How to Register Your Own Domain Name

If you have a web site, you should seriously consider registering your own domain name. A domain name is a name like “brillianceteam.com” or “linksumo.com”, which you can use to refer to your website. Note that you do not have to be a company or organisation (“organization” if you use a different variant of English) to register a domain name. Any individual can do it too.

Importance of a Domain Name
There are a number of good reasons for having a domain name:

If you ever change your web host (the actual physical location of your website files), your domain name goes with you. Your regular visitors or customers who knew your site name as (say) www.brillianceteam.com will not need to be informed about a change of web address (also known as “URL”), since as far as they are concerned, the site is still at the same place. They can simply type your domain name, as before, and be transparently brought to your new location.

If you are a business, a domain name gives you credibility. Few people will be willing to do business with a company that does not have its own domain name.

If you get a domain name that describes your company’s business or name, people can remember the name easily and can return to your site without having to consult their documents. In fact, if you get a good name that describes your product or service, you might even get people who were trying their luck by typing “www.yourproductname.com” in their browser.

If you want good sponsors (advertisers) for your website, a domain name is usually helpful. It tends to give your website an aura of respectability.

Registration Overview
Getting a domain name involves registering the name you want with an organisation called ICANN through a domain name registrar. For example, if you choose a name like “example.com”, you will have to go to a registrar, pay a registration fee that costs around US$10 to US$35 for that name. That will give you the right to the name for a year, and you will have to renew it annually for (usually) the same amount per year.

Step By Step Instructions
If you want to register a domain name, here’s what you need to do. Please read it all before acting.

Think of a few good domain names that you’d like to use. It won’t do to think of only one. It might already be taken (it probably is). You may be interested in my other article with some tips on choosing a domain name.

Tools such as NameMesh can help you play with wording to get a fit for you.

There’s more to it than meets the eye.

You will need either a credit card or a PayPal account to pay for the domain, so make sure you have this before continuing. This is a requirement of most if not all registrars. It will allow you to claim and get the domain name immediately upon application. This is not an option (unfortunately).

If you already have a web host, obtain from them the names of their primary and secondary name servers. Don’t worry if you don’t understand what these things mean. Just save the information somewhere. The information can usually be obtained from their FAQs or other documentation on their site, usually under a category like “domain name” or “DNS” or “domain name transfer” and the like. If you can’t find it, email them. You’ll need the information to point your domain name to your website after you buy your domain. Having said that, if you don’t have a web host yet, don’t worry. Just read on.

If you do not have a web host, you can always allow the registrar to park your domain name at a temporary website specially set up for you. This way you can quickly secure your domain name before it’s too late and still take your time to set up the other aspects of your site. As far as I can tell, most registrars (or probably all) automatically park your domain by default whether you ask them to or not, so if this is your situation, you probably don’t have to do anything special to get it done. If this is the first time you are setting up a website, this paragraph probably applies to you, since you are unlikely to have a web host at this point. In other words, just skip to the next step.

Once you are at the registrar’s site (see below for a list of recommened registrars), you will be given the option to enter the domain you want, usually into a search box of some kind. The site will then search to see if the name is available. If it is, and you still want it, proceed to enter your details (name, address and telephone number) and pay for it. On completion, the domain will be yours.