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How to register a domain name for your website

How to register a domain name for your website
Written by othmane87

Your business needs a website, so it needs a domain name. The first step is to register a domain name, which can be daunting for beginners. Don’t worry: our guide will accompany you.

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How to register a domain name for your website

If you have decided to create a website, you have an important decision to make even before consulting our overview of the best web hosting services: what should your domain name be? You know, it’s the web address [websitename. extension] where all of your (hopefully) many customers will find you. Your domain name is basically your website name, so make sure you have a good one.

Buying a name is relatively easy, but finding a name that hasn’t been used can be difficult. You should also make sure that you understand the agreement between you and the domain name registrar. If this all sounds a bit complicated to you, don’t worry – this guide can get you started.

Once you have decided to create a website, you must make an important decision even before consulting our summary of the best web hosting services: What is your domain name? This is the web address [name of your website. extension] where all of your (hopefully) numerous customers will find you.

The domain name is actually the name of your website, so you need to make sure you have a good one. Buying a name is a relatively easy process, but finding one that isn’t already busy can be a challenge.

Also, make sure you understand the agreement between you and the domain name registrar. If this all sounds a bit complicated to you, don’t worry – this introduction will help you get started.

Domain Names Defined

Domain names put a friendly face on hard-to-remember numeric Internet addresses. Every computer on the Internet has a unique Internet Protocol (IP) number. A domain name represents one or more IP numbers. For example, the IP number of the whitehouse.gov domain name is 104.109.178.94. The purpose is to provide users with an easy-to-remember name so that when you email the President of the United States, you can type president@whitehouse.gov instead of the more cumbersome president@104.109.178.94.

Anyone can buy a domain name. To do this, you visit a domain name registrar such as A2, GoDaddy, or Namecheap, enter the domain you want, and pay a fee. Of course, you can’t buy just any domain, only one that has not yet been registered by another person or company and has a valid domain extension. 

In general, we recommend that you choose a short and catchy name that is easy to remember and type, eg. B. “odownloadform”. That good search engine optimization (SEO) is also common sense. You may also want to do some research on key terms for your business. If you can get a good name for your website, so much the better from an SEO standpoint.

You will find that many of the shorter and more memorable names have already been taken, especially if you are in an area already well represented on the web. To make matters worse, cyber squatters often buy these cool names as an investment to later resell to legitimate potential website owners (more on that later).

If you are having trouble finding a domain name (due to overcrowding or hiding on the internet), you should use the help function on the relevant registrar’s website. Domain registrars usually offer search engines that return a list of available names similar to the desired name.

If eg. For example, searching for a domain name on Namecheap will give you both the status of that name and a list of available suffixes for that name. Maybe [sitename] .com isn’t available, but [sitename] .biz or .org is.

The suffix factor

The suffix identifies the name as belonging to a specific top-level domain (TLD). Several TLDs are available for general purchase, including .com, .edu, .game, .green, .hiphop, .net, and .org. By far the most popular of these is .com, which was originally intended for commercial websites but has come to encompass almost everything.

Depending on your domain name and extension, you’ll have to pay $ 1 per year to Scrooge McDuck. If you are looking for a coveted domain with a popular extension, you may need to open your wallet because someone else has probably already registered it. 

For example, Carinsurance.com sold for nearly $ 50 million (Opens in a new window)! As mentioned, there is also a thriving industry of squatters looking to sell domains (even those that are obviously less important than Insurance.com) for profit. Some of them will ask you to place an offer, stating that anything under $ 500 will be ignored.

Web Hosts and Domain Names

However, it is not necessary to use a special registration service to purchase a domain name. The best web hosting services like DreamHost, HostGator, and Hostwinds regularly offer a registration mechanism as part of the registration process. Hosting services usually offer a free domain name when you sign up for a web hosting package.

However, keep in mind that free domain names are usually only free for a year or two; thereafter, the registry charges an annual or biennial fee. In other words, the provider of the free domain name only pays the first registrar bill.

Also, pay attention to whether or not the provider charges a fee for creating a domain name. Most services offer porting of an existing domain name to their servers for free, but sometimes there is a setup fee on top of the registrar’s fees.

