How To Buy a Domain Name
In this domain registration guide, you'll learn how to buy a domain name and choose the right one for your website or business.
Registering a custom domain name is easy and affordable. You can do so using websites offering auction-style bidding, registrars, and aftermarket providers. That's the first step to creating a website for your business.
Or you can even flip domain names to make money online.
But before that, you should get into the basics first. So, I'll talk about the issues like what a domain name is, custom domain name types, things you should consider when purchasing one, and more. Sounds great? Let's start!
What Is a Domain Name?
Domain names are the human-readable addresses of websites that can be typed into a web browser. For example, Google's domain name is google.com. The DNS system translates IP addresses into these human-readable addresses.
A website has an IP address that looks like 192.1681.254. You can get to know about these addresses using a WHOIS tool.
But, it's hard for us to remember all the IP addresses of different websites. So, a domain name is an alias for an IP address. It makes it easy to remember and visit the website without remembering the IP address.
Search engines like Google also roll out domain names, rather than IP addresses.
Domains are registered with ICANN (Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers). It's a nonprofit organization that manages the domain system on the internet.
If you want to register a domain name, you have to contact a registrar approved by ICANN. A registrar is an organization that allows you to reserve a domain for yourself. And a WHOIS tool provides domain ownership details.
But if WHOIS Privacy Protection is enabled, you cannot know the identity associated with domains. Website and business owners keep the contact information private.
Makes sense? Awesome! Now let's get to know the domain name types.
Major Types of Domains
The SLD is the unique name of your brand, business, or website. The TLD is the part that comes after the dot in the domain. It can be generic or country-specific.
There are different types of domains that you can register.
These are the most popular ones:
Generic domains: These are the most common custom domain names, such as .COM, .NET, .ORG, and more. You can use these domains for any purpose.
Country code domains: These domains are country-specific such as .US, .UK, .AU, and so on. You can use these domains if you want to target a specific country.
New domains are the new domains introduced recently, such as .XYZ, .CLUB, .IO, and more. You can use these domains for any purpose.
Now that you know the types of domains let's move on and see what you should consider before buying one.
Things to Consider When Buying a Domain Name
When you're planning to buy a domain name, there are certain things you must consider. It can sound easy, but finding a perfect available domain can be challenging.
You should consider many things, such as your target audience, business goals, brand identity, and more. Before buying a domain, let's dive deep and see what points you must consider.
1/ Think About Your Target Audience
Who is your target audience? It can be businesses, individuals, or both. You should consider your target audience before buying a custom domain.
For example, if you're targeting businesses and individuals interested in artificial intelligence technologies, you should go for the .AI domain name registration.
When I created this site, I wanted to educate people about online businesses, so I registered H-Educate.Com.
Let me give you another example! If you want to target people with backyards, a domain name like OwnTheYard.Com would be perfect. I hope it makes sense!
2/ Make Your Domain Name Brandable & Memorable
For choosing a domain name for your business, you want something that's both brandable and memorable. But generic domains like bestcheapcarinsurance.com might be easy to remember, but they may look shady.
They are not brandable.
On the other hand, a brandable domain name is unique and aligned with your brand. It tells your customers what you do and why they should trust you.
Plus, a brandable domain is easier to remember than a generic one, which means more people are likely to visit your site and spread the word about your business. H-Supertools.Com is a wonderful example here.
3/ Go for the Perfect Domain Extension
The domain extension is the part that comes after your SLD. For example, in H-Supertools.Com, .Com is the extension.
There are many domain extensions to choose from, but not all will be relevant to your business. That's why you should carefully select the domain endings for your business.
For instance, choosing a .ORG domain would be perfect for an organization.
Let me share some domain endings for you:
- .COM .NET .ORG .BIZ
- .INFO .US .UK .CO .IO
And the list goes on! I suggest getting a .COM domain extension if you can find one. All my domains have a .COM extension, except for SEOAnalyzer.ME because I want to keep this name.
4/ Keep It Short & Simple
When it comes to choosing a domain, shorter is always better. A long and complicated domain will be hard to remember and type.
Plus, it will be easy to misspell, which can cost you a lot of traffic. You should always go for a short and simple domain.
Your domain name should also be easy to pronounce and spell. If it's not, people will have difficulty finding your site.
If you can't find a short domain name available, you can try adding prefixes or suffixes to make it shorter.
For example, if the domain you want is already taken, you can try something like MyDomainName.Com or TheDomainName.Com.
5/ Avoid Hyphens & Numbers
When buying a domain name for your business, avoid hyphens and numbers as much as possible.
Hyphens can be confusing and hard to remember. Sorry for the hyphens in H-Supertools.Com and H-Educate.Com, but I wanted to keep the brand name alive. But that's not recommended!
Numbers can also be confusing because people might not know if they should enter the number or spell it out. If you want to use a domain with numbers, I suggest using them at the beginning or the end of your domain.
For example, 75BestTools.Com or Digital247.Com.
Sounds great? Let's jump on the domain name registration guide now.
6/ Buy a Clean Domain Name
What do I mean by that? When looking for a domain name, try to avoid anything that's already been used.
A clean domain name has no backlinks pointing toward it. And if it has, it has a clean backlinks profile, meaning it has no shady or spammy links.
