Are you about to embark on a new journey and create your very own website? Congratulations! This is an exciting step that will allow you to share your passions with the world. To get started, you will need to know how to buy a domain name. This blog post will serve as your guide on how to buy a domain name for the first time. I’ll cover everything from what a domain name is and how it works, to where to buy a domain name at the lowest prices.
Getting your first-ever domain name is always the best place to start on your blogging journey. And I’m happy and excited to show you how easy and affordable it is to get one!
What Is A Domain Name?
A domain name is the address of your website. It’s what you type into the bar at the top of your web browser to access your site. For example, google.com is the domain name for Google’s website. When you purchase a domain name, you are essentially buying the rights to that address.
An IP address, or internet protocol address, is a unique set of numbers that identifies each device connected to the internet. Domain names are translated into IP addresses by domain name servers (DNS). When you type in a domain name, your computer contacts a DNS server to get the corresponding IP address. This process allows anyone to purchase a domain name and use it for their website, regardless of their location.
How Does A Domain Name Work?
When you purchase a domain name, you are buying the rights to that address. In order for your website to be accessible online, you will need to set up hosting and point your domain name to that hosting account. This is a process known as DNS (Domain Name System) propagation. Once this is done, your website will be live and accessible to the world.
There are two different types of domains: top domains and second-level domains: top-level domains and second-level domains.
A top-level domain (TLD) is the general category of the domain name or domain extension. For example, .com, .net, and .org are all top-level domains. This also extends to countries such as .co.uk for the United Kingdom and .au for Australia.
A second-level domain is the specific name of the website. Therefore, it’s the name including the letters, numbers, and other special characters that makes your domain unique. For example, while .com is the top-level domain, google.com is a second-level domain.
How to Buy a Domain Name For Your Website
Now, that we got that covered, let’s move on to the good stuff: How to actually buy a domain name!
There are a few different places where to buy a domain name. These include buying a domain from someone else, buying a domain name through a web hosting company, or buying a domain name from a domain name registrar.
How To Buy a Domain Name From a Domain Name Registrars
The easiest and most popular way to buy a domain name is through a domain name registrar. These are companies that solely sell domain names and do not offer web hosting services. However, many web hosting websites also offer domain name registration services.
There are 6 steps on how to buy a domain name with a domain registrar:
- Find a Trustworthy Domain Name Registrar
- Compare The Perks Of Each Domain Name Registrar
- Find The Perfect Domain Name
- Search For Domain Name Availability
- Select Your New Domain Name and Complete Your Domain Registration Process
- Verify Your Domain Name Ownership
Step 1: Find A Trustworthy Domain Registrar
Domain name registrars can vary in quality and trustworthiness. It’s important to do your research before selecting a registrar. Additionally, reputable domain registrars should showcase that they are certified by the ICANN (Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers). ICANN is a nonprofit organization that is responsible for the global coordination of the DNS (Domain Name System) and IP address systems.
By first identifying this badge of honor, you have already narrowed down your search to only the best places to buy your domain name. Other signs of a good and trustworthy registrar include:
- A lengthy history of selling domain names (at least 15 years)
- 24/7 customer service
- A wide variety of domain name extensions
- Domain name registration and web hosting in one place
- Customer reviews and testimonials
If you choose to ignore the importance of a good and trustworthy registrar, you may end up regretting your decision later on. The following are some common problems that can occur when buying a domain name:
- The registrar goes out of business
- The registrar closes your account without warning
- You can’t transfer your domain name to a different registrar
- The domain name is not renewed and is lost
Plus, the risks only increase exponentially if you choose to use their web hosting services and host your website or blog with them. You may be at risk of losing not only your domain name but also your website and all of the data that you have hosted on their servers.
Step 2: Compare The Perks of Each Domain Registrar
Once you’ve found a few reputable domain name registrars, it’s time to start comparing the features and benefits of each. This will help you decide which registrar is the best fit for your needs.
Each registrar will offer different perks, but some of the most common benefits include:
- Pricing: The cost of a domain name can vary greatly from registrar to registrar. Make sure to compare the prices of each and see what deals are available. What’s more some domain registrars may have some hidden fees that you have to keep an eye out for.
- Domain Name Extensions: The number of domain name extensions that a registrar offers can be an important factor. Make sure the registrar you choose offers the domain name extension that you are looking for.
