The internet offers an almost endless pit of information when it comes to building a website, getting a business online and figuring out all the nuts and bolts, including domain registration. But with so much information available, it’s often difficult to see the wood through the trees. How do you know what is true and what isn’t when it comes to registering a domain in South Africa? 


If you’ve found yourself drowning in do’s and don’ts, must and must not’s, we’ve got a few myths to debunk so that you know exactly what is and isn’t important when it comes down to domain registration.

Domain name registration is a long process


Whether it’s a domain you’re after,  a .com or even .biz, domain registration is in fact a very quick and simple process. It might take some time to decide on the domain name you’d love to have, but once you’re ready and your idea is there, it’s a matter of searching for it with the service provider of your choice, choosing it and purchasing it.


The whole process can take as little as five to ten minutes and you’ll be set up and ready in no time.


A trademarked business name offers you full ownership to the same domain name


Unfortunately, just because you own a trademarked business name, doesn’t mean that no one else can use this name for their website. Trademark registration and domain registration are two very different things, and having a trademark does not allow you full legal ownership of the name on the internet. Large businesses have tried to fight this battle, and most often don’t succeed.

That doesn’t mean that you can’t secure a domain that works for your business though. While there are so many business names that overlap across South Africa and overseas, it can be tricky to find the right one to suit your business depending on your industry, but not impossible. 


You only need a domain if you are ready to build and publish your website


Just because you’re starting to get an online presence, doesn’t mean that you have to have a website built just after you secure your domain. The two don’t have to occur at the same time, especially if you aren’t ready yet.


You can take as much time as you need, as long as you keep your domain name up-to-date and it doesn’t expire. Whether it takes a week, a month or a year, as long as you’ve got a domain name, it’s up to you how and when you get your website live.


Domain registration is pricey


While some more in-demand domain names cost more than others, domain registration is offered at numerous price points to suit various budgets. Some are even as low as R99 a year. It all depends on what you want, as well as how many you want.


Registering your domain with a new extension is bad for your site security and SEO


With so many .com’s being taken up, newer extensions are popping up left, right and centre to help people secure their dream domain names. But just because they’re new doesn’t mean they’re not to be trusted. If an extension is available to use via a reliable and well-known service, it is authorized via the correct registrar and is as trustworthy as the longstanding .com, or .org.


The same goes for your search engine optimisation efforts. It’s a well-known fact that Google views all TLDs as equal.


Can a domain name be changed?


Once your domain name is registered, it’s formal and final until you decide not to renew it, but it cannot be changed. If you decide down the line that you no longer want to use it, it can be canceled and a new domain name registered.


Whether you’re ready to register your domain name today, or still considering all the facts out there, this should give you a bit more clarity to step into the new year with a solid online business growth plan.