How to Buy a Domain Name: A Brief Guide

While you can’t technically buy a domain name, you can register it for an unlimited time. The domain registration process is simple and straightforward. We’ll explain how to buy a domain name and share everything you need to know about the process.

Buy a Domain Name: Step-By-Step Walkthrough

Building your online presence is one of the first steps when starting a business. To do that, you need a domain name that matches or represents your business and brand.

In this article, we’ll show you how to buy a domain name and what steps you need to take once you have the name available for use.

Key Points
– A domain name needs to be memorable, easy to spell, and, most importantly, available.
– You can get a domain name quickly in four easy steps.
– Domain registration should be done as soon as possible so as not to miss out on it.
– You can’t buy a domain name, but you can register it for up to ten years at a time.
– It takes 24–72 hours for the name to become publicly active.

What to Know Before Buying a Domain Name

The domain name should be easy to remember, spell, and pronounce. Consider using a recognizable top-level domain, such as .com or .net. While you can go for an alternative extension, using a popular one will help you build people’s trust in your domain name.

If you don’t have a clear idea of what your domain name should be, you can use our free domain name generator to get thousands of ideas based on your keywords. The generator will automatically check if the domain name is available. You can also check domain name availability below:

When you have a few ideas marked, it’s important to do some due diligence. 

  • Check if it infringes on any trademarks,
  • Check what domain types your competitors use,
  • Make sure the name (and extension) make it clear what your business is about,
  • Explore alternatives to .com but don’t break the mold too much,
  • Check if the name is available and register it. If it’s not available, you can try to acquire a taken domain name.


A .com domain is the most popular extension, but you can find niche TLDs that can do even better. For example, the .io extension is widely used in the technology sector, but is less relevant in other markets. The .ai extension has become associated with the AI industry.

MORE: Find out who owns a domain name

How to Buy a Domain Name: Step-by-Step Process

If the domain name is available (and doesn’t infringe on any trademarks), it’s time to buy it. The process is quick and simple. All you need to do is:

  1. Find a registrar: Opt for a trusted service provider, such as GoDaddy or
  2. Run a domain name search: This will show all the available extensions.
  3. Pick the most fitting domain name: Choose an extension that will be recognizable and help you better describe your business (for example, if you’re a talent agency, .hr might be a good option).
  4. Finish the purchasing process: This differs depending on the source and includes choosing a payment method unless you want to get a free domain.

Congratulations, you’re now a proud domain name owner. When you complete the process, it can take from 24 to 72 hours to become visible in the domain name system (DNS).

Watch our video to learn more about buying a domain name:

How to Buy a Domain Name From Someone

If the domain name is taken, you may still be able to buy it. Visit domain auctions, such as GoDaddy, Sedo, and Namecheap. Search for your preferred domain name and see if it’s listed. If it’s there, you can participate by placing a bid.

If not, you can find owner information by looking up the domain name in the WHOIS database. Reach out to the owner via email and see if they’re willing to sell usage rights. Before you do this, decide what is the highest amount you’re willing to buy the domain name for.

A graphic representing the process of buying a domain name

How to Buy a Domain Name Forever

Unfortunately, you can’t. Registering domain names is a subscription-based service, and you have to renew the subscription once it expires.

The main reason you can’t permanently buy a domain name is to avoid the DNS being cluttered with unused domain names that nobody can claim. It also incentivizes registrars to offer affordable registration prices and maintain the DNS.

When Should I Buy a Domain Name?

We suggest you don’t wait for too long, as high-quality names get snapped up quickly. The cost of registering the domain name can be low. Even if you decide to rebrand later on, getting a domain name is not an expense that would cripple your business. 

Plus, in the future, you can always check out the value of your domain name and sell it for a profit.

MORE: How much will a domain name cost?

Things to Do After Buying a Domain Name

Now that you have a domain name, it’s time to set up your website. The first step to having a website is getting a hosting plan. While domain names and hosting plans are not the same thing, they often go hand in hand, and you can get a plan from your registrar. The hosting service allows you to publish a website that others can access.

With a hosting plan in place, you can crack on with building the website. You can do that by coding manually, hiring a developer, or using a content management system (CMS) solution like WordPress. A popular alternative to these is a website builder. Some of the most popular website builders include:

  • Elementor,
  • Squarespace,
  • Wix,
  • Zoho Sites,
  • Webflow,
  • Amaze,
  • Bubble,
  • Weebly,
  • UENI,
  • Weebly.

With a website builder, you can visually add (drag and drop) elements to your website page without using any coding. The software comes with various templates that can help you out with a design. 

Once that’s done, it’s time to work on your website visibility. According to Verisign, there were 359.3 million domain name registrations in Q3 2023 alone. If you want yours to stand out, you need to use SEO optimization techniques and social media.

You should also consider using domain email accounts to appear more professional.

MORE: Trending domain names

Key Takeaways

Buying a domain name is a straightforward process that requires only a few minutes. The cost can be low, and depending on the registrar, the purchase can last anywhere from one to ten years.

The issue with buying a domain name is that the demand is huge. You need to be quick about it if you want to get a name that’s still available. If you’re late to the party, you’ll need to buy it from someone, and the price, in that case, is significantly higher.

To get a memorable, original name that will stand out, use our domain name generator, and it will automatically check the availability for you.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

You cannot reserve a domain name without registering it first. If you want to create a website in the future with a specific domain name in mind, it’s best to register the name until it's available.

You will no longer own the domain (i.e., its usage rights). Usually, there is a grace period during which you can still renew it. If you fail to do it, the domain will become available for anyone else to register it in your stead.

The cost of registering a domain depends on several factors, such as the registrar, extension, and the package of additional features. You can get a free domain name, but it comes with many limitations. In terms of paid domain registrations with hosting, the average price goes between $9.99 and $19.99 a year.

You can register a domain name via a registrar or directly through a hosting company. If you want to buy a registered domain name, you can visit marketplaces to see if they are up for sale.

To buy a domain name, you need to go through the registration process with a registrar. Once you own the name rights, you can resell it immediately. You can determine the price of the name, although there are many appraisal tools to help you set an accurate price.

Yes, you can register a domain name without hosting (and building) a website. Many people opt for this option when they want to resell the name instead of using it for their own purposes.


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