All You Need to Know About Domains

domain names

To get your business online with a website, you just need 2 quick steps:

1) Get a domain name that reflects your business and what you do
2) Get a website – use a ready-to-go website (that’s the fastest way to get online these days if you’re just starting out and have budget constraints)

Without a domain name, you can’t get your website online.

Here’s more information about domain names and why it is important to pick the right one for your business website.

What is a domain name?
A domain name is the address that people type into Internet Explorer or Chrome to find your website. For example, redboxstudio.com is a registered domain name. A registered domain name means the owner of the name pays a yearly fee to use the domain name. The domain name must be renewed every year if you want to continue using it. If you don’t renew the domain name after it expires, your website cannot be found using that domain name. These days, domain names can be bought inexpensively. You can even buy a few domain names to direct prospects and customers to the same website.

Why would I need a domain name?
Anyone who wants to do business on the Internet needs a domain name. A domain name is essentially your company’s identification on the Internet. A domain name makes it easy for customers and prospects to find your company on the Internet.

Can I get a domain name first?
Yes, even if you are not ready to build a website or hire a web designer, you should buy and hold on to the domain name that you want. You can buy as many domain names as you like (the only limit is your money of course!).

In this case, can I get any domain name I want?
Unfortunately, the most popular domain names are already taken but this doesn’t mean there’s no more unique domain names left. If you are serious about getting online, get a domain name fast.

What happens if the domain name is not registered or bought under my name?
Some unscrupulous people will offer to help you buy the domain names you want but they buy it using their own name. This is dangerous because they are basically holding your website address. They are the legal owners of the domain name. In case of any dispute, you are on the losing end. Be very careful about this.

The domain names that I like are all snapped up already. Is this a major problem?
If a domain name you like is not available (someone else has registered it), try searching for variations of the name. You could also try searching for the domain name but with a different suffix like .net, .org, .biz, or .info (dot net, dot org, dot biz or dot info).

If you are Malaysian, you may like to search for a domain name with a .my (dot my) suffix but honestly, we don’t recommend it. Changing/transferring domain names etc. can be problematic with our Malaysian domain registrar which is still stuck with a bureaucratic mindset. (So Malaysia Boleh huh?) And besides, .my domain names are usually more expensive than .com domains. Don’t ask why. We don’t get it either.

Some people recommend hyphenating a domain. For instance, if you cannot get redboxstudio.com, try redbox-studio.com but hyphens can confuse people. There is always the possibility that they might forget the hyphen and end up at someone else’s website instead of yours! Use this as a last resort.

How do I choose a good domain name?
Your domain name can be based on your brand name or what you sell or do. For example, it could be RedboxStudio or AmazingBusinessWebsites. Many search engines take the name of your website into account when they rank your pages so a domain name based on popular and often used keywords would be a good idea to consider when choosing a domain. That’s why most people like to use generic names or keywords that relate to what they do.

My friends told me I can get free domain names. Shouldn’t I get one for free?
There is nothing wrong with getting a free domain name though there are some reasons why you should be careful. Be very careful.

As long as you pay for a domain name, YOU are considered the legal owner for a year (each year you’ll need to renew the ownership if you intend to continue using the domain name). If you get one for free, you would be left without a domain name when the company ceases business. If it is a personal website, that’s fine (there’s no big loss).

But what if it’s a business domain? What happens when you are left without a domain, especially after you’ve printed the website address on your business stationery and promoted it everywhere? Why risk it? Besides, should the company decide to sell your domain name for a big profit, it CAN because it is the legal owner.

Once you pay for a domain name, regardless of which web host you choose or move to, you get to keep your existing visitors and traffic. If you don’t have a domain name, you have to promote your website all over again. Besides, domain names (.com) cost about RM50 each so it’s really not a big dent in your pocket.

Must I register a domain that ends in .com (dot com)?
It isn’t necessary to register a domain that ends with a .com though .com is the easiest way people remember a website address.

If you cannot get one with a .com suffix, try to register names that end with .net, .org, .biz, and .info. That said, many companies (especially those with huge corporate identities) are registering their same domain with many different suffixes (as in .com, .net, .org, .biz, and .info). They’re doing this to protect themselves especially if a competitor creates a website with a similar name (but ending with a different suffix).

Should I register more than 1 domain name?
It depends. You may want to register more than 1 domain name if you have 1 or more product names you want to promote. You can register different domain names and point them all to one website, or you could register different domain names for different websites that you own.

How much does it cost to register a domain name?
At Redbox Studio, we charge a flat fee of RM50 per year to register a domain name which ends in .com, .net or .org.

How long does it take to register the domain name?
When you have chosen the domain you want and it is available, we can register it within 1 day. This is for domains ending with .com, .net or .org. suffix.

For those who wish to register a (.my) Malaysian domain name, please refer to MYNIC at http://www.mynic.my which administers the name space for the .my domains.

Whom do I pay for the domain name registration?
If you register it yourself (you can do a search for ‘domain name registrar’ at www.google.com), you would need to pay for it yourself. If you need us to register the domain name, Redbox Studio will invoice you.

Must I register a domain name through Redbox Studio?
We don’t sell domain names per se but we bundle domain name registration as part of our services when you get a custom website from us or when you get our self-managed website system.

If you are just starting out and need a professional website that’s mobile-friendly and easy on your pocket, check out Redbox Easyweb, an all-in-one website package for entrepreneurs on a budget. 

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