better ensure a sound choice of domain provider.

Shop around for the most suitable services at the most appealing prices

Carefully consider your specific needs for a domain and other online services. You could come across a company that can provide both your preferred domain and various other relevant services in one simple package at one simple regular price.

Even if you don't, it remains crucial to be picky about price. Look carefully for any signs of "hidden" charges beside the prices openly listed on a provider's website. You should also, however, consider that it could sometimes be worth paying a little more for a particular package if it will seemingly stand your business in better stead for the long run.

Domain names (PD)

Pay particular attention to providers with impressive credentials

As well as asking friends for their personal recommendations of domain providers, you could do some thorough research to discern a provider's broader reputation in its field. You could try learning whether the company has signed up to an industry code of conduct – such as that of Nominet, the UK-wide Internet registry services provider.

That company, incidentally, has advised anyone seeking a good domain provider to also ask registrars for customer testimonials and look up whether it has picked up any awards or accolades relevant to the domain and online services industry. We would personally add that you seek a company capable of dispensing with impartial advice about which domain is right for you. You could find this unexpectedly useful if the company allows you to easily register additional domains!

Consider whether support will be available when you need it

Providers can greatly differ in what technical support they offer. This is crucial to heed because, should a problem suddenly and unexpectedly occur with your domain, you will want it rectified as soon as possible; possible valuable custom could be lost otherwise.

A simple thing to check is where a prospective registrar is actually based. You could do this just by heading to the 'Contact Us' page on its website and looking over the address of the registered office. Your business could feel more confident relying on a provider that is based in the UK, as this could make it easier to contact in an hour of need.

That provider could be especially readily contactable should it routinely offer 24/7 support. The telephone support from some companies is limited to office hours – but imagine how inconvenient this could prove were your domain to falter only just after office hours have elapsed, leaving you having to wait right through the night and well into the following morning, before you can get the help that you need.

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