- Domain Name Management: How easy is it to manage your domain name with the registrar? Can you change the contact information, add or delete DNS records, and manage your WHOIS information?
- Domain Name Renewal: How easy is it to renew your domain name? Can you do it online and is there a discount for renewing early?
- Domain Name Transfer: How easy is it to transfer your domain name to a different registrar? Can you do it online and is there a fee?
- Domain Name Protection: How easy is it to protect your domain name with the registrar? Can you add privacy protection and do they offer a free whois guard?
- Domain Name Parking and Redirection: Can you park your domain name with the registrar and redirect it to another website?
- Domain Name Hosting: Do the registrar offer web hosting services? If so, is it a good quality service and is the price competitive?
- 24/7 Dedicated Customer Support
- Money-back Guarantees
The majority of these perks are offered by a domain registrar that also offers web hosting services. The reason is that it’s much easier to manage both hosting and your website’s domain name in one location. This also makes it easier to keep track of your expenses and billing.
Step 3: Find The Perfect Domain Name
Domain names are unique and should be reflective of your website. Your domain name is the first impression that potential customers will have of your website so it’s important to choose wisely.
When brainstorming a domain name, think of words or phrases that are relevant to your business. Use keywords that people will type into a search engine when looking for your type of product or service. The easier it is for people to find your website, the better.
Try to keep your domain name short and easy to remember. Avoid using numbers or hyphens in your domain name as they can be confusing.
If you’re having a difficult time coming up with a good domain name, there are many websites that offer domain name generators that can help you brainstorm ideas.
I have written a full guide on how to find the perfect domain name plus the best free domain name generators that you can use to stimulate your creative juices. I’ve also identified a few dos and don’ts to ensure that you end up with the best domain name to fit your long-term blogging strategy.
Step 4: Search For Domain Name Availability
Once you’ve come up with a few possible domain names, it’s time to do a quick domain name search to see if they are available. Most domain name registrars offer a free domain name search on their websites.
If the domain name you want is not available, don’t give up. Try brainstorming some more ideas or check out other domain name registrars to see if they have the domain name you’re looking for.
You can also choose different top-level domains (TLDs) based on:
- your country: .uk for United Kingdom, .au for Australia, etc.
- generic: .com, .net, .org
- industry: .lawyer, .dentist
- sponsored: .gov, .edu
However, I recommend that you stick to a .com domain name whenever possible as it is the most popular and easiest to remember.
Step 5: Select Your New Domain Name & Complete Registration
Once you’ve found the perfect domain name and it’s available, it’s time to select and buy the domain name. Each domain registrar and web host offer a seamless process for buying your domain name.
Simply add your domain name to your cart and complete the checkout process. Most domain name registrars will ask for your contact information, payment information, and preferred DNS settings.
The majority of registrars also offer a money-back guarantee if you’re not satisfied with your purchase.
Domain name protection is an important step in securing your online presence. Most registrars offer a free whois guard which will protect your personal information from being displayed in the public whois database.
Step 6: Verify Your Domain Name Ownership
After you’re done with this step, you now have to verify your domain name ownership.
This is a simple process as it only entails your email provider verifying that you own the domain name and contact information. I recommend that you carry this out quickly because if you surpass the 15-day period there will be a temporary suspension.
Once your domain name is verified, it will take a few days for the new DNS settings to propagate. You can use the free online tool, WhatsMyDNS, to check if your website is live.
Congratulations! You have just successfully registered your domain name.
Now that you have registered your domain name, it’s time to set up your website. In a previous post on how to start your blog. Take a look!
5 Best Places To Buy Your Domain Name
Now that you know the process of how to buy your domain name, let’s look at the best sites to buy domain names.
This will be a synopsis of each web hosting provider or domain registrar.
Pricing: $0.01 – $14.99/year
GoDaddy is the world’s largest domain name registrar and web hosting provider. They offer a wide range of products and services, including domain names, web hosting, website builders, and eCommerce solutions.
Pricing: $0.99 – $14.88/year
NameCheap is a popular domain name registrar and web host. They are the go-to option if you want to buy a domain name at the lowest price. They also offer a wide range of domain name extensions and hosting plans.
Pricing: $0.99 – $13.96/year
HostGator is a web hosting provider that also offers domain name registration. They are one of the most popular web hosts and have a wide variety of hosting plans to choose from.
