Free Domains From Website Builders
Website-building platforms typically offer a free domain name when you sign up to their services, however the website domain usually includes their brand name in the URL and, unlike paid domains, they are not transferable to other service providers.
For example, when you start a Shopify store, youll be provided a free .myshopify.com domain that can be used as your stores primary domain. WordPress, Squarespace, Wix, and Weebly offer free domains that contain their own business name as well.
These default domains provide the same basic function as a custom domain, but come with a lot of downsides theyre harder for users to remember, they look less professional, and they dont come with features like email forwarding or the option to create subdomains.
You also wont be able to use these domains outside the platform theyre affiliated with. That means that even if you wanted to use a third-party service provider to add features like email hosting, you wouldnt be able to.
Generally speaking, its a good idea to purchase a custom domain. Domain registration isnt too expensive, and the charge is worth it for the advantage of being able to customize, transfer, and manage your own domain.
Check For Trademark Infringement
Both major and minor brands alike take issue with others using their trademarked names. Even if youve just made an innocent mistake, the legal hassle involved in a lawsuit and having to rearrange your web presence could be costly.
You can avoid these situations by using a trademark lookup tool before you finalize your choice.
Avoid Numbers And Hyphens
Imagine asking your 10 friends to spell or pronounce a domain name filled with numbers and dashes. It wont work.
If you choose a domain name with these elements, youre likely going to lose traffic to people who cant remember your domain or effectively tell someone else how to find it. We probably wouldnt have Facebook today if you had to go to Face-Book.com to reach the site.
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Choose The Right Domain Extension
When picking the extension or TLD for your domain name, .com is still the best choice unless you have a reason to choose something else. Roughly 43% of all domains have a .com extension, making it what people expect to see the most.
While Google confirms that your choice of TLD will not impact rankings, it does affect consumer perception. Many people view other TLDs as less trustworthy.
That said, .net or .org extensions are not uncommon, so they can be good secondary options if you find the perfect name and the coveted .com isnt available.
But if you do decide to go with an extension other than a .com, make sure you take a look at what type of website is currently on the .com extension. Someone is bound to go there accidentally while looking for your brand. If the site holds fishy or offensive content, you might want to steer clear of that name altogether.
Finally, avoid those niche domain name extensions like .space, .club, .pizza, unless you really think theyll enhance your brand.
Complete The Registration Process Including Payment
The registrar will ask you to provide contact and technical information when you register a domain name. These details will be sent on to the registry of your domain name to confirm your qualification for holding the TLD and entering your new domain name in the DNS database.
You will also enter into a contract with the registrar that you or your reseller has selected. Once your domain name is in the registry and you have signed the contract, you own the domain name.
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Complete The Domain Registration
As soon as you have completed the payment, youll be redirected to the control panel. Inside, there will be a setup box that youll need to fill out to complete the domain name registration.
Youll need to fill in all the fields with the correct details, such as your name, address, andcontact information. This data will be stored on WHOIS, the official domain ownership database.
After submitting your details, the domain registration will be processed.
Its possible to modify the domain ownership details using the domain management section within the control panel. Once the changes are made, you will have to confirm them via email.
How To Get A Domain Name From Namecheapcom
Namecheap is another popular website for buying domain names and getting website hosting. As their domain name prompts, they often have a lot of good deals and somewhat lower annular prices than GoDaddy, for example.
So if you love a good bargain, heres how to buy a domain name via Namecheap.
Step 1: Run your desired domain name search first and review available options. Namecheap has a really huge collection of new TLDs such as .art .digital, .luxury among 400+ other options.
Also, if your name isnt available or youd like to get some more ideas, switch to their advanced search view aka the Beast Mode:
As you can see from above, you have a lot more features to play with such as price range, suffix/prefix, and so on. This can help you drill down to that perfect domain name that is short, memorable, available, and yet cheap!
Step 2: After youve chosen the best contenders, proceed to your cart to start the checkout process. At this point, you can also add some extras and customize your order:
With Namecheap, you get a lifetime free WHOIS protection for every domain name, plus they recently added a bonus premium DNS offer . When you enable it, your domain gets yearly protection against DNS/DDoS attacks , plus ultra-fast global DNS response. This gives you some extra leverage in terms of your website speed.
On top of that, you can select some affordable up-sells such as:
Also, you can play around with your renewal. Namecheap provides a small discount for 2+ years.
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What Is Domain Name Registration
For the domain name system, or DNS, to work, there needs to be a universal directory that contains all the domain names and individual IP addresses associated with them. Fortunately, humanity learned its lesson from tedious systems like phone books and Rolodexes to devise something much better.
When you want to associate a specific domain name with your server, you simply reserve it through an organization called a registrar. The registrar then stores the record in a universal DNS database. If someone halfway around the world types your domain name into their browser, their computer obtains the corresponding IP address entry from their nearest DNS registry so that they can connect to the server containing your site.
Find A Domain Name Registrar
The non-profit Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers oversees the entire system of domain names, and it allows outside companies, called domain registrars, to sell and manage domain names. You will need to register your domain name through a registrar.
Some of the most popular domain registrars include GoDaddy, Bluehost, and Domain.com, although there are many more to choose from. Be sure to carefully consider pricing and policies for each one before choosing your domain registrar, as it will be managing your domain name.
