Registration of my first domain name at “Star Domain” in Japan

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Where to buy my first domain name in Japan?

This is about how I, as a beginner, chose “Star Domain” brand to buy my first domain name. I will summarize it briefly so that I do not have trouble at the next time I acquire a new domain.



What is your own domain name?

Your own domain name is the top page URL of the site. Each one is unique.

In my case, “wish-you-well.com” is a domain name. In addition to “com”, there are dozens of different names such as “jp”, “net”, “work”, “biz”, “me”, “tokyo”, etc. and each name is a separate domain.

Cost of maintaining your own domain name

You can buy your own domain name at domain companies’ site. After registering it, the maintenance cost (annual renewal cost) is continuously charged as long as you own that domain name.

Acquisition and renewal costs differ slightly depending on the domain company you are dealing with. Even though you buy the cheapest domain name, in many cases its renewal cost may not be cheap enough, or even much expensive than the other one, costing high as several thousand yen. I recommend that you carefully compare and examine the price list of each company, not only the costs of acquisition but renewals too.

If you don’t need to keep a domain name longer, then you don’t need to think about the renewal cost.

Compared to server maintenance costs, you can spend less on your own domain name anyway. Some buy more than 100 domains at a bargain sale price for a temporal use.

In many cases you cannot get the domain name you want, why?

You think about you favorite URL, only to find it already taken by someone else. Such case is most likely if you want “com” name which is the most popular.

To save your time, check the availability of your domain name at companies’ site frequently every time you come up with an URL. Even if your “com” domain name is taken, you may still have chance to get “net”, “org”, “work” or others. Since “com” is the most popular, it is the most difficult to obtain.

Also, if you just add a hyphen between words, your phrase may become available. Try a variety and have fun.

If you are particularly fond of a specific words, there is a used domain market and you can rather choose to wait patiently until the current owner let it go.

Why did I choose “Star Domain”?

Of the domain sales companies, I considered the following three:

There are many others. I picked up companies that are famous and having favourable reputations. Among these three I chose Star Domain from the cost-oriented viewpoint rather than the contents of their optional services.

Onamae dot com is super famous, offering the lowest acquisition price and lots of varieties of domain names. However their renewal fee is not among the lowest.

Muumuu Domain is a same group company of GMO as Onamae dot com. They offer an optional services such as providing an email address. I personally just didn’t like the sound of “muumuu”, and that is the reason why I finally passed it over.

Star Domain have quite rather small varieties of domain names to deal with, however it’s fine to look for common names like “com”, “jp”, “net” and so. If you need to keep a domain name for a long term, running costs are the lowest here.

Benefits

Inexpensive

If you only calculating an acquisition cost, Onamae dot com wins. However, if you look at the renewal cost (annual), This company is the best deal in the end. If you are willing to maintain a limited numbers of domain names for a long period of time, it is highly recommended to check the renewal cost thoroughly.

On the other hand, if you are to use domain names only for a short period of time, or collecting hundreds of them without updating, then choose other companies with lower acquisition costs.

 

A free server comes with it.

When you purchase a domain name at Star Domain, you will receive a free server that can use WordPress.

Not only Star Domain, but other server companies too offer the similar option services. However, the prices tend to be slightly higher than the company which solely sells domain names.

Also, some server companies have the option to give one domain name free of charge to the server subscriber. In this case, at some companies only the acquisition fee may be free only, while at other companies everything may be free including acquisition fees and annual renewal fees.

Basically it is much more convenient to manage the domain name and the server in the same company. However, in the case where you move server to a new host in the future, it is a little troublesome if you manage the server and domain name in the same company. I don’t think the possibility of my moving a server in the future is zero, so I decided to manage the server and domain name separately.

Disadvantages

The brand name is confusing

This is not limited to Star Domain, but sometimes their brand names are confusing because they are different from their operating company. For example, when you save a shortcut of Star Domain, it displays as “netOwl” instead of “Star Domain”. I personally often have difficulty finding shortcut for Star Domain. Rename the shortcut, then it will be done, though.

 

Net Owl Points cannot be applied for renewal fees

Actually, this is not a disadvantage either.

Each time you use netOwl‘s services, “net owl points” will be accumulated, that can be applied for the payment of services within netOwl, except renewal fees. This is rather an advantage and it is thankful that such points are accumulated.

Summary

From a budget-oriented point of view, I would buy here again if I need another domain name in the future.

No matter which company you choose, there is no difference in the domain name itself. The preference to choose a domain company depends on whether you are budget-oriented,  service-oriented or product variety-oriented. Think about your need first, and what you value in the end.

If you’re budget-conscious, I guess Star Domain is for you.

 


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