A domain name is the key part of an online web address. The most common and popular format for domains is YOURNAMEHERE.com. For example, the domain for this website is buildyourowndamnwebsite.com.
How to register a domain name
IMPORTANT: If you’re using a website such as Wix or Weebly, they offer domain registrar services. In fact, it might be easier, faster and cheaper (or free) to go through your website builder. Some website builders offer a free domain as part of their paid plans.
- Visit a domain registrar. Two popular domain registrars are GoDaddy and Namecheap, but you can find a whole list of them by searching “domain registrar”.
- Check that the domain is available: you probably won’t get the first domain you want because it might be taken by someone else. You can check whether your domain is available by visiting GoDaddy or Namecheap and typing in the domain name of your choice. If it’s not available, you’ll see a list of suggested ones that are available.
- Go through the payment steps and confirmation to secure your domain.
When you register a domain, you have the authority use it for all sorts of things. For example, you might register example.com. Your web address (URL) might sit at https://www.example.com. You also have authority to create email addresses like [email protected].
- You don’t need to own a domain name to have a website, but it goes a long way to establishing your authority as a real business.
- Your domain can expire, and it’s up to you to keep your registration active. If you think you’ll forget to keep it registered, you might want to set an auto-renew on your domain. It’s like a yearly subscription that you can set and forget.
- The “.com” part is something known as a top level domain. You will have heard of other top level domains, including .net and .org, but more and more are becoming available for public use. An extensive list is available on Wikipedia: List of Internet top-level domains.
- Most people aim to register the “.com” of their site because it is the most common and memorable.
- The “www” does not form part of the domain, and you will see many websites that choose to omit the “www” from their URL.