How to Register a Domain Name

Registering your domain name is the first step in establishing your online presence and reaching visitors. Well show you how to create and register your domain, avoid some of the pitfalls that can arise, and choose the best domain name to make sure that your site reaches the most people. Read below if you want to get on your way to a successful website!

Your website will be made with a series of files, so youll need a place to store those files. You can do it on your own computer (without a hosting service) or store them on another companys servers (with a hosting service). Most webhosting services will also be able to register a domain name for you. Choose which route you want to take and then follow the appropriate set of instructions.

Choose a service to host your website, or go with the service that you already have (if you inherited a website). There are many reputable ones, and you will want to choose a reputable one, but they tend to have different customer service policies and prices. Choose whats best for you.

Reputable hosting services include , m, and

The hosting services all work with the ICANN database, which is in charge of keeping track of all domain names, so they should all turn up the same information.

These sites will all have an availability checker, where you type in the domain name you want and they tell you if its available or suggest alternatives if it isnt. Some will even tell you if there is a cheaper domain with a slightly different name.

Once youve found an available domain name, youll want to select it and follow the instructions for that particular service. When you select your domain name, you will also have the opportunity to add on other services that the host also provides. Choose whats best for you.

They will then ask for a bunch of information from you. This is necessary to register with the WHOIS database, where the owners of websites are required to list their information. This information can be made public or you can choose to keep in private (usually for an added fee).

Websites arent free! Enter your payment information and make sure its correct. This is why its a good idea to choose a reputable site: because they will have your payment information.

Once youre registered with them and everything is good to go, you can start using their tools to upload stuff to your site. You can also set up uploading through software programs like Firefox or Dreamweaver.

Method 2: Without a Hosting Service

Now, the trick with hosting your website on your own servers is that some ISPs (internet service providers) dont allow this. They will block the traffic. So, the first thing to do is check with your ISP to make sure this is allowed and if you need to do anything special. If they dont allow it, youll have to either change ISPs or change your mind about hosting.

Choose either one of the major hosting services, or find a website that just does registration, like Domjax. You can simply register a domain name with most of the hosting companies; you dont have to also host with them. Just find a reputable and certified

Keep in mind that some hosts and registrars are only allowed to register certain top-level domains (or TLDs), like and .xxx, and so on.

Youll need a server to host your site on. You can repurpose an old computer or you can get a straight-up server…whichever suits your needs best. Just make sure that it can handle the needs of your website. If you think youre going to be getting a lot of traffic, youll need a fast system. Your local computer store staff person should be able to advise you on the best option for your needs.

Youll need to set up your IP address to stay the same. Usually these change, but if yours changes people wont be able to get to your site! Think of the internet like a post office, and your IP address is like your address. It needs to stay the same if you want your mail to get to you!

Youll need software to run your server, so choose one that works for you and that you can learn to use. The most common is Apache.

Configure your router and firewall.

Both your router and your firewall will need to be reconfigured to allow your website to work. Your router will need to correctly forward connections on port 80 and your firewall will need to allow the traffic to move through.

Route your domain traffic to your computer.

Make sure that everything is correctly set up at that your domain traffic is sent to the correct location: your server! Test once you are done, both on your own computer and one at another location (like, another house) to make sure it works.

You need to understand that running your own server poses a serious security risk, as it is much easier to hack, and you will need to take the appropriate security precautions. Pay constant attention to your website and make sure that there are no signs of a security breach.

Did you find out that the domain name you wanted was already taken? Are you wanting to be sure that your domain name is optimal for people to find your website? Youll want to practice a few simple steps to get the name just right, rather that getting stuck and giving up or taking a less than great name.

Choose a domain name that sounds current, and not like something out of the 90s or 00s. Avoid using numbers or letters for words (2, 4, U, etc), or other dated language.

Choose a name that sounds professional and legitimate. Unless you want to be mistaken for a porn site or a scam, choose a name that sounds professional. For example, dont name your travel website and instead go with something like .

The domain name should be easy to read. Avoid names that are made up of multiple words with the same letter or letters that look the same, such as wikihowworld or wikiliki. On many computers and print media, these will be difficult to read correctly.

Shorter domain names are better, as these are easier to read, type, and remember. However, if your website can be easier to remember or stand out more at , rather than m, then dont worry about it.

