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Buying a domain for your WordPress site

First things first: what is a domain? Put simply, it’s the bit you type in the box at the top to make the computer go to the internet page you want to read.

Why do you need a domain? A domain is the address that people use to find you online – your email and website for example.

At Pragmatic we are often asked whether we can buy a domain on a client’s behalf. Our answer is always: ‘sorry, but no’. Not because we’re being difficult you understand, or lazy. No, the reason for our reluctance to buy domains for clients are:

  1. It’s a core business asset. If you were lucky enough to own twitter.com then that has some serious value. Even if you only own paisley-tea-rooms.co.uk, it’s still your business’s address.
  2. Domain renewal – if domains aren’t renewed and a site goes down it can obviously seriously affect a business. That goes beyond what we would like to be liable for so we leave a company to be responsible for managing their own domains.
  3. You might want to do things beyond just making a website with their domain. Spam verification, google apps and so forth are beyond the services we offer therefore it makes sense for you to retain the ability to use your domain for these features.
  4. You should keep the contact details associated with your domain up to date so again it makes sense for you to have easy access to change this information.

We’d recommend registering your domains directly through Hover.com but there are plenty of others like Fasthosts, LCN.com or Gandi.net to choose from.

What next?

Once you’ve registered your domain, the easiest thing is to give us your control panel details so we can log in and make the changes we need. You can always change the password once we’ve finished. Alternatively, we can give you instructions on what you need to do to get your site live at your new domain!

We’d also recommend setting up email – Google Apps is your best bet here. We can set that up for you – it takes an hour of work so just let us know if you’d like us to do this and we’ll take things from there.

I leave you with this cautionary tale from www.sitepoint.com/forums/

“We had a local web designer who registered all his clients’ domains for them and arranged all their hosting – all in his own name. Not a problem – until he died suddenly.”