Are you ready to take the first step towards establishing an online presence? If you don’t have a website for your business or brand, then you’re absolutely missing out on a huge audience.
The first step towards creating an online presence is to register a domain name.
You might think to yourself, “how to register a domain and why it’s so important?”
Very important! Getting a domain name not only allow people to visit your site, it actually helps with defining your brand as well. Further, it will also affect SEO and acts as a first impression for your site.
The address for your website is composed of four elements: a server prefix, a domain name, a domain suffix (or extension), and sometimes a country code (which are optional). An example of a website address would be, www.yournamehere.com where “www” is the server prefix, “yournamehere” is the domain name and “com” is the domain suffix.
This article, however, is going to tackle the first thing you need to do before creating a website, which is how to register a domain name.
If you have purchased a domain name, that’s great! If not, you might want to choose one first before continuing.
How to register a domain name
Before you go about registering a domain name, you need to know the different ways available. The most common way is to use domain registrars, which are sites that are specifically designed for domain registrations.
But the market for domain names are huge and you could spend hours trying figure out which is the best one. That’s why for this article, we’re going to focus on 3 ways that are easy enough for any first-time website owner or blogger to follow and get a domain name.
The 3 ways to purchase a domain name are:
- Get a FREE domain using Bluehost or HostGator (if you don’t have a web host yet).
- Use GoDaddy (the most popular domain registrar) to register a domain name
- Use NameCheap (a cheaper alternative for GoDaddy) to register a domain name
1. Getting a domain name from Bluehost or HostGator
To start a website, you would need both a domain name and web hosting. Which is why it’s recommended that you have both before getting to work on your new blog or online store.
If you haven’t picked a domain name yet, you can save some time and money as web hosting providers often give FREE domain names when you register for their hosting plans.
- Bluehost – offers a free domain name when you sign up for their basic $2.75/mo hosting plan.
- HostGator – lets you buy a domain name at only $2.99/mo with hosting plans at the same price.
Have a web hosting already and just want to get a domain name?
2. Purchase a domain name with GoDaddy
When it comes to registering domain names, GoDaddy is probably the most well-known. And with good reason, they offer great pricing and is easy to use.
How easy? Just follow our step-by-step guide and you’ll be done:
- Head over to GoDaddy and enter a domain name in the search bar.
- Go through the available domain name, pick the one you like and select the “$2.99” option. Then, select “Continue to Cart” on the top right of the page.
- In the next page, there will be a privacy option plan. Here you can choose to keep your information private. If you don’t want your details to be known, you can opt for their protection plan at $7.99 (Privacy Protection) or $14.99 (Privacy & Business Protection). If you don’t want to use it, just select “No Thanks”.
- Scroll all the way down and select “Continue with these options”.
- Select the terms (number of years) that you want for your domain name. The longer the term, the cheaper it tends to be. We recommend taking a two-year term as this save you some money and save you the headache of needing to renew after the first year.
- Finally, click on the “Proceed to Checkout” button and enter your payment details. Once that’s done, your domain name will officially be registered!
3. Using NameCheap to register a domain name
Similar to GoDaddy, NameCheap is another reputable domain registrar that is used by many. And just like GoDaddy, you can easily navigate through NameCheap to buy and register for a domain name.
Though, if you still need help, here’s our handy step-by-step guide:
- Head to Namecheap and put in the domain name you want.
- If the domain name you want is available, click on the add to cart button beside it.
- Then you’ll have to click on the “View Cart” button located on the right side of the page to proceed.
- Just like GoDaddy, you have to select the length of your term for the domain name. As always, we recommend a good two years. When you’re done with that, just click on the “Confirm Order” button.
- Next, create an account for NameCheap or just log in if you have one already.
- Finally, put in your account and payment details, then make your purchase.
When you’ve completed all of these steps, you’ll have a brand new domain name that’s officially registered and ready to use!
Hot Tip: Don’t forget to renew
Now that you have a domain name, there’s another thing that you need to keep in mind. And that’s the renewal period.
Depending on the term of your domain name, you might have to renew within a year, two years, or even longer. Either way, it’s important to remember the date of your renewal.
Why? Because if you don’t, your domain name will go offline, taking your website with it. But more importantly, if you don’t renew it within a few weeks, your domain name will go back up for sale and someone else can buy it from you, and that’s not good!
It’s best to set reminders for when the domain name term expires. Put it on your Google calendar or set up a reminder on your smartphone so that you remember when to renew.
Now, some of the domain registrar (like GoDaddy, NameCheap and here) offers the ability to automatically renew them at the end of the term. This is probably the safest option but you need to make sure that you keep your payment information up to date, in order to avoid any payment disruption.
Having a website in 2018 is a must and there’s no better time than now to get started.
If you need ideas on getting a domain name, you can get help from these domain name generators.
Using our helpful guide, you’ll have a domain name ready for your own blog or website in the digital web in no time!