Buying a domain name is exciting: but it’s also something you really need to get right! There’s a few critical things to know and a few steps to follow to be secure in your purchase – like choosing a reputable service to buy it from. Here’s a short video tutorial on all you need to know:
Let’s take a look…
How and Where to Buy a Domain Name:
“How can I register my own domain name?” is a very common question for anyone just getting started in the world of domains, hosting and websites. Here’s your answer, step by step. One, decide on a domain name. Two, check if it’s available. Three, choose a domain registrar, that’s the company that’s going to register a domain on your behalf. And four, purchase your domain. We’re going to take a closer look at all of that and more, as well as what to do if the domain you want isn’t available. But first, let’s take a look at the parts that make up a domain. You’ll notice on-screen that there are four parts to a domain name, but we’re gonna focus in on the last two. The name of the website, in this graphic, that’s wordpress and the TLD, or extension, in this example, that’s .org. Together, the name and the TLD make up the domain name and that’s what you purchase. When you have a domain name in mind, you need to make decision as to where you’re going to purchase the domain name from. We cover how to choose a good domain name in a separate video, so here we’re going to focus on the registration process. When deciding where to purchase your domain, you can choose a separate third party company, like Namecheap, or you can buy your domain from your web posting company. There are a few pros and cons to each. The main pro is that when you purchase your domain from your hosting company, you don’t have to worry about pointing that domain to your hosting account. That will be automatically configured for you when you make the purchase. The main con is that if you ever want to move away from your current hosting company, you’re going to have to transfer the domain or keep the domain with the hosting company, even if you move to a different host for your website. The main pro of purchasing it from a third party company is that you have complete control over your domain’s DNS, or configuration. That means that you can point your domain to any hosting company you want, you can set up a separate service for email and more. The con here is that you need a little bit of technical knowledge in order to do those things. Since this is a stand alone video about how to purchase a domain name, we’re going to use Namecheap to purchase it. The first thing we’re going to do is search the domain name that we want. Let’s say we’re setting up a blog about book reviews, so we want to purchase bookworm.com. We’ll put that into the search box and see if it’s available. Namecheap will then do a search on all of the available domains for bookworm, or the second level domain. You can see that bookworm.com is taken. Most domain registrars, including Namecheap, will make some recommendations as to what is available for you to purchase. But, since bookworm is a very common term, it’s pretty slim picking. When you come across a domain that you want, but is taken, you have a couple of options. You can make an offer to buy the domain from the current registrar, which could get really pricey, or you can go ahead and try to choose another domain name. A service like namemesh.com is a great tool to figure out what domains are available for you to purchase. So, if I put in the words book and worm, it will do a search for all of the available domains and let me know which ones are available. You can see that the most common ones include a hyphen or don’t include .com and we really want to try to go for .com here. Under similar, it will use synonyms to match different types of domains. And we could scroll through these and decide which one we want best. After trying a few different combinations, we see that talebug.com is available and that’s the domain that we’re going to register. So, we’ll go back to Namecheap, delete bookworm.com and instead, put in talebug.com. Namecheap will then do the search and it shows us that the domain is available for purchase, so we’ll add it to our cart and we’ll go to view cart. In our cart, we’ll see a few different options. We can choose to register the domain for more than one year, which is a good idea if you tend to forget about renewing subscriptions, or you can turn on auto renew, so each year at the same time, your credit card will be automatically billed to renew your domain. I would strongly recommend this because there’s nothing worse than losing a domain because you forgot to renew it. Especially if it’s an active site that you use regularly. There are also a few other options for privacy and and uptime protection. You can see that WhoisGuard is turned on and is free for the first year. WhoisGuard will take your registration information, that is your name, address, phone number and email, and make it anonymous, so that random companies can’t contact you about your domain. WhoisGuard or WhoisPrivacy is something that we would strongly recommend you turn on, unless you want to get bombarded with emails and snail mail about your domain. We’ll also turn auto renew on for this, so it’ll be an additional $. next year. There are also a few other upsells that you can add, but we’re going to skip over those and confirm our order. Once you click confirm order, you’ll be able to log in to your account if you have one with Namecheat or you’ll be able to create an account. You do need to have an account created when you buy a domain. People may need to get in touch with you about your domain, you will have specific settings for your hosting provider so your domain points to your website and your information needs to be on record for the next year when your domain auto renews. So, you can go through the account creation process or log into your account. Next, it’s time to put your payment method in and once that information is put in, you’ll be able to review your purchase, make sure that automatic renew is turned on only for the services that you want to be automatically renewed, which for us is the domain registration and the free WhoisGuard, and then we will click continue. Once you continue, you’ll be given one more chance to review your order before paying. Your order will then be processed and you’ll be ready to manage your domain. The main thing you’ll want to do once your domain is purchased and registered is point it to your hosting account. This process is different for every host, so be sure to read your hosting company’s knowledge base support documents or reach out to their support team to learn how to do it for your domain registrar. Also, remember that purchasing a domain does not mean that you have hosting automatically, nor does it mean you have an email address. Those are both separate services from purchasing the domain. One more note before we go, as of January , , ICANN has mandated that all registrars need to verify the WHOIS information for the domain registrar. So, shortly after you register your domain, you’ll get an email from Namecheap with a link you need to click in order to verify that you are the one who registered the domain. If you don’t do this, your domain will become inactive and you will not be able to use it. When you click the link, you’ll be brought to a success page, letting you know that your domain has been verified. That’s it for this video. If you liked it, be sure to click the thumbs up below and be sure to subscribe to WinningWP for more great content.
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