Registering a domain name is a crucial part of owning a website.
While it’s such an important part, few Internet users are familiar with the steps to reserve a domain name, especially if they have never owned a website before.
In this article, we’ll list all the essential steps you need to take to register a domain name for your website.
1. Choose Your Domain Name
The first thing you need to do is to brainstorm ideas for your domain name.
According to Google Domains, there are several best practices you need to follow to choose the most effective domain name.
First, you need to make sure your domain name has the perfect length. Ideally, include no more than three to four terms in your domain. This ensures that your domain name is simpler to recall for visitors.
Another vital thing to consider is to include relevant keywords in your domain name. If you’re registering a domain for a personal blog, include keywords related to the topic you’re basing your website on in your domain.
If it’s for a business website, put your brand name in the domain to make it easier to discover by your customers.
2. Check If Your Domain Name Is Available
Once you have several name ideas for your website, the next step is to check their availability.
Many hosting providers, like Hostinger.in, have a domain checking tool included in their website that’s free to use. Once you find a domain name that’s available, you have the option to buy it right away.
Alternatively, you can also use a free service like Whois.net if you’re only looking to check the availability. We recommend that you have more than one domain name idea to check, so you have plenty of choices in case some are not available.
If you’ve found a domain name that’s available, the next step is to look up domain registrar options.
3. Choose a Domain Registrar
A domain registrar is a business that manages transactions between a website owner and a domain registry. Registries are organizations that own and maintain domain records. If reserving a domain is like renting an apartment, the registry is the owner of the building.
When choosing a domain registrar, make sure to pay attention to additional costs, like renewal or private registration. Lots of registrars offer a very cheap price to register your domain, but then will hike the prices up when it comes to renewal.
Checking how the registrar secures a domain name is also crucial. There are cases of domain name hijacking where flaws in the registration process lead to domain names being stolen through impersonation or fraud.
Lastly, be sure to note what these registrars do to expired domains. There are some registrars that capitalize on expired domains and will auction off your domain right away after its expiration date.
This can be a problem if the registrar doesn’t offer auto-renewal or if your credit card expires around the renewal period.
4. Purchase Your Domain Name
After choosing a domain registrar, the next step is to purchase your domain name.
Although it’s called purchasing a domain name, reserving a domain name is more similar to renting. You will have to renew your domain every one to ten years if you want to keep using it.
There are several ways to buy a domain name. First, you may get it bundled with web hosting. Some hosting providers include a free domain name with their hosting plan, which means you no longer have to look for a separate registrar.
If you’re planning to get your domain name apart from your hosting plan, you can check domain registration services like Google Domains.
With these services, you’ll only have to type in your planned domain name to check its availability. They’ll report whether it’s available or not and give suggestions with different domain endings or domain name alternatives, along with the pricing.
Once you have reserved the domain name, the next step is to point the domain name to your web hosting service.
5. Point the Domain Name to Your Web Host
If you get your domain name bundled with your hosting plan, you can skip this part.
However, if you bought it separately or have gotten web hosting before you bought the domain name, you will have to connect it to your web host.
To do this, you will first have to check the list of nameservers from your hosting provider. You may find this through your hosting account or by contacting the provider.
Different hosting providers often use different control panel systems, but if it uses cPanel, cPanel has a tutorial on how to manage domain names from its hosting account.
Once you have gotten your list, the next step is to input these nameservers in the registrar, or where you registered your domain name.
All registrars have different settings to do this, so make sure to check their FAQ or Help page. You may also contact their customer support for additional help.
While it may seem complicated at first glance, registering a domain name is not as hard as it sounds.
Once you’ve known all the steps you need to take to reserve a domain, you’re now ready to take action and start brainstorming for domain name ideas. Good luck!