If you’re kickstarting the exciting journey of creating your own blog, website, or online store, you'll need a web domain name.
For the uninitiated, a domain name is just a web address pointing towards the IP server that enables internet users to easily find your content.
That said, in this guide, we’ll explain how to buy a domain name for your website. Let's dive in...
Understanding Domain Names
First, let’s quickly look at the different domain names you can purchase and what they mean for your site.
Domain names consist of two components:
- Second-level domains (SLDs)
- Top-level domains (TLDs)
A second-level domain is usually just the name of your website. This is the customizable part of your domain name that appears on the left of the extension or top-level domain. For example, Google is the second-level domain in google.com.
Top-level domains are also referred to as domain extensions. Here are a few popular examples and what they signify:
- .com, short for “commercial.” This is the most popular domain extension to date.
- .net, short for “network,” created for technology organizations
- .edu, short for education, used by academics, universities, and US schools
- .org, short for “organization,” popular with non-profits and communities
- .gov, short for “Government,” strictly reserved for the use of government agencies
Beyond these popular extensions, you'll also find a range of country-specific TLDs, like .de for Germany or .ca for Canada.
How Much Does a Domain Name Cost?
Web domains can be as little as $12.99 per year, and domain registrars often offer multi-year registrations for lower prices and other promotions. So, be sure to keep an eye out for that!
You may also get a cheaper domain name if you purchase web hosting from the same provider. (Note: With a branchbob store, hosting is included!)
Checking Your Name is Available
Once you have some domain name ideas in mind and know what extension you’d like to use, you can check the availability of your domain name on instantdomainsearch.com.
Purchase Your Domain Name from a Reliable Domain Registrar
If your domain name is available, hooray! It's time to buy it.
Fortunately, purchasing a domain name isn’t complicated. You can find hundreds of domain registrars online. Still, you'll only want to use reliable registrars accredited with the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN).
Then it’s a simple case of following the registrar’s checkout process. That said, payment isn’t the last step on the list. Next, you’ll need to verify possession of your domain. With most modern domain registrars, you’ll receive a simple verification email that only requires you to click a link to verify your ownership.
Voila, that’s it! Once you’ve bought your domain name, you can connect it to your web hosting or website building platform and start getting found online!
How to create a CNAME record for your domain is explained here: Create CNAME record