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The first and most important, vital aspect of having your website designed is the registration of your domain name. This is something that you can do or you can allow your web design firm or contractor to register it.
The better thing to do would be to register it yourself. And it is best to use one of the more reputable domain registrars, such as:
  1. Go Daddy (www.godaddy.com)
  2. Register.com (www.register.com)
  3. Network Solutions (www.networksolutions.com)

The three registrars I have mentioned above are among the highest ranked top level domain registrars known. These companies offer much more flexibility in administration, which is something that you want, especially if you want to retain as much control over your domain as possible.

The most important features that you want to be able to control and have access to with your domain name are:
  1. DNS (Domain Name Servers) Administration- This is the feature that controls the pointing of your domain to the server that hosts your website.
  2. WhoIs Contact Information - This is important because you need to have all your contact information reflected here. This is information will show and prove that you own the domain name.
  3. Locked/Unlocked Status - This feature keeps the domain locked or unlocked which is important when attempting to process a transfer to another registrar.
  4. Authorization Code - This code is needed when you are transferring from one registrar to another.
If you have registered your domain with a registrar and DO NOT have access to all of these features together in your account, you need to change registrars immediately. Registrars that do not allow access to these features make it extremely difficult to transfer your domain.

Be aware that if you allow someone else to register your domain that you lessen the degree of control that you have over your domain. Unless you have a good rapport and relationship with your web design firm or contractor, it is recommended that you register your domain yourself.