Keep in mind that not all web hosts offer you the option of registering a domain name. For example, Cloudways is a solid web host that requires you to purchase a domain name from another provider.

The registrars offer a wide range of registration periods: one year, three, five, and even ten years. However, be careful if you sign up for more than a year. First, there may be restrictions on domain name transfer if the registrar provides poor service. Second, the registrar can go out of business, leaving your domain name unhosted. Check the guidelines carefully.

The domain contract

We all would like to believe that once we buy a domain name, it belongs to us forever and under all circumstances. This is not necessarily the case. Before paying, make sure you know what you are getting. The contract entered into with the registrar can have many effects on you.
 
Many registrars reserve the right to revoke the domain name for certain reasons, typically if the domain is used for illegal or unacceptable purposes (e.g. spamming). Many contracts contain a clause that allows the registrar to cancel the domain name for no apparent reason. The implication, of course, is that the domain name belongs to the registrar, not you.
 
In addition, almost all registrars reserve the right to make changes to the registration agreement at any time without notifying the user. The point is, that every registrar needs to be carefully vetted.
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The game of waiting

Even if you register and pay for your domain name, you may not be able to use it for several hours or even a few days. The domain needs to be propagated, which means updating the official domain name registration with your website’s Domain Name System information. This is done in the backend without requiring user intervention.
 
Some registrars promise to publish the name almost immediately, but the delay can be up to seven days. In general, however, you should expect the domain name to be up and running on the Internet within 48 hours.
 
You can also transfer your domain name from one registration service to another. It is advisable to do this if you are not satisfied with your current domain hosting service if you find a better offer when your current registration expires or, most likely, if you are subscribed to a web hosting service that also transfers the name on his site. Expect to get the free transfer, but if that’s not offered, look for another domain hosting service.
 
Under no circumstances should you pay more to transfer a name than for a new one. Check what is needed for the transfer. Does the new service fully handle the task? Or do you need to go to the current registrar’s website and manually change the technical details? Finally, before registering your domain name, check the registrar’s transfer policy.
 
Normally it is not possible to transfer a name in the first 60 days of registration, but the period can be much longer. Don’t expect a registrar to refund you the money you paid for months of services you won’t use.
 

For more information on the basics of building a website, see How to Create a Website, 7 Things to Know When Building an Ecommerce Site, and How to Get Started with WordPress.

How to register your domain name for free

Are you looking for a free domain name? There are several domain registrars, website hosting providers, and website builders that offer free domain names, usually in conjunction with the purchase of another service or for free, but with some customization limitations.

1. Bluehost

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Bluehost is a web hosting provider that offers you a free domain name for a year with the purchase of their web hosting plan. If you’re looking for both a domain name and a web hosting provider to get your business online, this is a great way to save on the first year’s cost by adding the domain name for free to an already planned purchase.

2. GoDaddy

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Another web hosting provider, GoDaddy, offers free domain names when you purchase one of their hosting plans. GoDaddy is popular for its low hosting plan fees and its additional security tools that scan and remove malware and secure your website.

3. Wix

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Wix is ​​a popular drag-and-drop website builder that lets you register a domain name for free as long as it includes the Wix name. That means even if you get your domain name for free, it will be yourdomainname.wix.com. This is a trade-off to consider when registering a domain name for free.

4. WordPress

WordPress also offers a free domain name, although it appears as tuonomedominio.wordpress.com. If you register your domain name here, you can also easily create your website with WordPress. WordPress is the most widely used content management system, so it’s easier to add functionality with plugins and get support when needed.

5. Weebly

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Like Wix, Weebly offers easy website building with a free domain name that appears as tuositoweb.weebly.com. You have limited access to website building features, but you save on annual domain name fees. This is a good option for temporary or simple websites.

Build your business by registering your domain name

After weighing the pros and cons of free and paid domains, you should start looking for the perfect domain name. Domain names can sell out quickly – and the competition is a little tougher than Symbolics was in 1985 – so it’s important to register the name you want before it’s too late.
 

Registering a domain name is quick and easy, but it takes time to come up with the right name, choose the optimal suffix and find the right domain registrar for you. Therefore, there is no better time than now to start registering your domain name.

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