Building a website means investing your time and money into something that can be converted into a potential source of revenue. From the look and appearance to the content and the domain name – you’ll want to get everything right.
While most things come later, you’ll have to choose a domain name right at the beginning. This can be tricky if it’s your first website. You can change a lot of things about your website later, but a domain name works as a brand identity.
You’ll need to go in strong and create a memorable and effective domain name that delivers the right impact.
In our previous article, we discussed how you can choose a domain name for your website. We talked about domain name extensions, brandability, keyword usage, and language. However, there’s still a lot more that you need to keep in mind when selecting a domain name for your website.
Here are some of the questions that we’ll be answering in this article:
- When Should You Use a Country-Specific Domain Name?
- How Can You Avoid Copyright Infringement?
- What are the Top Causes of Domain Name Theft?
- How Can You Protect Your Domain Name?
Let’s get started.
Choose a Domain Name That Is Country-Specific
In our previous article, we discussed at length about the importance of choosing a .com extension for your domain. While we still stand by that argument, we’d also like to talk a little bit about when you can consider using a country-specific domain name.
Also referred to as a country-code TLD (or ccTLD for short), a country-specific domain name indicates that a website hosts content related to a specific country. For example, a website domain name ending with a “.uk” extension automatically tells you that the business is based in the United Kingdom.
If your business is local, then country-specific domain names can help in attracting local customers. These domain names can catch the attention of a local customer and automatically build a certain amount of trust regarding the kind of content and services they can expect from the website.
Search engines also prefer displaying websites with country-specific domain names when generating search results for local users.
On the whole, country-specific domain names make it easier for local customers to remember your website. However, you must also think long-term. For instance, if you want to expand your business in the future to serve customers in a different region, then having a country-specific domain name might get in your way.
Avoid Copyright Infringement When Trying to Choose a Domain Name
You need to choose a domain name that has not been trademarked or copyrighted by someone else. To do this, you can search trademark databases. These will provide you with the information you need regarding registered and pending trademarks.
The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) oversees copyright infringement issues. If you do not do proper research regarding domain name copyrights, you can also lose your domain name registration altogether. Here are a few scenarios that can lead to this:
- Intentionally choosing a domain name that is similar to a trademarked or copyrighted domain name in an attempt to confuse the consumer
- Purchasing a domain name with the intent of selling it later to a competitor for monetary gain
- Not owning a business under the name used
You can learn more about domain name disputes by clicking here. Remember, if you get sued for copyright infringement, it can lead to significant costs. You’ll waste your money, as well as your time. It’s best to stay vigilant and do your research beforehand to avoid such consequences.
Losing Your Domain Name
Simply managing to choose a domain name isn’t enough. You also need to take appropriate measures to make sure you don’t lose your domain name. Some of the leading causes of domain name loss include:
- Domain name expiration– Every domain name comes with an expiration date. Once you register for a domain name, you’ll retain ownership of it for a specific period. Once this period is over, you’ll have to renew your registration before it expires and your domain name becomes available for use again.
- Domain name theft– This is another common problem that confronts website owners. Many hackers will attempt to steal your domain name. This can be done by submitting a false request for domain name transfer. If you accidentally approve this request, you will unwittingly transfer the control of your domain name to a third party. You can explore legal options to get your domain name back. However, these are usually very time-consuming and expensive.
- Supplying incorrect registrar contact information– If you end up providing inaccurate contact information during the registration process or fail to update it later, then your domain name registrar will not be able to contact you. This can be a big problem if they notice unusual activity on your website and are unable to notify you about the same.
Protecting Your Domain Name
Losing your domain name can be troublesome, as well as scary. If hackers end up using your website for illicit activities, your brand image can take a severe hit and you could end up losing your customers. On the bright side, there are several countermeasures you can take to protect your domain name. Let’s take a look at what these are.
a. Keeping Track of the Expiration Date
One of the most basic measures you can take to prevent domain name loss is by keeping track of when your domain name is meant to expire. Instead of waiting till the last moment, we suggest renewing your domain name a few days before its expiration date.
You can get your domain name renewed for a longer period, as well (for instance, 5 years).
You can also try for automatic renewal. This option allows your domain name registrar to renew your domain name before the expiration date.
Make sure your contact information is updated and accurate so that your domain name registrar can contact you easily regarding renewal when the need arises.
b. Protecting Your Domain Name from Hackers
There are plenty of options you can explore to protect your domain name from getting stolen. To begin with, you need to double-check your domain name contact information. Make sure that only you or your company is the designated owner of the domain name.
Some domain names have their webmaster or web designer registered. Hackers can take advantage of this and send a transfer request to these individuals.
To protect your domain name, you can utilize the Domain Privacy option, as well. This can prevent your personal contact information from being available on the WHOIS database.
Hackers tend to refer to this database when trying to impersonate website owners and getting the domain name transferred.
Domain name registrars also provide a service known as the Registrar Lock. This feature can help in preventing the transfer of your domain name without your prior permission. It locks your domain name and you’ll have to access your account and unlock it.
Bear in mind that your account is still susceptible to hacking. On the bright side, using a Registrar Lock will still make it considerably difficult for someone to steal your domain name.
You can protect your account with a strong password that uses a string of uppercase letters, lowercase letters, numbers, and special characters.
Finally, you need to be very vigilant regarding any spam or other correspondence you receive regarding your website and the domain name. Hackers tend to send official-looking emails about domain name renewals.
If you are not careful and end up clicking on any of the links provided in the email, then you could risk losing your domain name.
c. Keeping Your Information Up-to-Date
As mentioned earlier, you need to make sure all your account information is current and accurate. Ensuring smooth and easy communication with your domain registrar is vital for protecting your domain name. If your contact information changes, make sure you update it instantly.
We also recommend using a permanent email address when providing your contact information.
Wrapping It Up
There is a lot you’ll need to keep in mind when trying to choose a domain name. Besides focusing on your brand identity and the name of your website, you must also address technical concerns.
These include ensuring that your domain name is adequately protected against hackers and avoiding copyright infringement.
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