Whether you want it or not, your website needs a domain name, i.e. an address where it can be found, launched and displayed in a browser window. This is your unique address in the digital world so it is good if it is as short and easy to remember as possible. If you are thinking of launching your own website, for example for your own company, it is good if the name of the company appears in the address. A trivial example of a company Applewww.apple.com (apple.co.uk), you probably know plenty of other examples yourself. Check if the name of your company is free and register it. If you are launching a website for a brand or for a specific product, it would be ideal if the domain name included its name, etc... The issue of choosing domain names is quite wide, for a separate text, which I will commit to by the way. Now it is enough to realise that a domain name should be easy to remember and it is nice if it refers directly to what we can see at its address.

Extensions

When registering a domain, you will notice that it can have a whole bunch of different extensions, such as .com, .net, .xyz, .club and hundreds of others. Shall I be honest? Forget about them. If you want to operate on the Polish market, don't mess around with domains, choose a national one .pl and you're done. If you want to operate more broadly, check out .com as well, and forget about the rest. Don't be persuaded to buy many extensions just to "lest someone else registers them". It's stretching your money. Only if you are planning a big project it may make sense, but if you want to launch a website for your small business, not to mention a private project, deciding on such a step will only slim your wallet. If you have too much money, ok your choice, but if not and you want to approach the topic rationally, then buy one good domain and that will be enough.

Where and for how much

Key question. Each domain (extension) has its own price list. Some of them cost a few dozen PLN, others a few thousand a year. We will focus on our native domain .pl, on which in my opinion you should rely. At the beginning a few words of introduction. The .pl domain is managed by one institution in Poland, which is the Research and Academic Computer Network (NASK). Its page dedicated to country domains (.pl), functional domains (e.g. com.pl) and regional domains (e.g. waw.pl) can be found at www.dns.pl
A few years ago anyone could directly register domains in NASK. They were not cheap because the cost of registration and renewal was 200 PLN net /year. However at some point NASK decided to move the direct customer service outside to its Partners, starting a special partnership program, which was slowly joined by external companies until NASK stopped the direct service altogether and now domains can only be registered and renewed at Partners. All companies that register .pl domains are intermediaries between the domain user and NASK. Their list can be found at the address http://www.dns.pl/porozumienie/partner.html

All NASK Partners work on the same conditions, which are transparent enough that NASK decided to officially publish the price list. This publication is interesting for us because we can easily calculate what margin a given Partner charges, i.e. how much does he really earn on us when we pay for registration or domain renewal. Partner price list is available at http://www.dns.pl/oplaty.html
As you can see, the cost of maintaining a .pl domain by NASK in the first year is 10 PLN net, and its renewal for the next year costs 40 PLN net. If we add VAT to this, we have successively 12,30 PLN registration and 49,20 PLN renewal.
So how much do Partners charge us for mediation and customer service? Very differently. We will find companies like e.g. home.pl where you will pay round 0 PLN for registration, but for renewing the domain in the following years you will pay 99 PLN net, that is over 121 PLN (with VAT). In other words, we are happy that we registered the domain for free, but after a year we pay it back. This is a commonly used marketing trick, which despite the fact that a lot has been written about it, still works and allows leading hosting companies to earn huge money. OK, but we don't want to pay 121 PLN just to maintain the address, because it is only an address. Searching the offers of hosting companies we will find a lot of cheaper proposals, such for 100 zł, for 90, 80, 70, for 60, and even cheaper. In this field it is hard to compete with one player, OHV. Pay attention to their price list https://www.ovh.pl/domeny/cennik/ At the moment I am writing this, the registration of a .pl domain is PLN 9,95 net (as you can see, they add 5 groszy to the registration, because they pay PLN 10 to NASK), and the renewal for another year is offered at the price of PLN 40,64 net (PLN 49,99 with VAT), which means that their margin is 64 groszy net. Hardly anyone gives such prices, although of course there are those who can go below 40 PLN net, like Gnum.pl - I must admit that it is an interesting pricing policy. Perhaps the assumption is simple. To catch a lot of domains, to which we pay extra penny each, and at some point gently increase the renewal price by even 1 PLN which with a large volume of domains may give quite a substantial income from day to day. Of course you do not know when and by how much the price will rise.
If we have a domain for cheaper, does it mean that this service is worse than what we have at home for 99 PLN net? Not at all. Both home and ovh are intermediaries in domain registration, which is finally kept in NASK system. So it doesn't matter at all whether you register the domain in company X or Y, because it always lands in NASK and the partner only issues an invoice and offers help if needed. So is there any sense in paying more, sometimes even more than twice as much? I do not know about you, but I say NO.

