Your domain name is your unique address on the web. It is what is typed in the web bar or on search engines to locate your business on the Internet. It is technically called your URL (www.mycompany.com).
With a domain name, you get a website and a personalised email that gives you an online identity, reflects your personality and makes you look truly professional.
If you have a thriving business, you should seriously consider registering domain name, getting a good and responsive website designed for you and hosting it with a credible and reliable web host. However, you do not have to own a business to register a domain name or own a website. Anyone can do it.
So, how do you register your own domain name? First, you have to choose a creative, descriptive and concise domain name. Next, you apply for a domain name registration with a registrar, along with your name and contact information and payment method. You can register your name at Freeparking.
Only domain names that have not been previously taken by other website owners can be registered; so your registrar will have to check for availability of your chosen domain name.
You will be instantly notified if the submitted domain name has been taken or is unavailable. You may be offered a few modification suggestions, but it always advisable to take your time to try several changes and create a name that will be memorable, descriptive and brand-able. It is decision that will stay with you for a long time, and therefore should be looked at carefully and not rushed.
Why you need a domain name registration
There a number of reasons why having a good domain name is key to your personal and business success:
- Once you have registered your domain name and annually renew your copyright, it is permanently yours. Even if you change your web host, the name goes with you to your new host. So, for your regular site visitors, nothing changes and they do not have to be informed about your change of a web host. They simply type in your web address and they’re taken to your new site.
- If you run a business, a domain name gives it credibility. Owning a domain name is one of the major parameters serious clients use in determining a professional company they can do business with.
- If you get your domain name right and it is brand-able, descriptive and intuitive, it reinforces the association with your brand name. Web users will be able to easily recall your brand name without needing to consult their document.
- A good domain name can help you make money or extra profits on the web from sponsors and advertisers. That is because a professional-looking domain name gives your website an air of esteem and respect.
A summary of domain registration process
Actually, when you register your domain name, the information is stored with the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) through one of its licensed domain name registrars. These registrars, which charge varying fees for their services, include companies like GoDaddy, Namecheap, 1&1 Internet, and Dotster.com.
Buying a domain name from a registrar usually ranges between $10 and $50 or £7 and £40 per year, depending on your preferred TLD extension (For example, .COM is more expensive than .UK or .CO.UK). Payment of the registration fee gives you the right to the name for only that year, and you will have to renew the license every other year as fro usually the same amount.
A domain name registrar is different from a web host, although some companies offer both services. While you register your domain name with a registrar, your website is hosted on the server of your webhost or hosting company. You will usually be billed monthly or yearly (at about the same rate as for registering) by your webhost company depending on your selecting hosting plan and how much storage and bandwidth your website is using.
What next after you’ve registered your domain name?
After you’ve successfully registered your chosen web address with your registrar, you should engage a professional web designer to create a quality and responsive website that can pull high web traffic and boost its profit-generating potentials.
One thing you definitely do not want to do after you’ve decided on a domain name is to procrastinate. One moment of dilly-dallying and your chosen web address that was available some moments ago may have been taken the next minute.
Domains names are constantly being registered on the web and the longer you take to register yours, the less likely you’ll still find it available when you come back to register it or an alternative that is descriptive of your business niche.
Therefore, if you want your own domain name, here are what you should know and the step by step guide to successfully complete the process.
- Think of several creative domain name alternatives. Doing otherwise and sticking with a single name limits your getting an available name to almost zero. It probably has been taken!
- Be creative with your domain name options. Let it be intuitive, descriptive, memorable and easy to pronounce. All of these elements will help improve your online presence and web traffic. Specifically, when creating a domain name, you should note these points.
- Get imaginative and use words or phrases that are descriptive of your business. This will help your prospective clients on the web to instantly intuit what your business is about. It helps also in your search engine ranking and web traffic.
- Don’t use domain names that sound and look to similar to existing brand or that could infringe on a copyright or trademark.
- Sometime, you have a specific domain name that you want, but it is unavailable or taken. If the original domain name registration owner is a cybersquatter or any other genuine web user, you may consider buying the copyright if it’s the right investment. You may also decide to buy an expired domain name or wait for your preferred domain name to expire and then buy it.
- Pay for your domain with your credit card or PayPal account. This is usually a requirement by most domain name registrars, as it allows for easy and digitally seamless payment and processing method, especially when renewing the web address license.
- If you got a web host, request their primary and secondary name servers. This information is usually available on FAQs page of these companies or some other documentations often under a category like ‘domain name’ ‘DNS’ or ‘domain name transfer.’ If you can’t see it there, send them a mail requesting it. You will require this information to direct your domain name to your website after you’ve purchased the domain name.
- While you get your website ready, tell your registrar to ‘park’ your web address or site it in a temporary website. Your registrar usually does this by default whether you request it or not with a free, customized email address. If it is automatically done, you may not need to do anything specifically to get it done. But if it isn’t done, you need to quickly request so it so you can immediately secure your domain name while you finalise the details of your website.