How To Buy A Domain Name: A Simple Guide To Get You Started
A domain name is essentially a digital address its what people will type into their browsers to access your website. You can buy a domain name from a domain name registrar or hosting provider by visiting a domain registrar, finding the domain you want to purchase, and following the instructions to buy it.
Keep in mind that buying a domain name is one of the most critical steps of starting a blog, personal site, or online business. Without one, users would not be able to easily access your website on the internet.
Luckily, the process to register a domain name is quite straightforward even beginners can complete it in a few minutes.
This article will explain each of the simple steps to register a domain name and present some tips and tricks to ease the process.
Check out this video on how to register a domain name:
What Is A Domain
The easiest way to understand what is a domain is to imagine your website as a building. If your website was a home, your domain name would be its address. More precisely, every website in the world is attributed a specific IP address. But since this one comes in the shape of a series of numbers and dots, it makes it extremely hard for human visitors to remember and type. This is why domain names were created – which is basically the legible label connected to the specific IP of a site. All domains live on the domain name system , which is a universal system that assigns addresses to servers and web pages.
Example: Want to access our website builder? You can use our domain: Wix.com or our IP address: 220.127.116.11. Either way, you will arrive on the same page.
How Do I Permanently Buy A Domain Name
Its not possible to permanently own a domain name since its not a one-time purchase the maximum period of registration is ten years. You will need to pay and renew your subscription if you want to keep using the same domain name.This is to cover the maintenance costs or domain tax collected by the ICANN.As the number of registered domains grows, the tax increases. Hence, registrars need to adjust their pricing accordingly, which is why the renewal fees are more costly than the registration prices.
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Well Cover Cost Hidden Fees The Best Domain Registrars And More
Your domain name functions as your websites address in Internet-land, so having one thats simple and relevant will make it much easier for people to find you. If youve ever misspelled a long location name on Google Maps and ended up in the middle of nowhere, then you can probably appreciate the beauty of straightforward place names.
Its easy to see why people are willing to break the bank to secure a snappy domain name it increases site traffic pretty much by design. Some of the most popular domains, like hotels.com or business.com, have literally sold for millions of dollars. But resist the urge to stock up on lottery tickets million-dollar domain names are not the norm. In fact, for most of our plebeian purposes, registration cost wont come to more than $20 annually, max.
So How Much Does It Cost To Buy A Domain Name
Prices will vary, depending on where you get a domain from, whether thats through an auction, or via a registrar.
Registrars look after buying and selling through them, people pay registration fees, to register and reserve a domain.
When dealing with a registrar, services and products are often offered alongside the initial purchase, such as a site builder to help make your vision a reality, or privacy protection to keep online data safe. Added features like this can help keep down the total outlay of creating a new web domain and building a website.
Every day, previously-owned and unused domain registrations come to an end and become available for purchase .
When a domain expires at Namecheap, it enters a grace period, during which it can be renewed at the regular price. After this period has ended, it enters the redemption period where you can renew your domain, but at an extra cost.
Once the redemption period has ended, it goes into a period called pending delete. Here the domain name will expire, be deleted and then be available as a brand new domain available to be registered by anyone.
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How To Check If Your Desired Domain Is Available
Once youve done your research and determined which domain registrar you want to use to buy your domain, you can visit its website.
Most, if not all of the time, there will be a search bar toward the top of the page where you can enter your desired domain name.
There may be slight variations, but domain registrars will prominently display a search bar.
You can choose the TLD you prefer in the select box next to the search field.
How Should I Choose My Domain Name
At first, you might think its annoying that the most relevant domain names for your site are probably taken. But now that the obvious names are out of the equation, were forced to think outside the box which can lead to some memorably creative results.
The most important point to keep in mind while you brainstorm is the radio test: in other words, could potential site visitors spell your domain name just by hearing it? By asking yourself this question, youll avoid common pitfalls like including numbers and words with multiple spellings .
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Your Domain Name Shouldnt Break Any Legal Terms
There was a time when the Internet was the Wild West.
Those days are long gone. Now its full of corporations with deep pockets that will sue you into bankruptcy if you even look at them the wrong way. Thats why its important to be careful.
Imagine this. You come up with a great name. You register it. You launch your website. And then, just as your business starts gaining momentum, you are hit with a cease and desist letter.
What the ?? is your first thought.
But then, as you decipher the legalese, you realize that apparently your domain name is trademarked, which means that you are in a world of trouble.
You can avoid this by doing due diligence.
For example, you can check US trademarks on the United States Patent and Trademark Offices website.
Alternatively, you can check for the trademarks for whatever country you want to operate in through the local equivalent of the USPTO.
And, of course, Google can help you as well, because if nothing comes up on it, then you probably dont need to worry.
Now, unfortunately, if you came up with a cool name, the chances are that you are not the first person to do so, which means that you might end up having to go back to the drawing board.
However, keep in mind that finding yourself back at square one is much better than getting hit with a lawsuit, so dont cut corners here.
What Should You Look For In A Domain Registrar
We discussed this in-depth in our How to Select the Best Domain Registrar article.
Here are the most important things that you should look for:
- Low pricing. You dont want to spend more money than you have to. Fortunately, the competition in this industry is fierce, so all major companies offer affordable pricing.
