Keep in mind the following guidelines when choosing a domain name: Avoid numbers and hyphens. Avoid intentionally misspelled words. Make the domain name memorable and keep it short. Use your brand name as your domain name. Use an appropriate domain name extension, “.com” if possible. There are many websites that you can use to check the availability of domain names. Virtually all companies that offer website hosting services also allow you to select and register domain names. Oftentimes people register their domain name and purchase hosting services at the same time and from the same company, but you can purchase a domain name separate from hosting services if desired.
Instant Domain Search
Personally I use Instant Domain Search to check for available domain names because the site is easy to use and search results are lightning fast. To access the Instant Domain Search website, enter “instantdomainsearch.com” in your browser. Let’s say that I wanted to check the availability of a domain name called “raymondenterprises.” I simply enter the name in the “Search for a domain name” box. After entering the name, the results area shows availability for different extensions. I’m interested in the .com extension which thankfully shows as available.
Next, I’m going to walk you through how to register a domain name. It’s a rather simple process. As mentioned earlier, virtually all hosting companies allow you to search for and register domain names. You don’t have to purchase hosting services when you register a domain name, and you are not required to use hosting services from the same company where you registered your domain name. For example, I can register a domain name at GoDaddy today and host it on Hostgator at some point in the future.
Registering A Domain
The basic process when registering a domain name is to select a web hosting company, select additional options if desired, select the number of years you would like to pay in advance, review your order, and purchase. I will show you how to accomplish this next. Now that I’ve confirmed that my desired domain name is available, I’m going to press the Buy button, which will take me to godaddy.com where I can register it. I’m only interested in purchasing my domain with a .com extension, so I press the “Add to Cart” button and then the “Continue to Cart” button. The next page presents options that I can add when registering the name. By default, privacy protection is selected, which hides my personal information from others who access the master domain name database. Selecting this option will prevent you from receiving spam emails.
I’ve registered domain names with and without privacy protection. Without privacy protection, I receive around 5 spam emails per year. I can deal with that, so I will check “No Thanks” for privacy. The next option asks whether I would like to use GoDaddy’s GoCentral Website Builder free for one month. Right now I just want to register a domain name and not commit to using a particular website builder, so I will uncheck this option. The last option asks if I would like to create an email address that matches the domain name. I don’t want to commit to a particular email hosting service yet so I will say no thanks to this option as well and press the “Continue with these options” button.
On the next page I select the number of years I want to pay for. GoDaddy will automatically send you emails prior to the expiration date as a reminder to renew. I’m going to select one year as the term and then review my order. The order looks correct, so I will press the Register button to complete the purchase with my payment information. GoDaddy requires you to create an account when you register a domain name, and you can use this account to manage and renew your domain over time.