If you can find a domain with high-quality backlinks, you're in luck! You can get started with an authority site right from the start. But the domain availability
To check if a domain has backlinks, you can use a free tool like SEOAnalyzer.Me. Just enter the domain in the search bar and hit enter. The tool will analyze the entire SEO performance of the website and give you a detailed report.
And that report will help you decide on the perfect domain registration.
How to Buy a Domain Name from a Registrar
In this section, you'll learn how to register a domain name from registrars approved by ICANN. Don't worry, the domain registration process is easy!
1/ Decide on the Best Domain Name Registrar
The reliable domain registrar is the one that will help you register your domain and keep it active for as long as you want. Also, look for the ones that don't do upsells all the time.
There are many domain providers, but not all are created equal. Some registrars are more expensive than others. Some offer more features than others. And some are more reliable than others.
If you want to get a domain name from another registrar, I recommend using Namecheap, Hover, or Google Domains for .COM domain. These are all great registrars with reasonable prices and good customer support.
2/ Do a Fast Domain Search
Many domain name generators can help you find a great domain for your business. Most domain registration companies also help you search for the perfect domain. But they are either slow or don't give you suggestions.
There's a complete range of domain ideas.
I recommend using FastDomainer.Com to help you find the best domain for your business. Just enter your keyword, giving you tons of great ideas with several extensions. It's
- Go to FastDomainer's Domain Generator.
- Enter the relevant keyword.
- And click on the "Generate" button.
And you'll find hundreds of great domains that you can register. How cool is that?
There are many other domain lookup tools you can try:
Keep searching with different names and extensions until you find the perfect domain for your business. If it's already registered, you can reach out to the owner and ask them to sell it to you.
3/ Register Your Domain Name
Once you've found the perfect domain on FastDomainer, you can click "Buy" to register it directly from my recommended registrar.
If you want to buy from another registrar, copy and paste the domain name into the registrar of your choice. For example, you love NameCheap:
- Go to NameCheap, Google Domains or FastDomainer.
- Enter your domain and click "Search."
- Hit the "Add to cart" button and checkout.
- Confirm the order and enter your payment details.
After a short time, you'll get an email from the registrar with everything you need to know about your new domain. Congratulations! You've bought a domain name :)
4/ Connect Your Domain Name With Your Hosting
To launch a website, you need to connect your domain with your hosting plan. This way, when someone enters your domain, they'll be redirected to your website. Let me share how you can do that:
- Go to your domain name registrar.
- Select your domain.
- Try to find an option to manage your domain.
- Find the "Nameservers" section and go for custom DNS.
- Add the nameservers provided by your hosting services.
Also, add an addon domain name on your hosting account to point it to the directory where you've installed WordPress for content management. After the domain setup, your domain should be successfully connected to your hosting account.
After that, you might want to create a custom email address using your own super-fast hosting or low-cost shared web hosting plans. Or you can get an email service plan with Google Workspace, that's the ideal email solution for you.
How to Buy a Domain Name from Someone
Buying a domain from another person can be daunting, but it doesn't have to be. Following these simple steps can make the process as smooth and stress-free as possible.
First, you need to find the current owner's personal contact or admin contact info. This can usually be done by looking up their name through the WHOIS tool.
If you can't find their contact information there because of the privacy protection, you can find it on the domain's website. You usually find the owner's email address on the contact page.
Once you have made contact, offer a fair price for the domain and decided on the payment method. You can do the domain name search to get an idea of what a fair price would be.
If you aren't sure, it never hurts to ask for help. You can even hire a broker to help you negotiate the deal on your behalf.
Once both parties have agreed on a price, use an escrow service to complete the sale. Escrow is a reliable payment processor. This will ensure that both parties are satisfied and that the sale is as low risk as possible.
FAQs on Registering a Domain Name Correctly
Let me answer the most common questions people have about buying domain names.
1/ How Much Does a Domain Name Cost?
Domain name prices can vary depending on the extension and duration you choose. For example, the average price of a .com domain is from $10 to $20 per year, while a highly-prized .tech premium domain could cost around $50.
It's also important to factor in any additional services such as SSL, privacy protection, and more. An expired domain purchase may cost more because it comes with power backlinks.
2/ How to Renew a Domain Name?
To renew a domain, you must contact your registrar or reseller. You can find your registrar's contact information by conducting a WHOIS search.
And usually, your registrar sends you an email before the domain expires, reminding you to renew it. Don't worry, it's easier than the new domain registration process.
3/ How to Check If a Domain Name Is Available?
The easiest way to check if a domain is available is to use a WHOIS database or FastDomainer, a handy domain name search tool. You can contact the registrar directly or use a service such as NameCheap's Domain search bar.
4/ How to Register a Domain Name for Free?
Unless you buy hosting or anything else from a company, you cannot register a free domain. You can either go for free domains like .TK, .ML, .GA, .CF and .GQ from FreeNom or domain endings like .BLOGSPOT.COM, or .WEEBLY.COM.
Purchasing higher-tier subscriptions will save you money on your first year of domain name registration. Affordable subscriptions are usually available on the domain registrars.
5/ How to Buy a Domain Name Permanently?
Honestly, you cannot buy a domain permanently. Because once you buy it, you need to pay an annual fee to keep it registered. And if you don't renew it, someone else can register it. However, you can pre-pay for almost 10 years, usually the maximum duration.