In order for people to access a website, they must first enter in its associated domain name. This is a word or phrase that denotes the name of the site and/or summarizes what it is about. Even free web hosting companies offer domain names, but there's an essential difference. With free web hosting companies, the domain names offered are in the form of third level domain names.
This means their domain name must be included when a person is trying to access the third level domain. The only problem with this is that it makes a domain name long and hard to remember. For this reason it's best if a person considers just buying their own domain name. And with the availability of cheap domain names, it is possible to get one that is very affordable.
Cheap domain names can range from being completely free to around $6.95. Usually free domain names that are worth anything are included with a web hosting package. So, a customer is technically still paying a fee. The other types of domain names that require a fee can be purchased separately without a web hosting package. The prices for these start at $1.00 and go up from there.
When a person purchases a cheap domain name, the overall registration process is the same as it would be for regularly-priced domains. This means that first they would have to see if their domain name is available. To do this they must enter in their desired domain name in a special text box, then select the extension they want. If the domain name is available, they are free to purchase it. If it is not available, they will have to choose another domain name. Cheap domain name companies will offer suggestions on alternative domain names when this scenario occurs.
Are there any downsides to using cheap domain names? Unfortunately, yes. If a cheap domain name company is unscrupulous, a person may never receive a domain name at all. What happens is the company tells the customer to wait a few days for the domain name to become active. However, at the end of the timeframe, the domain name still doesn't work. And since the company is unscrupulous anyway, emailing customer service won't do anything.
How can a person ensure they don't encounter a fraudulent cheap domain name company? First and foremost they need to check to see if it is registered with the Better Business Bureau. This is an organization that ensures businesses are operating in a legitimate manner. Secondly, they need to see if the company has normal contact information, such as an address and a telephone number. Thirdly, they should see if the company has a bad reputation on message board dedicated to webmasters. Of course, one may not always get an opinion on a particular company but if they do they will know to stay clear of it.
Yet, if a cheap domain name company is legitimate, there is no other disadvantage to getting a discounted domain name. They work just like regularly priced domain names, so if a person has one available to them they definitely need to take advantage of it.