Pricing: $0.99 – $13.95/year
Bluehost is a popular web hosting provider that also allows you to buy a domain name for your website. They offer a wide variety of hosting plans and are one of the most popular web hosts.
Pricing: $0.99 – $12.48/year
Hostinger is the newest web host that I’ve tried. They offer a wide variety of hosting plans, including shared, WordPress, VPS, and dedicated servers. They also allow you to buy a domain name at the lowest prices when you sign up for a hosting plan.
How To Buy a Domain Name From Someone Else
Domain name squatting is rampant on the internet. This happens when someone registers a domain name with the intent of selling it to the rightful owner for a profit.
Domain name hijacking is also a problem. This happens when someone takes over a domain name by changing the contact information on the whois record.
To protect yourself from these situations, it’s important to know how to buy a domain name from someone else.
The first thing you need to do is find the contact information of the domain name owner. This can be done through a variety of methods, including a whois search or a domain name search engine.
Once you have the contact information, you can reach out to the owner and negotiate a price for the domain name.
If the owner is unwilling to sell, you can try to contact the registrar and request that the domain name is transferred to your account.
Another option when you want to buy a domain name from someone else is through an auction site, such as NameJet.
What Is the Best Place To Buy a Domain Name at the Lowest Price?
When you’re looking to buy a domain name, the cheapest place to buy it is at a domain name registrar. These are companies that specialize in registering domain names.
Namecheap and Hostinger are my personal favorites to buy domain names at the lowest prices. But you must remember to not only look at the prices but the other web hosting features that these companies offer.
If you’re looking for a web host to go along with your new domain name, then I recommend:
They are all popular web hosts and offer a wide variety of hosting plans.
How To Buy a Domain Name Permanently
There is no way that you can buy a domain name for a lifetime or permanently. All registrations have to be renewed after a certain amount of time.
The domain name that you purchase will expire after a certain period of time, which is called the domain name’s registration period. The registration period is set by the domain name registrar when you register your domain name.
Most domain names have a registration period of one year, but some domain names have a registration period of two or five years.
When your domain name’s registration expires, you will have to renew it to keep the domain name. If you don’t renew your domain name, then it will be released back into the general pool of domain names and can be registered by anyone.
Despite there are methods to make your domain name yours for longer periods of time.
Buy Domain Name for Longer Lease Periods
Domain name registrars often offer longer lease periods for those who want to buy a domain name, but don’t want to worry about renewing it every year.
Lease periods are usually offered in one, three, or five or ten-year increments. This will allow you to keep the domain name for a longer period of time, but you will still have to renew it at the end of the lease period.
Some domain registrars give you the option to lease it beyond this 30 years or more. Naturally, you have to make a large payment upfront to keep the domain name for such a long period of time.
Buy Domain Name for a Lifetime?
Wait, is this even possible?
Yes, but domain registrars use a loophole to make this possible.
Domain name registrars will allow you to buy a domain name for a lifetime, but they will put the registration period for the domain name at ten years, which is the maximum set by ICANN. Then, once the 10 years have passed, the domain registrar renews the domain name for another ten years, and this cycle repeats.
This is a way that the domain registrar can offer a lifetime registration for a domain name, but it’s really only for a ten-year period. Network Solutions’ bulk renewal service is one example of this.
However, I highly do NOT advise this. What if the company goes bankrupt? You may lose all the future payments you had in place. On the flip side, it allows you to invest in your website long-term while streamlining this process.
Last Words of Advice: Domain Locking
Once you’ve registered your domain name, you may want to consider locking it down so that no one can take it away from you. This is called domain name locking and it’s a feature that’s offered by most domain name registrars.
To enable domain name locking, you’ll need to log in to your account and change the settings. It’s usually a simple process and only takes a few minutes to complete.
Domain name locking will prevent anyone from transferring your domain name to another registrar or hijacking the domain name. It’s a great way to protect your investment and ensure that your domain name remains yours.
You Bought Your Domain Name…Now What? Build Your Website!
Buying a domain name can be a thrilling experience, especially for a first-timer. You’ve taken one of the first steps in creating your very own website!
Well, the next step is to choose a web host and build your website. This can be a daunting task, but I’m here to help you every step of the way.
I have written a full guide on how to start your blog. Check it out!
And let me know how it’s going in the comments below!