How to Register Your Own Domain Name

Would you like to establish an online presence for yourself and/or your business? In 2019 it’s absolutely essential that you do. Whether you’re looking to solidify your brand, make your business more credible, or get more customers and exposure – having a website is the key.

If you have a website, you should seriously consider registering your own domain name. A domain name is a name like “thesitewizard.com” or “thefreecountry.com”, which you can use to refer to your website. Note that you do not have to be a company or organisation (“organization” if you use a different variant of English) to register a domain name. Any individual can do it too.

Domain names are your gateway to the online world. Once you have a brilliant idea for a website or blog, then you’re going to want a compelling domain name to go with it.

The first step towards creating a game-changing website is to register a domain name.

How Important is the Domain Name?

It’s your “first impression”. Your URL is the first thing your visitors will see. A good domain name can make a positive and lasting impression while a bad domain name can send visitors running.

It affects SEO. While exact match domains (EMDs) are no longer a necessity, keywords in your domain name can still help your SEO ranking.

It defines your brand. Your domain name is a branding opportunity. The right domain name can increase brand recognition.

Advantages of Having a Registered Domain

Adds credibility – having a registered domain name gives internet users an idea of what the business is all about and gives potential visitors to your website confidence in your brand.

Makes your business easier to find – use your domain name to introduce your business and make it easy for users to find you on the internet even if you change your web hosting site.

Email – Registering a domain name usually gets you a professional email address as well. Customers are more likely to trust businesses whose staff members have professional business emails.

What is a Domain Name Registrar?

To put it simply a domain name registrar is a service that lets you register and purchase domain names. Domain name registrars have been accredited by ICANN (Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers), which is a non-profit who has been delegated the responsibility to manage the Domain Name System. Without the domain name system all we would have is confusing and hard-to-remember IP addresses, instead of the easy to use and remember domain names we have today.

How to Register Your Own Domain Name

If you want to register a domain name, here’s what you need to do. Please read it all before acting.

  1. Think of a few good domain names that you’d like to use. It won’t do to think of only one. It might already be taken (it probably is). You may be interested in my other article with some tips on choosing a domain name. There’s more to it than meets the eye.
  2. You will need either a credit card or a PayPal account to pay for the domain, so make sure you have this before continuing. This is a requirement of most if not all registrars. It will allow you to claim and get the domain name immediately upon application. This is not an option (unfortunately).
  3. If you already have a web host, obtain from them the names of their primary and secondary name servers. Don’t worry if you don’t understand what these things mean. Just save the information somewhere. The information can usually be obtained from their FAQs or other documentation on their site, usually under a category like “domain name” or “DNS” or “domain name transfer” and the like. If you can’t find it, email them. You’ll need the information to point your domain name to your website after you buy your domain. Having said that, if you don’t have a web host yet, don’t worry. Just read on.
  4. If you do not have a web host, you can always allow the registrar to park your domain name at a temporary website specially set up for you. This way you can quickly secure your domain name before it’s too late and still take your time to set up the other aspects of your site. As far as I can tell, most registrars (or probably all) automatically park your domain by default whether you ask them to or not, so if this is your situation, you probably don’t have to do anything special to get it done. If this is the first time you are setting up a website, this paragraph probably applies to you, since you are unlikely to have a web host at this point. In other words, just skip to the next step.
  5. Once you are at the registrar’s site (see below for a list of registrars), you will be given the option to enter the domain you want, usually into a search box of some kind. The site will then search to see if the name is available. If it is, and you still want it, proceed to enter your details (name, address and telephone number) and pay for it. On completion, the domain will be yours.

Cost of a Domain Name

There are a number of factors that affect the cost of a domain:

Your choice of TLD – certain TLDs are more expensive than others. .com domains are the most expensive, followed by .biz and .org.

The length of words, certain words, or word combinations – Using popular keywords or phrases will make domain names more expensive.

The term length of domain name registration – on average, registering a domain name for one-year costs $2-$20. Renewing a domain costs around $4 more than registration. If possible, when registering your domain, try to register for 2-3 years instead of one year to save on renewal costs.

Add-ons – along with domain name registration, subscribers can opt for add-ons such as domain privacy and web hosting. This comes at an additional cost.

Buying a domain name that is already owned – It is possible to buy a domain that is currently owned by someone else in a bidding process, but this usually costs more than registering a new domain.

Domain registrar discounts – At times, domain registrars offer discounts. A .com domain name that would usually cost around $10-13 per year can go down to as low as $2-3 per year during special discounts.

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