What's a Domain Name, How Do I Register One?

You have decided to create a web page. You have decided you would like to call it something related to your business, interest or hobby you are using your web page to promote. You've seen these on the World Wide Web, there must be a way for you to have something like this for your website, right? There is a way to do this! It's called Registering a Domain Name. In Internet lingo, a domain name is one which identifies your web page or email address on the Internet. This is the name that follows the @ sign in an email address or on a web page. This is probably one of the first things you'll want to do when getting ready to set up your website. Your unique domain name identifies your business or other interest as a viable one. In the case of a business, this establishes your credibility, improves marketing, and protects your business name. If you have registered your domain name, it does not matter where you host your website. It will never change, no matter where your web pages are housed. This article will tell you just what you need to know to select and register your very own domain name. When you set up your website, your domain name will be ready to go if you register it first, before signing up with a web hosting provider. Ready to get started? Let's go!

Choosing Your Domain Name

Here are a few things to think about when choosing your domain name:

Your domain name should reflect your business name or topic of your web site.
It should be unique, yet a name that is easily remembered.
You can only use letters, numbers or hypens in your domain name.
Be prepared to be flexible if your choice is already taken. Try rearranging word order, adding hyphens, abbreviations or other letters to come up with a unique alternative.
Consider other extensions, like ".org, .us, .net," etc. The .com extensions go quickly, yet the other ones may be available for your chosen domain name. Consider registering some of the other extensions, too, if you can afford it. This protects your domain name and ensures that no one will get your name confused with a similar one with a different extension.

When you decide which domain name registration service you'd like to use, you can run your choice of domain names through their search engine to see if it has already been taken. If it's available, you're all set to register it. If it has been taken, they will give you some suggestions as to alternatives you can use which would still identify your business or interest. Since it's now relatively inexpensive to register your domain name and sign up for a web hosting service, there are many individuals and businesses who have already done what you are now doing. So be prepared with some alternate domain names, additional numbers or letters added to your choice, or alternate extensions if they are open.

Registration Services

Once you've decided to go forward with your plans for a website, you'll need to select a Domain Name Registration Service. There are plenty to choose from. Costs generally run anywhere from $5 a year on up to register your domain name, although some web hosting services will register your name for free if you sign up for one of their web hosting packages. Here are a few of our choices, with information on each one, including pricing.

Starting as low as $6.95 per year, this is one of the lowest prices you'll find for domain name registration. They are a well-known organization and offer many extras to go along with your package, such as free web building tools, blogs, and more.

Yahoo offers free domain name registration when you sign up for one of their web hosting packages. They have a search engine on their website to search out your choice of domain names and can tell you in just seconds if your choice is available.

Google now offers domain registration for just $10 a year. Search engine to see if your choice is available, plus other features.

HostMonster is a web hosting service which will register your domain name for free if you sign up for one of their hosting packages. Otherwise, domain name registration is $5.95 a year. They can tell you if your choice of names is available and register it for you, with many other available options.

Network Solutions
This is one of the better-known registration services, and one of the more expensive ones. Prices vary depending on whether you sign up for their web hosting as well, or on how many years you register for. If you opt to sign up for their web hosting services on a yearly basis, the registration is free. The first thing you'll see when you visit their website is a Search box to enter your choice(s) of domain names. Enter up to ten name choices and in a matter of seconds the search engine will tell you which, if any, of your potential domain names are available.

Now What?

Now that you've taken the first step and registered your domain name, you're ready to select your web hosting service, if you did not take advantage of hosting packages offered by the domain name service. See our article on Web Hosting if you need assistance in selecting a web hosting service. You should find plenty of help in developing your website from your hosting service if you need it. Good luck!

Whenever you decide to launch a website, the first step is domain name registration. You should prefer a keyword rich domain name for your website. In case of a sub domain this rule matters too much. This will help you to attain a good search engine ranking. The next step for your online presence is web hosting. You should select that hosting company which fulfills your requirements completely.

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