Get ready to start buying a domain name
Originally posted on February 1, 2016 and currently being updated.
How much does it cost to buy a domain name?
The cost of buying a domain name is very affordable and even more so if you pay for several years at a time.
If the domain name you want is already taken, sometimes it is offered for sale and you will be invited to make an offer.
The cost will depend on how popular the seller thinks the name might be and this is reflected in the price.
At this stage I would recommend that you just choose a different name if the one you want isn’t available.
What does it mean to buy a domain name?
Once you have purchased a domain name it means that you and only you have access to that particular domain name while it is still registered and paid for.
When the domain name comes up for renewal, you have a choice, you can either renew the name or let it go.
If you let it go, it then becomes available for someone else to purchase. You can set your domain name to auto renew if you think you may forget. Usually you will receive an email with plenty of warning that a domain name is about to expire.
Where do you buy a domain name?
You probably have heard of GoDaddy or seen their advertising as they were one of the first big companies to really get a stronghold in this market, however, now there are many different companies online where you can purchase domain names.
Always choose a reputable company that has a well known and trusted name. GoDaddy, Namecheap, Name and Hostgator are all well known however you may have personal preference.
I have personally used Namecheap and GoDaddy and have been very happy with the service from both companies.
How to Register a domain name
Choose a domain name registrar – namecheap.com
Type the name you have chosen into the search bar to see if it is available. All domain name registrars will have the search function.
If the name is available and you are happy with your choice proceed to the next step. If it is not available, there may be some alternative suggestions for you based on your original choice. Think of another name and try the search function again.
You might also be offered the domain name of your choice with different extensions, for example .net .org etc.
At this stage it is not necessary to buy other domain name extensions. You might want to do this if your site becomes hugely popular but for the moment just buy the .com.
Other domain name extensions are fine but .com is certainly the easiest for everyone to remember and you want your domain name to be memorable.
If you have chosen a different extension that is fine.
Choose the whoisguard if this is something you want (see below for more information). Sometimes the Whoisguard is free for the first 12 months. That is a bonus. Bypass any other add ons and go straight to the checkout.
Paying for a domain name
When you pay for a domain name there is usually a choice of paying for one year or multiple years. The graphic above is an approximation of cost. The cost of your domain name will be similar but not exactly the same.
There is usually a cost saving with paying for multiple years.
Registering for several years, does give you the safety factor of not having to remember to re register your domain name each year, however you may want to just register for one year and then decide at the end of the year if you want to carry on with the site.
Either way, you will be a sent a reminder, however be aware that if you should miss the reminder and lose your domain name it could put your blog/ business in jeopardy.
You can protect your privacy by applying the WhoisGuard when you are paying for your domain name.
It is one of the upsells and the only one that I would recommend if you do not want your ownership of the domain name made public.
With WhoisGuard your personal information will not be publicly visible on the internet.
This is an entirely personal decision. I always use WhoisGuard.
Sometime the WhoisGuard is free for the first year of registration.
What next? Yes, there’s more …
You now have a domain name but you still need to organize web hosting.
What is web hosting ?
Web hosting is a service that effectively gives you space to publish your site on the internet so that everyone else can see it.
If you haven’t organised web hosting yet, that’s okay because most domain name registrars will just “park” your domain name until you are ready to do something with it.
That means you can leave it at Namecheap or wherever you purchased the domain name and you can in the meantime organise your web hosting.
When I first started making sites, I found the whole domain name, web hosting information a bit confusing so if you have any questions please don’t hesitate to use the comments section below to ask a question.
Look out for instructions to set up web hosting, then you will be Up, Up and Away.