How to Register a Domain Name: A Step-By-Step Guide

Registering a domain name has never been easier. You don’t need to have any tech background, as the process is similar to any online purchases. Follow our step-by-step register a domain name guide, and you’ll have your domain name in no time.

Steps to Register a Domain Name

Registering a domain name is a straightforward process. All you need to do is the following:

  1. Choose a domain name
  2. Check for domain availability
  3. Choose a domain name registrar
  4. Pick a domain name suffix
  5. Purchase and register your domain name
  6. Renew the subscription

In this article, we’ll explain each step and show you what exactly you need to do to finish the process. Before going into detail about the steps, it’s important to understand why you should go through the process and register a domain name – the sooner, the better.

Why Register a Domain Name?

A domain name is more than just a website where you post articles or products online in the hope that someone will click on them. It’s a powerful marketing tool that you need regardless of the industry you’re in. Today, without an online presence, you don’t really exist, so buying a domain name is a must as much as it is an opportunity.

With a registered domain name, you can position your brand and increase your sales exponentially. You no longer need to focus only on potential customers in the vicinity of your physical location or your aunts and uncles that like your Facebook page.

When you own a domain name, people who look you up on Google will be able to learn about your business, products, and services quickly, and you control the way your brand communicates with visitors.

Finally, having a website and a professional email address makes you seem more professional. If your only means of communication is through social media platforms, such as Instagram, and weird email addresses such as [email protected], people won’t take your business seriously.

Key Considerations Before Registering a Domain Name

The first step to building a website is choosing a domain name. Since countless new websites crop up every day, it’s harder and harder to find a custom domain name that’s not taken. You need to pick a name that’s memorable and easy to spell so that people can come back to it with ease instead of searching for it every time they want to buy your product. Ideally, your domain name should match your brand or business name.

Another aspect is the domain type. While you can’t have a completely unique top-level domain (TLD), there’s a lengthy list of possible domain extensions to choose from. You can opt for a general one, such as .com, .net, or .co. Alternatively, you can get creative with it and choose a country code TLD that represents your industry. For example, a lot of tech-based companies choose .io as their preferred extension.

Where to Register a Domain Name

There are hundreds of domain name registrars where you can register your domain name – if it’s available. You can buy a taken domain name from its owner, but this costs a lot, and you should decide whether the value of the domain name is worth the price you need to pay.

Most established registrars offer web hosting services with registration, but you can do this separately. While you can pick any registrar you want, it’s wise to stick with the more popular ones as they tend to have the best services.

Check out our video on where to register your domain to learn more about the process:

Steps to Register a Domain Name

As we’ve mentioned above, it’s a straightforward process that consists of the following steps:

  1. Choose a domain name
  2. Check for domain availability
  3. Choose a domain name registrar
  4. Pick a domain name suffix
  5. Purchase and register your domain name
  6. Renew the subscription

1. Choose a Domain Name

The first step is deciding on the domain name you want to use. Ideally, it will be your brand or company name, but you can also get creative with it as long as the name is easy to spell and memorize.

MORE: Discover trending domain names

2. Check for Domain Availability

Now it’s time to see if the name is already in use or not. To do that, you can either site-search Google or use various free domain availability checker tools. To site-search, add the prefix “site:” before the domain name (e.g., “site:businessnamegenerator.com”).

You’ll often find the name is already taken. In that case, you’ll need to get creative or choose an uncommon domain type. 

MORE: Why trademark a domain name?

3. Choose a Domain Name Registrar

You have hundreds of registrars to choose from, and often, web hosting service providers also offer the option to register the domain name with them. You should make your choice based on the pricing, additional features they offer, and the registration contract. Our suggestion is to go with the tried and tested registrars, such as GoDaddy.

4. Pick a Domain Name Suffix

When you select a name, it’s time to choose the extension. You can go for .com or choose a more specific one. Virtually every registrar will offer you the chance to pick several suffixes at once.

