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When you register a domain name, you include a bunch of personal information that is associated with your registration. This is stuff like your mailing address, phone number, and other personal contact information.
Not everyone is comfortable with having that information out there. And by “out there” I mean in the Whois database.
Every time you register a new domain it asks you for a bunch of personal information, just like most any account you sign up for. The difference between most accounts and domain name registration is that when you buy a new domain the registrar is required to register that information with ICANN – the “Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers”. To make a long story short, they’re the organization who is responsible for managing the domain name system.
The Whois database contains those registration details for domain registrations and is searchable by anyone. It’s a bit like an old-fashioned white pages entry in a phone book that had your land line phone number and your street address.
Back in the dark ages, before the internet the local phone company would deliver these giant tomes to your door and the first part of that book was a listing all names and numbers that had phone service. You could pay a little extra to have your information unlisted, and you wouldn’t appear in the book, although the phone company still had your information.
You can think of the Whois database in the same way for domain names, applied globally.
So if you’re not comfortable with having your information out there for whatever reason, it’s a good idea to opt for the private registration. It usually only runs roughly $10 or so which is a good deal.
You’re going to be working with your domain for a long time so it’s important to get things right when you’re picking one. It’s important to get the right one you won’t end up regret or one that you will end up needing to change in a couple years.
You want it to be memorable, to represent your project in the best possible way, and be an asset to your project.
Stay away from things that make your domain name confusing like numbers, hyphens and long names.
When you’re registering a domain remember to pick up the variations for other TLDs like .net, .org, and us and pick up the ones for your family that you may need some day.
Doesn’t matter what kind of site you’re creating there is a perfect domain out there for you. You may just have to do a little digging to find it.
Click here to to get access to a free cheatsheet that will guide you through all the steps you need to grab the best domain for your new website project.