If you're in business, one of the most important things to you may be your ability to establish an internet presence. Operating some type of functional web site for your business helps your customers find you, can present additional marketing opportunities through e-commerce, and offers advertising opportunities that you can not get elsewhere. Companies that do not have a web site lose business to companies that do all the time.
Of course the real key to your web site is the internet domain registration. Everybody wants www.mybusiness.com ? the problem is that domain names are unique and can be taken by anyone. If you don't register your desired domain name right away, someone else could take it. The fact is that internet domain registration can turn into a sneaky competitive game. In many cases business owners have gone to register a domain name and found that it had been registered years before they every started the company by some group that is in the business of registering domains and then turning around and selling them for exorbitant rates.
A humorous story came from the 2005 municipal election in North Las Vegas, Nevada when one candidate realized that the incumbent mayor had not registered an internet domain name. The incumbent registered the mayor's name dot com and as many variants of it that he could come up with, literally stealing the Mayor's plans for a web site out from under him. The tactic didn't win him the election, but the candidate managed to annoy the mayor quite a bit and still owns the internet domain registration names to this day.
The key to avoiding these sorts of problems lies in early registration of your desired domain name. If you find the one that you want (or a close variant of it), register it immediately. Even if you're not prepared to set up a web site yet or won't be for several years, register the domain right away anyway.
Registering a domain name before being ready to set up its web site will require the domain name being transferred to the servers of your desired host when you are ready to establish the site. Transferring the domain name once you have selected a web host is a very simple process, but does require you to establish the change with both the registration company and the new host. The new host will provide you with the server information that you, in turn, will need to provide to the company with whom you originally registered the domain. There may be a short waiting period (typically 24 to 72 hours) while both servers get the information updated. Once that process is complete, you'll have your domain safely residing on your host's servers and your site (as long as it's been built) will be ready to go.
The internet domain registration and transfer for your business web site is a simple process and can be completed through automated online systems in most cases. Clearly the most important part of this process is the registration of the domain name and this should always be done as soon as possible, even if it is going to be years before you're ready to get the actual web site up and running.
John Michaels is a freelance author for WebHostPacks.com where he regularly publishes articles on how to find a cheap web host and reviews of low cost web hosting services.