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Build Your Business By Registering Your Domain
After weighing the benefits and drawbacks of free or paid domains, you should get started on your search for the perfect domain name. Domain names can go quickly and there’s a little more competition than Symbolics had in 1985 so it is important to register the one you want before it is too late.
Registering a domain name is quick and easy, but it does take some time to brainstorm the right name, select the optimal suffix, and find the right domain registrar for you. As such, there’s no better time than now to get started on registering your domain name.
Editor’s note: This post was originally published in February 2020 and has been updated for comprehensiveness.
Originally published Dec 13, 2020 7:00:00 AM, updated July 20 2021
How To Register A Domain Name: 4 Options
To get a domain name, youll need to call dibs with ICANN. ICANN is a global non-profit authority that maintains records on which domain and IP address belongs to whom and manages access to them.
But ICANN doesnt provide registration services, it only maintains records. Thats where domain name registrars come into play.
The primary role of a register is to:
- Coordinate claims on different domain names.
- Match specific domain names with Domain Name System nameservers.
- Ensure that there are no duplicate domain names.
Technically speaking, you are not buying a domain name from a registrar company, but reserve its usage for a specified time. You can pay to reserve a domain for 1-10 years at a time, depending on the registrar. After your initial subscription expires, youll need to renew it and pay a fee again. You can re-purchase your domain name over and over again.
When registering a domain name, you sign a long-term lease of your domain . You can read more about the domain costs here.
In practice, all of the above is much simpler than you think as we will show below.
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Verify Ownership Of Your New Domain
Paying for your domain might seem like the last step in the process, but you also need to verify your ownership. This step lets you send email using the domain and keeps other people from using it without your permission.
If you purchase your domain through Mailchimp, this process is simple. Youll receive a verification email after you complete your purchase. Simply click on the Verify Domain button in the email and follow the instructions on the next page, and you can start using your domain to build your brand. Youll only ever have to complete this step once.
Sell Your Domain Name
Stuff happens. Maybe inspiration struck at 3 a.m., when an amazing new domain name woke you from a dead sleep. And that other domain you already registered? It can still help you out.
You can get it in front of interested buyers via domain aftermarket sites that only take a small percentage of the sale.
One such aftermarket option is GoDaddy Auctions.
For an annual fee and a percentage of the sale, you can list your domain name for auction or set a buy now price and GoDaddy will handle all the details.
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You Control Your Domain
Posting content on third-party platforms can be risky. Your content and online identity can be lost when a hosting site goes down. Some sites claim ownership of everything you post, so your content cant be moved to another platform. Owning a domain name allows you to host your site with any hosting company you choose, anywhere in the world. Afterwards, you are free to transfer your content to whichever web hosting provider you prefer, a concept known as self-hosting.
As long as you continue to pay the renewal fees, the domain name will be yours exclusively. Experts recommend that everyone register their own name as a domain name, along with any variant spellings. You may also want to register alternative variations of a domain name that users may type into a browsers search bar, as well as your ideal domain name. This way, you can ensure that your online identity is entirely yours, and it is possible to find your website in a variety of ways.
In order to have a web presence, a domain name is not strictly necessary. However, having your own domain name gives you authority over your online identity and the content you post and a domain of your own is a must for building confidence in your brand or business.
GET FREE DOMAIN NAME ON ANY BUSINESS HOSTING PLANS
How Do I Register A Domain
A domain name can be registered by a hosting provider. After you have chosen a domain name and completed your order, you are the owner of that domain name for one year. It’s not possible to register a domain permanently. But at one.com, we will renew your domain automatically, so you don’t have to worry about losing it. We will always inform you in advance about an upcoming renewal, and we register domain names at a low cost.
You can easily register a domain at one.com:
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Use Your Domain For A Custom Email Address
Youre a professional, so why are you still using that personal Gmail, Hotmail, Yahoo, MSN email address you created 10 or even 20 years ago?
If the email youre using to communicate with customers isnt branding your business, then its time you kick that free email to the curb and set up a custom email using the domain you just purchased.
If you register a domain, you can set up a personalized email address such as . Thats so much better than , right?
You can put that custom email address on your business cards, the side of your car, everywhere you promote your business.
With Professional Business Email from GoDaddy, not only will you get 24/7 customer support, but youll also get as many email aliases as youd like .
Youll look more professional, credible, and with so many email address options, you can guarantee that emails are going to the right people.
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Why You Should Register Your Domain Name
Internet users have many options for establishing their online presence without owning a domain, from third-party publishing platforms to Facebook pages and groups. Its a smart move to own your own domain name, whether youre starting a blog or running a business because it puts you in control of the brand you build and the content you create. If you have ever wondered why do I need a domain name?, the experts at Intech Cloud are here to help. In this guide, well discuss what a domain name is, and why its important to start a successful website.
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Registering A Domain Name With Shopify
If youre building an online store, the quickest and easiest way to add and register a domain is by purchasing it directly through Shopify. Setup is automatic, and having a Shopify domain allows you to edit your domain settings, set up subdomains, and create forwarding email addresses all in the same place you manage your ecommerce store.
To register a domain with Shopify, start by logging into your Shopify store and proceeding with these steps: