Sadly all website domain name companies are not the same and you can easily get fleeced or embroiled in lengthy administration if you do not use the right company to register your website domain name.

Many people will choose the cheapest provider as it can save them money – maybe so, but usually only in the short term. We explain why choosing the cheapest option is very rarely the best option.

We see more and more customers who have purchased a website domain name early on in their business life and now want to do something a little more constructive with it.

Cheap is not the same as value for money

They were suckered into the “only £2.95 for your own website name” advert. So was it £2.95? NO. They had to buy if for two years and then they had to pay VAT, plus the registration fee (isn’t that what you are doing anyway). So they’ve ended up spending over £10 instead. “So What” We hear you say, it’s only a couple of pounds extra and it’s still cheap. Indeed, it is cheap, very cheap; and cheap is sadly not the same a value for money.

You’ve not read the small print have you? The small print that doesn’t say anything about ownership of the domain name or what you might have to do if you ever want to transfer it away to another provider.

Note: some of these companies are also not UK based so the VAT is higher than 20%

Transfer Away Fee

If you want to leave these cheap providers you’ll sadly have spend some cash to do it. No one ever told you at registration that you might have to do this and you probably never thought to ask or that there would be a charge to leave someone. Sadly this is very often the case.

Now try leaving them! You’ll firstly have to find the bizarre and obscure link hidden somewhere in the dark midst of their website to start the process or worst still you’ll have to call their premium rate hotline for 25 minutes to speak to someone (good luck with that).

When you do eventually find the right webpage or process to follow, you suddenly find that you’ve got to pay them some more money for them to stop supporting you. Sounds great huh!

One cheap provider has this on their release page:

Release Payment: “Pay an administrative fee to release the domain name from us. You are purchasing the right to the name, not the registration.”

We have no idea what this means, other than you need to pay them some more money for what you legally already own.

They also tell you “If you would like us to release the domain to you, please send us a confirmation email and we will add your Domain Transfer Package to your Shopping Cart”. Yet they do not tell you the email address to send the request to – so helpful.

You’ll soon regret going cheap

So are you getting the message yet, that right back at the start of all this when you made that great decision to save a fiver by choosing that really cheap company, you had a choice.

You could have chosen a professional domain management company, paid that tiny bit extra and had none of this trouble.

So what do you need to look out for?

When you are considering registering a new website domain name, make sure:

  • Transfer Away: You can see somewhere that tells you they do not charge to transfer your domain name away from them.
  • Try Contacting Them: Try contacting them BEFORE you buy anything to see how good their customer support is
  • Ask Them: Who owns the rights to the domain name ownership. IT MUST BE YOU

If you have any doubts about the above, walk away; run away; fast.

You have a choice as to who you use to register the most important single business asset you can buy for less than £20