The first step in becoming a webmaster is choosing a domain name. Some domains are easier to register than others. .com TLDs are the easiest. My own TLD (.es) is supposed to be used for Spanish websites, and so I chose a Spanish company to buy the domain from. Now, I have to do all of my domain management in Spanish, which is great for my language skills, but not ideal if you struggle with other languages.
If you want to follow the steps below to get your site up and running, then choose domain name registration without hosting. This is normally pretty cheap, and generally shouldn’t cost more than $20 per year unless you want a domain name that is in high demand.
As a side-note, there are some unscrupulous services out there that allow you to search to see if a domain name is available. If you use one of these, aim to buy your domain as quickly as possible, as some of these services will try to buy the name to try to extort a higher fee out of you.
The best way to find available domain names is using the ping.eu site, and searching for your domain name. You’re looking for the following response:
Server: 127.0.0.1 Address: 127.0.0.1#53 \*\* server can’t find yourdomain.tld: NXDOMAIN
Once you’ve found an available domain name, and you’re ready to buy, you’ll need to choose a registrar. A registrar is simply a company that files the paperwork to say that you are the person who owns the domain you have chosen.
Be aware that if you want a rarer TLD, you may be restricted in the number of registrars that will cater for you. You will have to choose the registrar that best fits your needs. For example .es domains are known for being difficult.
Before you sign up for a domain name, check it carefully, and try to avoid the mistakes made by the following sites:
Once you’re happy you’ve got the perfect domain, you can buy most of them from any one of hundreds of registrars, but here are a few recommendations below (none of these are affiliate links):
- GoDaddy — while GoDaddy’s hosting services tend to be pretty poor performance, they have good promotions on domain names. There are some horror stories about them though.
Featured image credit: Grey Hargreaves