How to Register a Domain Name

Last updated: June 30, 2018 at 3:55 am

domain photoThe first step in building a website is to register a domain name. Your domain name helps the world to find your website really quickly.

If you’d like to some clarifications on what a domain name really is, read my article on “What is a Domain Name.”

In order to register a domain name, you first need to sign up with a domain registrar. Signing up with a domain registrar is free, and, thankfully, there are hundreds, if not thousands, of domain registrars on the internet. Some of the most popular domain name registrars include:

  1. Namecheap.com
  2. Godaddy.com
  3. Bluehost.com

Each domain name registrar will have a slightly different interface for registering a domain name, but the process is basically the same.

The average cost of registering a domain name is 10 US dollars per year.

For ease of use and your personal convenience, it is best to register your domain name with your web hosting company. Most domain name registrars also offer web hosting services.

Of course, there are no problems if you want to register your domain name with one registrar and use a different hosting service to host it. It’s just a little more complicated. All you’ll have to do is go into your Domain Name Management Dashboard and change the “domain name servers” to those of your web hosting company.

So why don’t everyone register domain names with the same company that they host their domain with? The main reason is that the cheapest and best domain name registrar may not necessarily offer the best hosting packages.

For example, I once hosted my websites with the Rackspace Cloud. But at that time, they didn’t offer domain name registration. So I used Namecheap to register all my domain names. At that time, Namecheap did offer hosting packages, but they weren’t as attractive as what Rackspace offered at the time. So I chose to register my domain name with Namecheap and changed the domain name servers (DNS) to those of Rackspace Cloud. That way, I could have managed my domains at Namecheap and built and upload my website over at Rackspace.

Later, I moved to a different webhost: GoGVO. It worked well for a time, but then I found out that their services were not up to speed with most modern hosting. My website experienced some serious downtime and at that juncture I decided to scour the web for the best web hosting company on the internet.

Through days and days of diligent research, I was able to determine that the web’s best hosting company is, by far, Lease Host.

I decided to migrate all my websites over to Lease Host. Lease Host’s support staff made this transition a breeze. And since then, my websites never experienced any sort of problems such as slowing up, throttling or downtime.

But up to this point, all my domains were still registered at Namecheap.com, and my websites were hosted by Lease Host. Not a bad idea. Namecheap is by far a better domain name registrar than Lease Host. It offers domains at a few dollars cheaper than Lease Host, and it has a longer list of domain name extensions.

Nevertheless, the idea of registering and hosting my domain name with the same company really appeals to me. It saves you time, and time is money. So I decided to register future domain names with LeaseHost whenever possible. The problem is that Lease Host isn’t as big a domain registrar as Namecheap is, and it doesn’t offer as many options as Namecheap.

Therefore, for the purpose of this tutorial, I will walk you through the process of registering a domain name with Namecheap – one of the internet’s biggest and best domain name registrars.

Let’s get started.

First thing, type in to a web browser: www.namecheap.com

Type in “namecheap.com” into a web browser and click “go.”

The namecheap website will then load onto your browser. (Most obviously)

The namecheap homescreen, at the time of this writing, looks something like the picture below.

What the namecheap homescreen looked like at the time of this writing.

In order to register a domain name with namecheap.com, you will need an account with namecheap and a credit or debit card. (Most obviously)

So, if you don’t already have a namecheap account, then go ahead and sign up!

You can see the namecheap sign up button towards your top left hand of the screen.

Follow the simple sign-up process to sign up for a namecheap account. In my case, I already have a namecheap account, so I’ll just sign in.

Below is a picture of what the member’s dashboard looks like once you sign into namecheap.com

 

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Once inside the member’s area, you have the option of managing existing domain names, sign up for hosting and register new domain names. Let’s go ahead and register a new domain name.

Simply click on the “domains” button.

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Once you hover over the domains button, it will pop up a list of options. Click on “Domain Name Search.”

This will now bring up a screen with a search box for you to search for your domain name.

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In my case, I want to register, billytours.com. Billytours.com is a website which I will building for a client who runs a tour guide service. His name is Billy, and his work is tourism, so billytours.com is the perfect domain name. The .com domain name extension stands for “commercial.” The the domain name, “billytours.com” will tell three things about the website:

  1. The owners first name.
  2. The owners work.
  3. The website is intended to sell something or make money.

So let’s run a search. I’ll type in billytours.com and click the “Search” button and see what comes up. If the domain name is available, I can register it and become the proud owner of billytours.com.

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And then results are out!

Congratulations! Billytours.com is available!

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Bear in mind that clever domain names with common words are not always available. In fact, they are mostly taken up. So yes! I’m lucky today to have billytours.com available. And, as you can see, the cost to register it with namecheap.com is just 10.98 USD per year.

So I’ll just click the “add to cart” button.

After I click on the “add to cart” button, namecheap suggests a few of their low cost services which they think I might need. But I’ll just ignore these offers and click on the “view cart” button.

After I click the “view cart” button, namecheap rolls up the “confirm order” screen. Here I have the option of reviewing and converting my order. I also have the option of whether or not to turn on the autorenew option for the domain name.

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In my opinion, it’s always wise to keep the autorenew option turned on for a domain name if you’re building a website on it. That’s because, if for some reason you forget to manually renew your domain name, you will lose all your precious work that you’ve spent so much effort on. This may include advertising and promotions monies spent on your domain name, etc.

Personally, I choose to turn on autorenew for most, if not all, of my domain mames. So I’ll go ahead and turn on the auto renew button and click the “confirm order” button.

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Did I mention that namecheap now offers free Whois guard for life? This was once a service that cost money. Now namecheap is offering it for free. And this is one of the countless reasons that namecheap is still one of the most popular domain name registrars on the internet.

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Of course, namecheap does some further promotions, such as asking you if you want to turn on the paid service “premium DNS.” Well talk more about this later.

For now, let’s go ahead and click the “confirm order” button again. After that, namecheap asks for my payment information, which is my debit card, and I click the “pay now” button.

And that’s it. I’m not the proud owner of billytours.com. Now it’s time to change the Domain Name Servers to those of my hosting company (Lease Host) and start building my website: billytours.com.

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