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Public Domain vs. Private Domain—What To Choose?

Having a registered domain name is a prerequisite when starting an e-commerce store. A domain name is a sequence of letters separated by periods (“.”) that point to a unique IP address. This address is what identifies your website from every other website on the Internet. When you register a domain name, you own that domain for a specific period of time. This can range from from 1 – 10 years before you have to renew it.

However, before registering your domain, you need to decide whether you want a private or a public domain. There are more than 100 million registered domain names. Most of them are public. So, how is a public domain different from a private domain? Are there any advantages or disadvantages with each? Read on to know more.


Public Domain

What is a public domain?

As the name suggests, a public domain has everything available to the public. Anything that is published on a public domain is one whose copyright has expired, inapplicable, or has been forfeited.

When you register your website as a public domain, all the personal information you provide on your website while registering it can be accessed by anyone. This doesn’t mean that the information will be available on your website. Interested individuals will need to do a WHOIS search to get details about the webmaster.

Unfortunately, spammers and scammers on the Internet are always searching for domain records to get your name, email, phone number, and even your physical address. That’s how they spam websites. That’s also the reason why more website owners are opting for private domains.

Private Domains

Unlike public domains, when you opt for private domain registration, your personal details stay hidden. There are many reasons why you should opt for a private domain, and more so when you’re running an e-commerce store. Here are some of them:

To Protect Your Privacy

The risk level associated with a public domain is much higher when compared to private domains. Private domain registration ensures that anyone looking for domain names in for ill intentions will only find the name of your proxy server.

To Prevent Your Website For Spammers

When you have a public domain registration, you don’t have control over who accesses your private details. You can easily become the target of people that are looking to exploit you. Spammers can infiltrate your business email system and cause problems for you and your customers. Telemarketers scouring through the WHOIS database is also pretty common.

Enjoy Complete Control

With a private domain, you keep your personal information out of the WHOIS database. It’s up to you what you want to make available to the public. It is best to provide safe contact information that both you and your customers are comfortable using.

To Disguise Your Email

When you choose private domain registration, your registrar provides you with a unique email address that keeps changing in the WHOIS database. This keeps spammers at bay. Emails sent to this address are filtered for spam. Only valid emails are redirected to your private email account.

What To Choose?

Private domain registration is obviously more expensive than its public counterpart. The renewal cost is more double. This is something that you should keep in mind if you’re looking for a private domain.

There’s no harm in choosing a public domain, but make sure you only put information that you’re okay with having out in public. Have the company phone number or email address, not your personal ones. For many customers, registering a public domain makes them trust your company more, since you’re giving out real information. But there’s always the risk of being spammed.

When you go for private registration, your information stays protected. Most registrars give you a unique email address as well.

The choice depends entirely on you. Make the decision on what information you’re giving to the registrars and whether you want to protect the information from the public. Many people out there don’t know that they can opt for a WHOIS lookup to get registrant information. Registrars like OpenSRS are trusted by e-commerce solution providers like Shopify. They offer complete privacy protection and protect your website from spammers at low costs.

If you’re running a legitimate business and your website provides enough information for someone to contact you, invest a bit more and stay protected from spammers and scammers. When registering your domain, just do a domain name check. If the name is available, tell your registrar that you want a private registration.

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