Why should I buy a domain name?

sbradfo August 11, 2010

Why buy a Domain name when web hosting sites are giving them out for FREE?

What legal rights do you have on the names? Can the provider charge or block you from moving the domain later on to another hosting site?

  1. Hozefa KB
    February 9, 2011 at 11:33 am

    i came across one of the providers and they were offering for $8.99 with few emails too.
    i forgot the site. didnt thought i would need it.

  2. Prince
    October 21, 2010 at 9:29 am

    I want to register at Godaddy and want to use another Web Hosting like Hostmonster. What are the benefits and is it possible?

  3. richardm
    September 1, 2010 at 4:28 pm

    This is great feedback but one question still remains. Who allows the transfer out of a domain name without lots of hassle and stupid fees. I can accept an admin fee for the work but it doesn't need to be stupid.

    • Tina
      September 1, 2010 at 4:43 pm


      in case you don't get an answer here, I would recommend posting a new question because this question is already a few weeks old.

  4. Anonymous
    August 25, 2010 at 6:23 pm

    Youve already gotten some great replies. Its better to own your domain name outright because you can do anything you want with your 'real estate' You can lease it or sell it to make money on it if you decided too. Its an investment worth making.

  5. MJ
    August 22, 2010 at 10:05 am

    I use siteground.com. It's only around $10 for a year and they have nice support.

  6. sbradfo
    August 14, 2010 at 10:02 pm

    so, what is a fare price for a Domain ?
    do you buy 1-2 years or look for 5 yrs. ?

    • Jack Cola
      August 15, 2010 at 2:00 am

      Domains are also like drugs, once you buy one, it's hard not to renew it.

      Depends what you want to do with it. If it's temporally, or you just starting up a new website and not sure if it will kick off, or you change your mind, just once year. But if you have an established business, 5 is recommended (in case you forget)

      But I usually go for once year registrations unless you got a really good deal with a 5 year one.

      • Pwnguins
        August 21, 2010 at 2:46 am

        I won a two-year license from Dreamhost (from the Geocities shutdown) and it expires in April. For the first ~8 months, it sat around with a basic HTML page I made in intro to web design class. Then I installed WordPress.org, and I'm blogging away writing tech reviews, and otherwise making me want to renew it more and more and more.
        Only get a domain if you're sure you want to renew it.
        (By the way, Dreamhost: nice one, making me want to renew my domain.)

        • pceasies
          August 21, 2010 at 3:42 am

          I got the same deal, really great offer, barely ever used my Geocities site, but happened to see the deal here or on Lifehacker and snagged it.

          I'd recommend registering your domain through a different company than the host.

        • Tina
          August 21, 2010 at 4:09 am

          If you register a domain in one place and have your web host in another, how do you best link your domain to its content hosted somewhere else?

        • pceasies
          August 21, 2010 at 5:02 am

          Domains have different "records" that you configure. You change the name servers to point to those of the web host then add the domain through your hosting account. It's fairly easy and only takes a couple minutes (though it may take a few hours for it to take effect). Your web host should have information telling you what name servers to use.

        • Pwnguins
          August 21, 2010 at 4:16 am

          I found it on Gizmodo!
          Same here--my Geocities was sitting around gathering virtual dust. Can you recommend any companies to register a domain with? 1&1, etc?

        • pceasies
          August 21, 2010 at 5:03 am

          I use GoDaddy since I had a $10 giftcard and got some good deals, but I've heard they take down domains a lot when they get any kind of complaint and it's hard to get your domain back and under your control again.

          I've heard very good things about Namecheap though.

  7. Jack Cola
    August 14, 2010 at 6:24 am

    I want to ask you a question. When you say webhosting companies give them away for free, you still have to buy hosting off them, so you are still essentially paying for them. As to your questions, about moving them, you want to contact the company that you purchased them off, because sometimes you can only keep that domain as long as you stay with them.

    But I've never payed for a domain name before, mainly because I won 10 at NameCheap :) Here's a short article I wrote about NameCheap http://www.jackcola.org/reviews/85-namecheap-the-best-place-to-buy-your-domains-from

  8. Ryan Dube
    August 12, 2010 at 12:25 am

    sbradfo - either way you look at it, you're paying for the domain. Yes, hosting companies will offer it for "free" as part of a hosting package, but ultimately they've just rolled the overall cost into the cost of the hosting package itself. I only purchase domain names through my hosting company because of the convenience, but I've purchased a few domains from GoDaddy as well when they were having a deal on bulk-domains. Some domain providers also offer anonymous registration which can be useful sometimes.

    So - the answer is, one way or another you're always paying for the domain name, even if it's packaged up as "free." And you're always free to move your domain anywhere you like - you own it.

  9. John McClain
    August 11, 2010 at 10:56 pm

    It's pretty much the same thing. You are still listed as the registrant/owner of the domain for as long as you're hosting with the provider.

    After your hosting with them expires, you are free to transfer the domain to another host/registrar or keep the domain registered with them (usually $10 a year).

  10. Steve Campbell
    August 11, 2010 at 10:56 pm

    Domain names are like real estate on the web. They can be used for websites relating to yourself, your business, a blog, or most anything else you can think of.

    The reason it's good to purchase a domain name as opposed to using a free one is:

    1) Once you buy it, you own it. It's yours to do what you please with.

    and 2) Traffic benefits. For example, if you get a free domain name like something.wordpress.com, and it starts getting popular and linked to by other sites, you will lose all of that link juice and recognition if you ever decide to move it to just something.com.

    There are other benefits to using your own domain name, but in most cases it depends on the purpose for acquiring said name.

    • John McClain
      August 11, 2010 at 11:12 pm

      Good points, Steve. I thought sbradfo was talking about buying just a domain name vs. getting one for free if you buy hosting from sites like HostMonster, Bluehost, etc.

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