And regarding support, this is also one of the most important factors that should help you make your decision. It's worth browsing forums and various groups where people talk about domain registrars and share their opinions on the quality of customer service. For my part, when it comes to domains, I recommend OVH. I have never had the slightest problem with them in this field.

How to register a domain

Now that we know where to register an address for our website, it's time to register. I recommend OVH because of not only the price, but the fact that they are a serious player and you should have no problems. Some small companies give low prices but then fail, go out of business and there can be unnecessary problems. Domain is a low hassle service and if there is a problem with the performance of the site having to do with the domain it is usually a missed renewal date, but it is hard to blame the operator for that 🙂 I'd say that's a good thing.
Of course remember that when registering a domain anywhere in any promotion usually the partner protects himself against possible migration to another company and if before the first renewal you would like to switch e.g. from home to ovh because it is cheaper, it may not be so easy. Although no NASK partner has the right to prevent you from transferring your domain, they can charge you a penalty fee as stipulated in the regulations of a given promotion. So if you don't have a domain yet and you want to register it, register it where your wallet will feel the least and the company has a stable position on the market. After such a choice you will probably have no reason to move the domain somewhere else.

Registration is very simple. On the main page www.ovh.pl you will find a form with the help of which you can check availability of a given domain (address).

domain registration form

Type in e.g. mojafirma.pl and click on the button Order/Transfer'. (just for information: the transfer option is used to transfer the domain from another NASK partner). In the situation when our domain is free we will see more or less something like this:

free domain

The only thing left to do is to click on the Continue button and go through the ordering process. On the way, OVH will offer you an additional service DNS Anycast to optimise the response speed of DNS servers, it is not necessary to enable the DNSSEC (free of charge). If you will be using OVH DNS, you can enable it, if you want to use your own DNS or a hosting company's DNS then it does not matter much. I will prepare a separate article on DNS for those interested, at this stage it is enough that we know that such a thing exists and that it allows to direct the traffic for a given address to a specific server (IP number) in the network. Next, OVH will offer us hosting. As I mentioned, we can find it cheaper, especially if we want to start something small, but the resources offered by OVH are in my opinion a bit too much. We decide and move on. At the end we have to make a payment because the domain will be physically registered only after that. That is the whole way to become a rightful owner of a unique address.

If you have any problems, you are of course welcome to my training on the creation of websites on WordPress, where we can also explore this topic in greater depth.

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8 Comments

  1. Hi, I have a question, if I have registered a small domain, for my own use, do I need to do anything else apart from simply placing an order with ovh?

  2. Just out of curiosity, I have this question: is it possible that a registration company refuses or makes it difficult to register a free domain (for various reasons) and in the meantime registers it itself? Obviously in order to resell it for more money? How can I protect myself against such a case? How can I prove that my application was the first? Does anyone know the answer to this?

    1. The general principle of domain registration is simple. It is used by the one who pays for it first. Until January 8, 2020 in the case of .pl domains there was such a thing as reservation. You placed an order for a domain and you had "dibs" on it for 14 days. However, this has been abolished and now you can order it, but until you pay for it it will still be available for registration for everyone. It does not matter that you ordered it a week earlier. Someone else did the same thing today, but they paid for the domain immediately and it is theirs. You are not in a position to achieve anything, unless the domain is a registered by you name, e.g. your brand. Then you can try to fight. Otherwise, you have to accept the fact that someone was faster. If you have concrete evidence that the registrar intentionally blocked the registration, you can report it to NASK - as long as it is a .pl domain, but whether you will achieve anything... I think it is unlikely.

  3. Thank you very much for your answer.
    I have one more question. If I transfer a .pl domain from OVH to e.g. Home, will the price for its renewal stay the same as in OVH or will it change to the prices that Home has in its offer?

    1. It will be like the one in OVH

  4. Hi, after typing in the OVH search engine the domain I am interested in pops up "available for transfer 0.00 PLN". Does this mean that I can transfer it for free from another operator to OVH.

    1. A domain transfer is the possibility to transfer a domain from registrar X to Y. In other words, if you already have a domain in company X, you can transfer it to company Y. In the case of .pl domains this operation is free of charge, that is why you see the price of 0 PLN. However, the condition of the transfer is owning the domain. As I understand it, you do not own the domains whose availability you are checking, so you will not be able to transfer them. You have to search until you find a name available for registration.

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