5. Purchase and Register Your Domain Name

When you have the name and domain extension picked, it’s time to go through the registration process. It’s usually straightforward and similar to any other online registration or purchase.

6. Renew the Subscription

Domain name registration works on a subscription basis. You can choose how long the registration will last, but they always come with an expiration date. If you want to continue using the same domain name, you need to renew your subscription on time or choose the automatic renewal option. 

MORE: The cost of a domain name

How to Register a Website Domain Name With GoDaddy

We’ll now walk you through the entire process of registering your domain name. The easiest way to choose a catchy, memorable name for your website is to use our AI-powered domain name generator. Type in your brand name or any keywords you wish, and the generator will come up with 1,000+ ideas in an instant.

When you find a name you like, click on it, and it will display all available options (with different extensions).

Screenshot of the domain name generator

Press the domain type you prefer, and the generator will redirect you to GoDaddy’s registration page. Once you’re there, you need to click the Make it yours button. If you want to register different domain types (to avoid cybersquatting), you can do so on this page.

On the right side, you’ll see the breakdown of pricing and your chosen domains. Click Continue to Cart to proceed with the process.

Screenshot of available domain names on GoDaddy

On the next page, you can select which of the additional features that GoDaddy offers you want to subscribe to. The features include:

  • Free website builder
  • Domain protection
  • Privacy protection
  • Custom email address and email management

The final pricing will vary depending on your choices. Once you’re done, click on Continue to Cart again.

Screenshot of available protection packages on GoDaddy

Now, it’s time to select the duration of your registration. GoDaddy offers you the option to choose from one to ten years. We advise you to select one year the first time you register to see if the domain name you’ve chosen is the perfect fit. Don’t worry; nobody can swoop in on your domain name if you renew your subscription.

Review your choices and click I’m Ready to Pay.

Screenshot of the shopping cart on GoDaddy

Finally, all you need to do is add your payment information and complete the purchase. Congratulations, you’re a proud domain name owner!

Screenshot of the payment details page on GoDaddy

How to Register a Domain Name for Free

You can avoid paying for the domain name, but all the major registrars don’t offer that service. There are limitations that come with free domain names, such as:

  • Having an irremovable watermark
  • Being a subdomain on a registered website
  • Using an unknown domain type
  • Having limited storage and upload capabilities

MORE: How to transfer a domain name

Takeaway Points

Due to such a huge demand for website domains, there are dozens of popular registrars with which you can register your domain name. The process is clear-cut and as easy as any other online shopping.

You no longer need to have an IT background to successfully run a website. You don’t even have to know anything about web development with so many website builders available that require zero coding experience.

Registering a domain name is essential for a successful business that wants an established online presence, and you have no reason not to go through with the process. Coming up with a domain name that reflects your company and is still memorable can be tricky. With our domain name generator, even that is taken care of.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

You can register a domain name on your own using a domain name registrar and paying the registration fee. While you can’t register the name directly without a third-party registrar, the process is straightforward, and you can do it for your company with ease.

You cannot buy a domain name permanently. Technically, you have to lease the domain name for a predetermined amount of time. However, you can renew your subscription countlessly, thus keeping the name forever. Nobody can register the same domain name if you renew your subscription before the expiration date.

You can register a domain name for free, although not every registrar offers the option. A free domain name comes with various limitations and is not the most professional for businesses. The best practice is to use a free domain name to test your website design before going public with a proper domain.

The registration cost varies depending on the registrar you use, as well as the domain type and additional features you choose. The average price for a domain name with hosting services varies between $9.99 and $19.99 for a yearly subscription.

You can use Google to site-search for the domain name you’re interested in. Type in “site:domainname.com,” and Google will show you if the website exists. Alternatively, you can use a domain name search tool, such as:
  • GoDaddy
  • Namecheap
  • IONOS
  • Bluehost
  • Domain.com
  • Google Domains

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