Securing a domain name for your website is the first step towards establishing an online presence for your company. It lays the foundation of your brand, providing a pathway for your customers to find your business online and engage with your business.
If you are planning to take your business online, a domain name is an absolute necessity. Learn the process of registering a domain name today!
What is a Domain Name?
In simple terms, a domain name is a name that people can search for online to access your website via the internet. People use domain names to find and identify a website’s location on the internet.
Think of it as your street address but on the internet. Just as a GPS needs a street address or a zipcode before it can give you directions, a website needs a domain name in order for people to find it online.
A domain name has two main elements: a website name and a domain name extension. For example, with the domain name “Instagram.com,” the website name is Instagram and the domain name extension is the “.com” part.
Any combination of letters and numbers can form a website name. Once you combine the website name with any available domain name extensions, such as .com, .net, or .org, you will have created a complete domain name.
How Does Domain Name Work?
Domain names simplify the way you search for a website on the world wide web. Technically speaking, web browsers use IP addresses to find websites, and these IP addresses are comprised of a pre-specified series of numbers. These numbers provide information about the exact location of the server that hosts your website.
Since it is difficult to remember the numbers for websites, domain names soon replaced IP addresses when it came to identifying a website. Just like IP addresses are unique to each and every computer, all domain names are unique for the businesses they represent.
So, when a visitor types your domain name into a browser or a search engine, they will land on your website and no one else’s site. Since domain names are so unique, you must register your desired domain name before taking your business online.
Let’s take a look at the steps involved in registering your domain name!
Steps To Register Domain Name
Domain registrars register a domain name on your behalf. The primary role of the registrar is to coordinate claims on different domain names, ensure that the assigned domain names are unique, and match those specific domain names with domain name system (DNS) nameservers.
Registering with Domain.com
Step 1: Choose a domain name.
Go to Domain.com and type your required domain name in the search box to run a quick search and check the availability of a domain name. By default, it checks for the .com extension. If the domain name is not available with the .com extension, it will suggest multiple domain names and extension suggestions.
Step 2: Specify your desired add-ons.
From the list of suggestions, select the domain name that suits your needs the best. By default, the platform will add a 2-year privacy protection subscription to your cart if you proceed with your purchase of a domain name.
If you do not wish to add the subscription, just make sure to remove it in the next step. You can also choose to upgrade the default 1-year domain renewal period to 5 years in this step if you’d like a longer renewal period.
Domain.com also offers add-on services for enhanced user support during checkout. Some of these services include:
- A professional email address that matches your domain name
- Access to the drag & drop website builder
- A well-designed web hosting plan
- A website security tool called SiteLock
Step 3: Finalize your purchase by completing your payment.
After finalizing your selection, provide your payment information. Note that you cannot change your website name once you have finalized the payment so make sure you have inputted the domain name exactly as you want it to look online.
Registering with GoDaddy.com
Step 1: Choose a domain name.
Go to GoDaddy.com and type the domain name you want in the search box to check for the availability of your desired domain name. If you don’t have a domain name ready or you are still weighing your options, try any domain names that you’re considering.
If you don’t have any idea about what your domain name should be, try the suggestion feature. GoDaddy will suggest a list of domain names that you can look at and choose from if any of them grab your attention.
If somebody has already taken the domain name that you wanted, GoDaddy can arrange a broker-deal with the owner of that domain name. However, once this transaction is finalized, you will likely incur the following charges.
- A domain brokerage commission you will have to pay to GoDaddy
- The domain price set by the seller
- A yearly subscription price for the selected domain and any add-ons
Alternatively, you can queue up in GoDaddy’s domain back ordering service to reserve a domain name if and when the owner abandons the domain name or doesn’t renew their ownership on time.
Step 2: Select your preferred renewal period.
Select all of the top-level domains (TLDs) that you want to purchase and add them to your cart. Then, select your preferred domain renewal period. You can choose between 1 to 10 years. Once you make your decision, click on the Proceed to Checkout button.
