How to register a domain name
In a previous article, we explained that the function of adomain name registraris to provide domain name registration services.
We also highlighted that the registration of a domain name and the actual hosting of a website with that domain name are two separate services. Most web hosts today however also offer free domain registration with the purchase of a web hosting plan from them.
Similarly, domain name registrars have also begun providing limited web hosting packages together with their domain registration services as the boundaries between the two traditionally separate services are blurred.
In this article, we will show you how to register your own domain name. We have used our own registrarNamecheap, to demonstrate the general steps involved.
1 : Check availability
The first step is to check if the domain name that you want for your website is still available. You can begin your search at any WHOIS search engine but most registrars also provide this function on their websites.
2 : Choose perfect domain name
If your desired domain name is unavailable, you can add a prefix or suffix to your keywords e.g. adding the prefix "the" to form thebrooklyncafe.com if brooklyncafe.com has already been taken. Alternatively, you can still use the take domain name but use a different top-level-domain (TLD) such as .net or .info instead. However this latter option is not encouraged as your visitors may be confused between the sites with the same names.
If your desired name is available, you will similarly be given a choice of using several top-level domains (or TLD) such as .com, .net, .org and .info. Do note that some TLDs have different prices due to the way they are treated by different search engines.
A ".com" TLD is generally the most preferred but if it is not available, you can always try other TLDs. Many newer unique TLDs like .vegas, .nyc and .attorney are priced even higher due to the interesting ways you now come up with attractive domain names that were previously unavailable.
3 : Determine registration length
After that you will need to decide on the length of your registration. Domain names are usually registered in increments of 1 year up to 10 years.
There have been numerous cases where websites have been hijacked by unscrupulous individuals who buy up expired domain names when the owners had forgotten to renew their registrations. They will then often offer to sell them back to the owners at a greatly inflated price which is indistinguishable from blackmail.
4 : Choose extra options
Most registrars also provide extra services including domain privacy. Namecheap provides this service through WHOIS Guard for free with each domain name purchased.
Do remember to enable domain privacy via the registrar's control panel for every domain name that you register to prevent spam mail from being sent to your email addresses and to prevent your personal details from being publicly accessible. There are countless spam bots that use WHOIS engines to search for unprotected domains to send unsolicited spam mail.
Having WHOIS protection also prevents someone from hijacking your website by hacking into the provided email. The less information you have publicly available, the safer your website will be.
5 : Pay registration fees
Now that you have decided on all of the most important details - the domain name, top-level domain and registration length - the only thing left is to pay for the corresponding fees.
6 : Transfer to name servers
Your domain name has just been successfully registered ! The final thing to do is to update your website's name servers so that other computers on the Internet can find your website.
Your web host will usually send you an email with the instructions to transfer your domain name from the registrar to the web host so that it can be hosted with them.
In the next article, we will offer some tips on selecting the best domain name for your website. Clickhereto read it now!
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