Fundamentals of a Website: Decoding Domains Webinar FAQS

Understanding what a domain name is and how to pick the right domain name can be critical when you’re beginning to build your web presence. You want it to be memorable and you want it to reflect your brand. We will cover questions like:

  • How do you pick the right domain name for you? 
  • What are the costs involved? 
  • How do you connect it to your website?  
  • Can you change your domain name down the road? 

It’s helpful to understand a few common terms that you’ll likely come across as you find the domain that’s right for you. It’s worth mentioning that most of this happens behind the scenes. You can build a very successful website without being deeply familiar with these terms and how they operate with your website.

  • Registrar A Domain Registrar is a company that has been authorized to manage and sell specific domains – a company like Bluehost for example. Most web hosts like Bluehost are domain registrars as well, but you are not required to buy your domain and your hosting from the same company.
  • Domain Privacy Part of the online regulations state that each domain must have contact information displayed publicly. However, domain privacy is a service that masks your contact information while still keeping your domain compliant. So you can enjoy privacy while staying within the rules.
  • Domain Name System Domain Name System(DNS, for short) is a phone book but for the internet. DNS is the way that human readable domain names like can be turned into addresses that computers and phones can use. This matters because if you change hosting providers for example, you will probably have to update DNS records to point to the new web host. We will cover more about what this means in the webinar.

Want to learn more about domains? Be sure to watch our webinar replay now!

Will changing where my domain is hosted affect my SEO? 

Changing your name servers will have very little impact(if any) on SEO. However, choosing a bad host CAN have an adverse impact on your SEO rankings. Slow site load times and downed servers can affect your rankings. Transferring the domain itself should have little to no impact on SEO.

Will changing the domain on my website affect my SEO?

Switching your website to a brand new domain can have serious SEO implications. Best practices advise that you keep your old domain and use a 301 redirect to push all traffic to your new domain until your new domain can build up credibility as the new page.

If I don’t renew my domain in time, can someone else buy it?

Short answer, yes. However, Bluehost holds domains in ‘redemption’ for 30 days after they expire so that the previous owner can claim them before it’s released as an available domain to the general public.

I hired a developer to set up my website/domain. How do I know if they purchased it under my name or theirs? Which is better?

Before you decide to hire a developer/designer, make sure that they know you want rights to your domain. Better yet, take the time to go and buy the domain yourself and use what we learned in today’s webinar to point it to the nameservers as suggested by your developer. If you’re already working with a developer, you can ask them to make sure the domain is registered under your(the site owner’s) name. If you have ownership, you should be able to log into the domain registrar.

Am I able to set up email addresses for the domain I purchased?

Yes! That is accessible from your Bluehost Dashboard, under “email”.

Is it worth it to buy alternate spellings of my domain?

That really depends on how people are going to be getting to your site. If you plan on people finding your site through ads, searches, and social media, alternate domain spellings won’t do much good. If you plan on advertising your site in a radio ad, then alternate spellings is probably a good idea to reserve. It can also be useful if you want to protect a brand to reserve the domain just so you can be sure only you have it. For example, if your domain ends in .com, and you think a competitor might take the .net version of your domain, you might want to get it before they can. But if you are a new business just starting out, it might not be as critical.

If I don’t want to pay for domain privacy should I just put a spam email address for my contact info?

Absolutely NOT. It’s worth securing your domain with domain privacy. If you put a spam email as the contact you could easily miss important notifications from the domain registrar about renewing your domain.

What happens to my files/emails if I transfer my domain?

You can buy your domain name and your hosting separately, or you can buy them together. You can change hosting providers without changing where you bought your domain, and you can transfer a domain without changing hosting providers. So if you move your domain, your files will stay in the same spot (unless you move your files too).

What if my desired domain name is the same as a trademarked name?

That depends. If you have a good reason to keep the domain, and you can show that you have a good reason to keep it, you will probably be able to keep the name. But if you only bought it so you can sell it to the company who owns the trademark, then they may be able to take the domain just by showing that they own the trademark. Also you probably want to have original branding, and not something that could be confused for another company so if someone else owns a trademark, maybe consider another name.

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Devin Sears
Devin Sears | Field Marketing Manager

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