How To Register A Domain Name

In this lesson, you will learn how to register a domain name. You have put a lot of work into researching your website concept and keywords, in addition to learning how to pick a great domain name. Now you can take the next step in making your website a reality by learning about registering domain names.

Domain Names and Website Hosts are Connected

Let me give you a brief overview on how domain names link to websites.

When someone types in a domain name, it is associated with a specific DNS (Domain Name Server) address.

DNS databases on the internet then point the domain name to specific servers that host that particular website.

So what does this have to do with knowing how to register a domain name? When you start the registration process for your domain name, you will be asked for the DNS information of your website host.

Therefore, it is beneficial if you choose a website host before you register your domain name. There are even website hosts which will register your domain name for you as part of the hosting price so you don't even have to mess with it. The one I prefer is Site Build It

Of course, you can register your domain name before you choose a website host and park the domain name. When you eventually choose a website host, you will then need to update the DNS information with your domain name registrar.

Now that you understand how domain names and website hosts are related, we will discuss how to register a domain name when you don't have a website host or if your host won't register your domain for you.

How to register a domain name

If you choose a website host that doesn't register your domain name for you, you will need to use a Domain Registrar to do this. A registrar is a company that registers domain names and assigns them to a specific network through DNS databases.

There are a lot of domain name registrars, but the biggest ones are godaddy.com, register.com, and dotster.com. Domain name registration fees will run from $8.95 up to $50 for one year, but you can get a discount for longer renewal periods.

The domain registrar will require the DNS information of your website hosting company at the time of domain registration (your website host will provide you with this information). If you don't have a hosting company, you can still register your domain name, and then add the DNS information after you get a hosting company. It is your responsibility to keep your contact information and DNS numbers up to date.

Information Needed When Registering Domain Names

When you fill out the registration form, be sure to provide accurate contact and address information. Registrars require this information because it allows them to notify you about renewing your domain name and any other administrative needs. You will also need to have a valid credit card ready to complete your registration.

Also, be sure to use an email address that you plan on keeping for the life of your website. If you switch email addresses without notifying the registrar, they might not be able to contact you.

Below is the information that is usually required to register a domain name. Much of the information will be the same for registrant, administrative, technical, and billing contact unless the website is a corporate website.

  1. Requested domain name - this is the ideal domain name that you researched in our previous lessons.
  2. Registrant - the person or company who is buying the domain name.
  3. Administrative contact - the person authorized to make changes concerning the domain name (such as transferring ownership).
  4. Technical contact - the person who can make technical changes associated with the domain name (such as DNS server information).
  5. Billing contact - the person to whom all bills and correspondence is sent to.
  6. DNS server settings - these are supplied by your website host. If you don't have a hosting company, you can still register your domain, but you will need to add the DNS information after you get a hosting company. Before your domain name will point to your actual website, the DNS information will need to be uploaded to the DNS databases. This usually takes at least 24 hours.

It is also important to note that your domain name is only "yours" as long as you pay the renewal fees. If you do not renew your domain name registration, someone else can re-register your domain name for themselves.

Record Everything

Remember to write down the URL of your domain name registrar and print out a copy of the terms of service as well as the confirmation and registration specifics. You will need this information if you ever change website hosts.

Return to top of How to Register a Domain Name

Now that you have learned how to register a domain name, you can move on to choosing a hosting company for your website.

Next: Low Cost Web Hosting Services

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Web Domain Search Strategies
Domain Name Extensions
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