If someone is going to learn about your website by word of mouth, youll want it to be something thats easy to remember. This is why its best to name it after your business or after yourself (if its something like a portfolio site).

Choose something thats clearly you.

Tie your domain name to your brand rather than your product. This will help people find you more easily and be easier to remember. It can also cut down on the price of your domain. For example, is better than m.

Maximize SEO (search engine optimization) by taking advantage of Googles tools, like Google Trends and Google Keywords. They can help you find easier searchable or more commonly searched alternatives, as well as provide expected search numbers.

Dont name your site in a way that could become a copyright issue. Thats a whole nightmare that you dont want to deal with. Dont confuse the terms with common intellectual properties or make it something that might be abusive to someones copyright. For example, naming your website or m is probably a terrible idea.

Top-level Domains (or TLDs) are the final part of your domain name, the letters following the dot. There are two TLDs that are commonly used regardless of the nature of the site and that is or . These are useful as people will assume it is one or the other if they cant remember or do not know your website address.

There are a few domains that are used for businesses, beyond the normal two, and you may want to consider them. Using one of the unusual TLDs can help keep costs down, as these usually cost less money to register. Examples include , , as well as the industry specific and qualification-requiring options.

While the TLD is now open to anyone, it is usually used to indicate an organization or non-profit entity. If you are such an entity, it would be a good idea to get one of these domains, as it will lend legitimacy to your organization.

While the two most common TLDs are usually used in personal sites, you do have a wide variety of options available to you, if you would rather set yourself apart or save some money. Widely consider your options before settling.

There are also TLDs for many of the different countries and regions. If you have a business that only operates within your country, it may be a good idea to choose one of these. They also serve to set your site apart and lower the cost, as the name will be in less demand.

Make sure when you choose a name and TLD that you read out loud how the whole thing sounds together. Look for ways in which the spelling or pronunciation might change if the dot was removed. People will accidentally create awkward or offensive phrases, especially if choosing one of the non-standard TLDs. You can also use this to your advantage and make your web address a phrase, like or .

Some TLDs require certain credentials to get. These include TLDs like .aero, t, .museum, or .pro. If you have the credentials necessary to get one of these domains, you may want to consider it. Otherwise, dont worry about these, as you will be unable to get them.

How do I determine if a domain name is available?

Go to and click on the Domain Names tab at the top left. Follow the instructions from there.

If a domain name is available, is it free?

No, there will be a fee. However, depending on the company you use to register your domain and also the name in question, the prices can range from very cheap to much higher. Look around for a reputable company of which you feel comfortable having your payment details and see what they offer. Many of my blogger friends like to use namecheap for their domain, but Ive also heard Gandi is good.

Can I register a domain name before paying?

No, you will need to pay prior to registering the domain name.

Include your email address to get a message when this question is answered.

Registering a domain name will get a new website halfway to the Internet. You must also find a company to host the website. This means paying a company to use their server, or computer space, to park a web site. Web hosting companies keep their servers live, or always on and connected to the Internet, so that people can always access the web sites. Many companies will host web sites. WordPress is a popular example. Shop around. Read forums and look for user feedback, because prices vary, as does quality.

TLDs on different servers may hold different pricing, functions or capacity. For example, WordPress sites under dot-com TLDs are cheaper, yet have more limitations than dot-org TLDs.

Network Solutions also offers a freewhois servicethat will tell you who owns a specific domain name. If a desired domain name is unavailable, the whois service will provide the name and address of the person who currently owns that domain so you can contact that person, and offer to buy the domain name.

Beware of websites promising free domain names. These sites may offer you a domain name in exchange for allowing them to host the website. However, many of these sites will retain ownership of the domain name if you choose to switch hosts.

Professionals should think twice about any site that gives out a domain name at the tail end of the web site. For example, if you are launching a computer retail business, the domain name doesnt exactly lend your business credibility. People tend to trust the domain name.

Italiano:Registrare il Tuo Dominio InternetDeutsch:Einen Domainnamen registrierenEspañol:registrar un nombre de dominioPortugus:Registrar um Nome de DomnioFrançais:enregistrer un nom de domaine:: Bahasa Indonesia:Mendaftarkan Nama Ranah (Domain)Čeština:Jak si zaregistrovat domnov jmnoالعربية:تسجيل اسم نطاقNederlands:Je domeinnaam registrerenहिन्दी:एक डोमेन नेम (Domain Name) रजिस्टर करें

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