Now that you have chosen a name for your website and made sure it is available, it is time to claim it as yours. In this step, I’ll go over how to purchase, or “register” your domain name.
But first I want to mention that some hosting services (which we will discuss in step 3) offer free domain name registration when you purchase a plan. If you are planning to use the free version of a hosting service, then continue with this step. But, if you want to purchase a hosting service, and don’t want to miss out on the free registration, you can go ahead and do step 3 and come back to this one if you need to.
In order to claim a name as your own on the internet, you need to register it as yours. You do this by purchasing the domain name from one of many different domain name registration services. It is not a one time purchase, instead, you pay a fee (either monthly, yearly, or for a longer term) to reserve the name as yours.
Here are some sites where you can register your domain name:
There are other sites, of course, and most hosting services also do domain registrations. But these are the three that seem to be the most popular. Personally, I use GoDaddy and have never had issues with them. Most people that I talked to though preferred NameCheap.
Ultimately, it does not matter which one you choose. The difference is mostly in price and customer experience.
Each website is a little different, but they have the same basic steps:
- Search for your domain name
- Add it to your cart
- Check out and purchase your domain
Here are a few things I do when registering a domain:
- I don’t pay extra for hiding my identity, but if it makes you feel safer then it is worth the money
- I like to buy 5 years of registration at a time when I have the funds
- I turn on automatic renewals so that I never lose my registration
What happens when you lose your registration? It becomes available for someone else to buy. It is unlikely that you will need to worry about this unless you are really popular or have chosen a common name for your site. Either way, it is a good idea to have auto renewals turned on if it is an option.
And that is basically it for Step 2: Claim It. If you would like to see step by step instructions for any domain registration site, let me know in the comments or through the contact form.