How to Register a Domain Name:
A domain name should be registered with a domain name registrar, such as Namecheap. You can choose to purchase just a domain name, or one with web hosting from your service provider. Most web hosting packages come with a free domain name.
Check if your domain name is available.
Perform a domain name search.
Before you settle on a domain name for your business, you will need to conduct a search to see if it is available. Go to domains.google and type your domain name into the search bar.
A list of results will pop up showing you a list of available suffixes. It will also tell you if your preferred URL is available, and provide a list of alternatives.
You can also check domain name availability on NameSnack.
Make sure that your domain name is easy to pronounce, describes your business concept, and not longer than 14 characters.
Find an ICANN-accredited registrar.
Choose a suitable registrar.
ICANN, which stands for Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers, is an official organization that regulates the domain name market.
Although unapproved registrars can sell domain names, it is safer to register your domain name with an accredited provider.
You can find a list of current ICANN-accredited registrars here.
Go to your chosen registrar's website.
Register your domain name.
On the "domains" page, type in your domain name in the search bar, and click search.
A note stating whether your domain is available will pop up, along with a list of alternatives.
On the check out page, you'll likely be given the option to purchase a hosting package or professional email address along with your domain name.
Type in your billing and payment information, and pay for the domain.
Purchase an existing domain name (if applicable).
If you own an existing business, and your name is unavailable, you can consider paying for a premium domain or opt for one with different domain extensions, e.g., business-name.biz or business-name.city.
A premium domain name is a domain that is already owned by a person or registrar and is for sale.
These domain names are usually costlier than regular domain names due to their perceived higher value.
Why a Domain Name is Important:
1. A domain name lends your business credibility.
Having a website gives your business a sense of professionalism and encourages your customers to trust you. Research has shown that customers are more likely to buy products and services from a company that has a website than from one that does not.
2. A domain name helps to define your brand.
A domain name reinforces your brand, especially if it matches the name of your company. This helps to create awareness of your brand and makes it easier for customers to remember your domain name and return to your site. If you decide to transfer to a different hosting company down the line, you can take your domain name with you.
3. A domain name can attract customers.
A good domain name, coupled with SEO, helps to generate traffic to your website, which in turn helps to boost sales and increase revenue. Your domain name should be a reflection of your brand and entice customers to promote your business through word of mouth.
How to Get a Free Domain Name:
Registering a domain name for free can be done in two ways. You can either purchase a web-hosting package and receive a free domain name, or you can sign up for a free hosting account with a website builder like Wordpress or Wix. Web hosting plans cost around $3.00 per month.
Bear in mind that if you use a free site builder, you will get a subdomain - a website address with your host name and business name in the same URL, e.g., yoursite.wordpress.com. This is ideal for bloggers, however, established businesses and start-ups should opt for a self-hosted website with its own domain.
How can I register a domain name for free?
Many web host providers offer free domain names with their hosting packages.
Where do I register a domain name?
- Google Domains.
How much does it cost to register a domain name?
Domain names range from as little as $0.95 per year, depending on the registrar.
How do I buy a domain name forever?
Unfortunately, your domain name expires after 10 years. The registrar that you registered the domain name with should inform you of the expiration date so you can renew your domain name registration.
What is the difference between a domain and a website?
A domain is the name of a website, a URL is how to find a website, and a website is what people see and interact with. When you purchase a domain, you have purchased the name for your site, but you are still required to build the site.
How can I register a domain name?
- Go to your chosen domain name registrar or web hosting service.
- Enter your chosen name into the domain name search bar to see if it is available.
- If it is, choose a suffix, e.g., .com, .net, .org.
- Pay the registration fee, and your domain name should be active within 24-48 hours.
How long is a domain name valid for?
Domain names are typically valid for one to ten years, after which you will have to pay a renewal fee. The fee is usually the same amount that you paid originally.
Can I transfer my domain name between hosting services?
Yes, most hosting services allow you to transfer an existing domain name for free, however, be sure to check with your new host to see if there is a set-up fee. As part of ICANN's transfer policy, you may not transfer a domain name within the first 60 days of registration.
Do I own my domain name if I register it with a hosting service?
Yes, you own the rights to your domain name as long as you keep renewing it.
Can I register a domain name without a host?
Yes, you can purchase a domain name and park it until you are ready to build your website. When you are ready to build your site, you will need a hosting service to store your web files.
Are there free domain names?
Yes. You can purchase a web-hosting package and get a free domain name. However, when you use a free site builder, you will get a subdomain - a website address with your hostname and business name in the same URL, e.g., yoursite.wordpress.com. This is ideal for bloggers but established businesses and start-ups should opt for a self-hosted website with its own domain.