How to Register a Domain Name – Beginner’s Guide to Domains

This post will teach you the ins and outs of registering a domain name. There’s also a step by step tutorial at the end once you’re ready to get one.

Before you create a website you need a domain name. A domain name is just an address that takes you to a certain website. For example, www.amazon.com is the domain name for Amazon’s website.

To register a domain name for your website you first have to buy it (usually through yearly payments of about $10-$15). You can check availability and buy domain names through domain registrars such as GoDaddy.com.

Where is the best place to buy domains?

Personally I think it’s good to use big domain registrars such as GoDaddy, 1and1, or NameCheap because they integrate well with other services (like hosting) and there is a lot of fellow users on the internet. This means if you run into a problem with your domain service, you can probably google it and find someone else who had the same problem and already found a solution.

I’ve purchased domains from GoDaddy, 1 and 1, and NameCheap and NameCheap is the best in my opinion based on price and quality.

Here is a comparison of the different prices:

1 and 1 is $0.99 the first year but then jumps up to $14.99 the second year..
GoDaddy often has cheap first year promotions as well but then rises to $10+ for the second year. Here is an offer for 99 cents the first year.
NameCheap is $10.87 after tax and all, year after year. In the long run, NameCheap is often as cheap or cheaper than the others.

As far quality goes, NameCheap is by far the best. The website is very user-friendly and their checkout process is much smoother than the others. In addition, their live chat support is incredible if you have questions. I once used their live chat very late on a Saturday night. I was attended to and had all my questions answered in less than 10 minutes.

What if the domain name I want to register is already taken?

First off, think of some different domain names. If your site provides value to people they’ll visit it no matter what the domain name is. If you can’t change the name and the .com is taken, check to see if they are even using the domain name. If not, don’t be afraid to buy domains with .me, .co, and so on.

Using Wellgifted.co instead of Wellgifted.com saved me thousands of dollars.
Using Wellgifted.co instead of Wellgifted.com saved me thousands.

For my gifting site Well Gifted I wanted wellgifted.com but it was being auctioned for thousands of dollars. I visited wellgifted.com and saw that it wasn’t being used and then googled “well gifted” to make sure there wasn’t a company called Well Gifted. This meant I could probably buy and use wellgifted.co without infringing on any copyright. I bought wellgifted.co for about 10 bucks and saved thousands of dollars. In the first month of launching wellgifted.co it was getting over 10,000 new unique visitors per month so I don’t think having a .co instead of a .com made much of a difference.

If you can’t change the name and you must have .com, the domain registrar will usually give you options to get in contact or buy the domain from the owner for a fee. You can also use whois.domaintools.com to try and get in touch on your own, although you’ll probably have to send a few emails to their hosting or domain name registrar companies before you get to the actual owner.

Once you’ve got a domain name that’s available, just purchase it and you’re done (below is a step by step walkthrough of the purchasing process with NameCheap).

BTW, each domain registrar will want you to purchase all sorts of extras but most aren’t necessary. So unless there is something you know you need, leave the extras unchecked.

Hope you enjoyed this article on how to register a domain name :)