Step 3: Choose the add-ons that you want.
During the checkout step, you can also choose addons, such as:
- A free “Coming Soon” page
- Additional domain privacy and security coverage
- An email address matching your domain name
Step 4: Create an account with GoDaddy.
Before moving on to the next step, make sure you understand that GoDaddy will charge a low first-year price but the renewal prices will be much higher. If you are okay with the costs associated with renewing your domain name through GoDaddy, go ahead and create an account using your email address or log in to GoDaddy using your Google or Facebook account.
Step 5: Finalize your purchase by paying.
Fill out all of the payment information, including the details of your valid payment method. Since the subscription will be set to auto-renew, make sure that your card is not near its expiration date because otherwise, your payment will be declined in the future.
Finally, double-check the content of your cart. Once you are sure that you want to purchase everything in your cart, go ahead and click on the Purchase button to finalize your purchase.
Registering with Namecheap.com
Step 1: Select a domain name.
Like the other domain name registrars, Namecheap allows you to run your desired domain name on the Namecheap home page to check the domain name’s availability. But unlike others, Namecheap has a surprising number of new TLDs.
For example, .art, .digital, and .luxury are some of the unique extensions that you can choose from amongst its 400+ available options. It also offers a Beast Mode search option to help you find alternatives if your desired domain name is not available.
Step 2: Choose add ons
Select a domain name that suits your company best. Once you have selected a domain name, move the name to your cart to begin the checkout process. As Namecheap provides lifetime-free WHOIS protection for each domain name, you don’t have to buy it.
Namecheap also offers yearly protection against DNS/DDoS attacks at no cost to you. If you need additional add-ons for your site, select them now before moving on to the next step. If you don’t need any add-ons, feel free to proceed.
Step 3: Create an account with Namecheap.
Before billing you, Namecheap will ask you to create an account. Since the website doesn’t offer an option to log in with Facebook or Google, you will have to use your own email address.
Step 4: Finalize the payment process.
Log in to the Namecheap dashboard, provide your payment details, select the relevant payment method and complete the purchase process.
Registering with Bluehost Web Hosting
Step 1: Choose a domain name.
On the Bluehost homepage, go to the Domains tab and enter your desired domain name in the search box. The search box offers .com as the default domain extension but it also provides other TLD options for you to peruse. Click Check to verify the availability of a domain name and an extension once you have confirmed your selection.
If the domain name you are looking for is not available, you can choose a domain name from the list of suggestions. You can also select multiple options. Click on the cart icon next to each of the options to add them to your cart for purchase.
Click on the Proceed button to move on to the next step.
Step 2: Choose add-ons.
You will see an array of add-ons that you can add to your cart on the next page, such as an email address matching your domain name or a free hosting plan.
You can skip the option of an email address and remove the free hosting plan from the cart if you don’t want them. Otherwise, click on Proceed with a 30-day trial of hosting to move to the next step.
Bluehost also auto-selects the Privacy Protection feature but it does cost you extra because Bluehost does not provide this feature for free. To remove the feature from your cart and avoid paying for it, click on the cross sign next to it.
Though you can’t uncheck the Auto-Renew setting option until you have finalized the purchase, you can cancel it through your account or Bluehost customer care after your payment is complete.
Step 3: Finalize your purchase.
Provide your payment details and choose your preferred payment method. Then, review your entries and click on Process Order to finalize the purchase.
Register a Domain Name for Your Website Now
A domain name lays the foundation of your online presence. As such, it is extremely crucial from a marketing standpoint. Make sure you choose your domain name carefully and renew it on time to avoid any downtimes or confusion.
Registering your domain name is the initial step towards building an online presence. Also, if you don’t have a hosting platform for your site, you will need to select one of those as well.
Use an SSL certificate to encrypt your website data and reserve a matching email address to build your credibility as a brand. There’s no better time than the present to start building your brand online.