How to Register a Domain Name (2022 Guide) – Forbes Advisor
Setting up a website is a crucial step in starting your business. Not only does it help people connect with you and learn more about the company, but your website is a reflection of your brand. Accordingly, it is important that your website’s domain name accurately and effectively reflects your business and brand. Registering your website domain name can be overwhelming for many new business owners. In this article, we break it down for you in a step-by-step guide so you can register your domain name and get your website up and running.
Step 1. Choose a domain name
Your domain name is essentially the name of your website. It’s the part of the URL that comes before “.com” or “.org”. When you’re choosing a domain name, you want something that’s memorable, easy to remember, and that goes with your business name and brand. Finding a domain name that is available and accurately represents your business and brand can be a challenge, depending on how common the name is.
You can check a domain name’s availability with a domain registrar such as Namecheap, GoDaddy, or Google Domains. In some cases, the domain name is “available” but comes with a hefty price tag – sometimes up to thousands of dollars. Unless you’re willing to pay a significant amount of money to get a domain name — and most people aren’t — you should consider the name with alternatives to the .com extension. In many cases, a domain name with .org or .biz or .net is available for free (or very cheaply).
In many cases, the domain name registrar will suggest similar available domain names. For example, if myperfectdomainname.com is not available, the registrar may suggest myperfectdomainname.biz.
Even if a domain name is available, you should check if the name is also available on social media to ensure your website and social handles are aligned.
Step 2. Choose a domain name registrar
While cost is definitely an issue, choosing a domain name registrar is a bit more complicated than finding the cheapest option. Some inexpensive domain name registrars may not have adequate data protection, and depending on your needs, you may want to consider using the same company for registering your domain name and hosting your website. For example, A2 Hosting and GoDaddy are also web hosting services which means you have a one stop shop for buying and registering your domain name and hosting your website.
On the other hand, you might be able to sign up with a web hosting service that also offers domain registration, such as B. DreamHost or HostGator. In these situations, however, it’s important to read the fine print, as domain name registration may only be included for a year or two, after which additional fees may apply. However, not all web hosting companies offer you the opportunity to register a domain name. In this case, you need to buy and register your domain name with one company and host your website with another company.
Step 3. Buy and register your domain name
Although it is possible to register your domain name for free and meet the requirements of the global ICANN registry, not everyone is happy with their private information being available in the public ICANN registry. A domain name registrar usually has the ability to provide ICANN with the information it needs while protecting your privacy. Because of this, many people choose to use a private domain name registrar to buy and register their domain name. This data protection may come with an additional fee.
Once you’ve decided on an available domain name, you can purchase the name for a small fee, typically around $10-$15 per year. This fee is typically paid annually, but some registrars offer multi-year terms. When registering the name, you should pay close attention to the duration of the registration.
Instead of opting for a long-term subscription, you might want to consider a shorter duration with auto-renewal. This way you still have the option to transfer your domain name to another company if you are unhappy with the service, but you are not vulnerable to the domain name being taken over by another party should it expire before you have the option to renew the registration.
You may also be able to bid on a domain name that you already own, but a word of warning: Depending on the popularity of the domain name, the cost can be quite high.
Step 4. Familiarize yourself with the domain name contract
The service provided by the domain name registrar, your rights and obligations, and the domain name registrar’s ability to make changes to the Agreement are all governed by the Domain Name Agreement. It’s important to read and understand the domain name contract so there are no surprises.
Step 5. Don’t lose the domain name
Renewing your domain name is crucial to ensure that you can continue to use the domain name. If you’ve selected the auto-renewal option with your domain name registrar, this step is as simple as making sure you have up-to-date billing information. If your domain name expires before you have renewed it, the name becomes available for others to purchase and you risk losing use of the domain name.
Step 6. Build your website
If you plan to use your domain name with a working website, next create your website. You’ll need to find a separate company to host the website if your registrar doesn’t offer both services. And if you lack the coding experience, you might want to use a drag-and-drop website builder like Weebly, Squarespace, or Wix to create your website.