- Free WHOIS protection. People can look up the details of any domain name and find out who owns it. This might present privacy issues. Its best to use WHOIS protection which prevents snoopers from seeing this information.
- Auto-renewals. If you dont renew a domain name it eventually goes back on the market. This might cause serious problems if some enterprising individual snatches your domain name and then offers to sell it back to you for a substantial amount of money. Thats why its best to go with a domain registrar that automatically renews your domain name.
Also, if a domain registrar is not transparent about their pricing, you should see that as a red flag and stay away.
Another thing to watch out for is a bad user interface. You shouldnt need a computer science Ph.D. to figure out how to do basic tasks such as parking or transferring domains.
Finally, if a domain registrar doesnt offer 24/7 customer support, it might be too risky to use their services. What if something goes wrong and you need immediate assistance? You can lose a lot of money in potential revenue if the problem isnt solved right away.
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Find Out Who Owns Your Dream Domain
The first step in buying a domain someone else owns is finding out who the other person is. You can do this by using WHOIS. This is like the white pages of a phone book. Many times the name, email and phone number of the person who owns the domain name is listed there.
There are times, however, when the person uses a privacy service or the information is out of date. Privacy on the WHOIS acts like an unlisted phone number it adds other information on the WHOIS to guard the owners personal information. The privacy email information almost always forwards to the real owners email address, so it is still possible to try and contact them through the private email listed in the WHOIS directory.
There is also a new law in Europe the EU General Data Protection Regulation that allows people to remain more or less anonymous on the WHOIS. You can still contact them if they have their domain name registered with GoDaddy by scrolling to the bottom of our WHOIS lookup and choosing the option to Contact Domain Holder.
Your Domain Name Should Be Easy To Remember
You want to make sure that your domain name is easy to remember. But what exactly does that mean?
Basically, the more items you ask someone to remember, the harder it is for them to do that.
When it comes to domain names, every word and symbol is a separate item, which is something to keep in mind when you are considering various options.
Try to keep your domain short, avoid using symbols, and get a well-known extension.
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Tlds Country Codes And Second
The original TLDs that were created were:
- .gov for government websites
- .org for an organization, especially non-profits
- .net for websites that were networks
- .int for international organizations
Since then, .com and .net extensions have been opened up for general use.
Country codes are also used alongside TLDs, and are domain extensions that consisted of two letters that signify a country. They can be registered by anyone, but are best suited to websites that focus on the country of origin or the local area.
Since then, more TLDs have been released as there was a need for them. Now, you can search through more than a thousand TLDs from .shop and .live all the way to .legal, .dental, or .xyz.
You can pretty much find whatever TLD you want nowadays.
You may have also come across a Second-Level Domain which is a secondary portion of a TLD that comes before the TLD and is separated by a period. For example, in the domain www.your-site.co.uk, .co would be the SLD.
A domain can also continue in this fashion with third or fourth-level domains and so on.
Can I Transfer My Domain Name To Hostinger
Yes, its possible to transfer a domain name from another registrar to Hostinger.
However, there are a few requirements before transferring a domain to your web hosting account:
- More than 60 days must have passed from the registration or last transfer date.
- You must have the domains auth-code from your current registrar.
- The domains WHOIS privacy protection has to be disabled.
- You have to point your domain name to Hostinger.
- The domains status cannot be Pending Delete or Redemption.
To transfer a domain to Hostinger, go to the Hostinger Transfer Domain page and enter your domain name. Then click Transfer.
After finishing the order and entering the domain EPP code, the transfer process will begin and youll receive an email regarding the domain transfer that you will have to confirm.
The domain registration will also be renewed for a year after the transfer, except for ccTLDs like .es, .co.uk, or .com.br.
Keep in mind that your website might be unavailable during the DNS changes, which can take up to 24 hours to propagate fully.
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Building A Website Once You Register A Domain Name
Once you register your domain name for your website, the next step is choosing what type of website you will build, and how you will build it.
There are many ways to build a website, some of them take a lot of specialized knowledge or coding expertise. Other methods are simple enough for anyone to do themselves.
If you are looking to build a website for your own local business, or perhaps a club or organization you belong to, then WordPress is a great way for people without any experience to get a website up and running in no time.
Likewise, if you want to build an affiliate website, or a content-based website, perhaps on a topic you enjoy or a hobby you have, then again using WordPress is probably the best way to get started.
eCommerce or sites with shopping cart capabilities are probably best built using a shopping cart script such as WooCcommerce, which we have other tutorials that you can follow.
Building a basic website is a lot easier than more people realize, as long as you are willing to learn some new skills along the way.
We have a ton of tutorials and help available to get you started. All you need is the willingness to do it. A few hours later, and you could have something amazing up and running.
Is It Worth It To Buy Website Domain Names To Sell
Well, this isnt an easy question to answer. You could be the luckiest person in the world and own a domain name that could fetch millions, but the odds of that are extremely small.
In many cases, a domain name will sell for a few thousand dollars.
This sounds great, but what if I told you it could take years to sell it? And every year you hold it, you need to pay a small fee with the registrar? Well, this is usually enough to scare away part-timers looking to make a quick buck.
That said, the potential is there but go in with realistic expectations.
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