How to buy your own domain name

Maybe you already have a Facebook page, a Twitter profile and a presence on LinkedIn. The next step could be to purchase your own domain name.

With a little money, you can stick your name (or any other combination of letters, numbers, and periods) after a “www” URL prefix and create a unique domain name that claims your right to a portion of the website. And you can nab one or two for less than you think.

Once you’ve gotten a name, you can use that web address to post a portfolio of work, information about a social club you’re a part of, or host an online community. There are many possibilities.

How to start buying a domain name

If you are unsure of your options, your registrar of choice will tell you. David Nield

The only way to buy domain names is through a domain name registrar, which must be on the books of the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), the organization responsible for maintaining Web domain names in order. ICANN takes care of the Domain Name System (DNS) protocols that ensure that you are going to the correct website when you type a URL into your browser’s address bar.

There are many registrars to choose from, and they are all broadly similar in terms of the features they offer and the prices they charge. A domain name usually only costs a handful of dollars a year, but the price can quickly increase if you want something popular and highly recognizable.

A quick web search should reveal many companies ready and willing to register your domain name, although there may be price variations. Other differentiators to look for include additional features like domain name privacy (so no one else can see who owns the domain) and free email addresses to accompany your domain. Beware of introductory pricing that only applies for the first year. Also, be sure to check the ongoing cost of the domain name.

To help you get started, some of the most well-known and trusted domain name registrars include GoDaddy, Bluehost,, and Google Domains. Domain name registrars typically offer a host of other Internet-related services, including web hosting and e-commerce features, so these additional options may help you choose the registrar. which suits you best.

Choose the name you prefer

Most domain name registrars will allow you to search for domain names immediately, before registering details, and the search function should be visible on the homepage. Type in a few words related to the domain name you want – perhaps your own name or the name of the company you want to create a website for – and hit search.

You will be greeted with a plethora of options to choose from, along with their prices. To the right of a website’s address is the top-level domain: something like “.com” or “.org,” and you’ll notice that the more common top-level domains will cost you more. If you’re happy with something a little less recognizable, like “.xyz” or “.info,” you won’t have to pay that much.

The rest of the domain name is up to you. As long as the website address is available and has not been claimed by someone else, you can save it. However, you may need to make your search terms a little more specific, because while one variation of your name may already be taken, another may not.

[Related: Build your own website, no coding required]

Once you’ve chosen a domain name (or two), you’ll need to enter your personal information and some payment information. You’ll be asked how long you want to register the domain name for – more years usually means more money, but a lower annual price – and your registrar will probably also offer paid extras, such as security. enhanced for your domain and e-mail addresses corresponding to your domain name.

What to do with your domain name

The custom domain feature and domain name interface on Tumblr.
Tumblr is a platform that supports custom domain names for free. David Nield

It is important to remember that a domain name does not come with a website. If you really want to put words, images, and anything else on your domain, you will also need a web hosting package. Your registrar will probably be able to sell you one, but it will cost a lot more than your domain name – from a few dollars a month to several hundred dollars a month if you’re a business that receives thousands of website visits. every day.

There are, however, less expensive options. Blogging platforms like Tumblr and Blogger let you use a domain name with your blog for free, as does website builder Ucraft. Domain names can also be attached to WordPress blogs, sites created through Wix, and portfolio pages created in Carrd, although in these cases you will need to be on a paid plan with the appropriate platform to attach a domain name. domain.

Almost all website builders, blogging platforms, and landing page creators will allow you to use your own domain name, but it’s usually an extra charge that will cost you money. Whether you go with one of these options or a custom web hosting plan really comes down to what you want to put on your domain and how much traffic you expect.

The good news is that your registrar of choice should make it easy to connect your domain name to the service you want to attach it to. It’s just a matter of providing some details about where you want the web address to point to. And if you’re using it with a blogging platform or website builder, you should find equally comprehensive instructions there for making the connection. All you have to do is make your site shine.

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