Well, everyone wants a place they can call their own. In the physical world, there are lots of places to buy, but what about the digital world? In the digital world, you can own a website by registering a domain of your choice.
In fact, the first step towards building a website is domain registration. Moreover, domain names should not be confused with a website or a website hosting service.
Let’s start with understanding what a domain is?
What is a Domain Name?
A domain name is the address of your website that people type in the URL bar of the browser when they want to visit your website.
Here’s the thing about domain names. They are divided into first names and surnames. First names are unique and no two websites can use the same first names. However, the surname (domain name extension) classifies the type of website or its location. For example, .com (short form for commercial), .org (non-business organizations), .edu (educational websites), co.au (Australian companies), co.uk (UK companies). First name and domain name extension are separated by a dot (.).
Another important thing to know is that if you want to buy a domain that is already registered by someone else, you can either buy it off them or change the domain name extension.
How is a domain name different from a website or web hosting service?
A website is something that’s made up of HTML file pages, images, videos, website builder software, and more while a domain name is just the address of a website.
A web hosting service is something that helps you make your website accessible to the world via www (world wide web).
In order to create a website, you will need to have both a domain name and web hosting.
Let me explain you with an example.
In www.google.com, www is provided by the hosting service provider while google.com is the domain name. And, all the things you do on Google is built via HTML and other coding files.
Now if you are wondering how you can combine these two things to make things work out, then let me tell you that you don’t need to have technical or coding skills to that.
You just need to add the Name Server provided by your web hosting provider into your domain name settings. Name Server information is something that defines where to send user requests when they type in your domain name on the URL bar.
How to get a Domain?
In order to get your domain name, you need to register it first. There is a governing body named ICANN (Internet Corporation for Names and Numbers) that oversees domain registrations. However, there are various internet service providers who allow you to buy the domain from them. I’m sure you have heard of GoDaddy, the most popular domain name provider.
The process of buying a domain name starts by visiting the company’s page and searching for a suitable name. Now, the price of a domain differs variedly with the combination of the name and extension you choose.
If the domain you’re trying to register is already taken, you can try buying the same name with different domain name extensions. For example, if you are looking to register trivago.com which is already taken, you can try registering trivago.co.uk or trivago.net or trivago.uk.
Best Hosting providers
Choosing the best hosting provider is the most difficult task. You need to weigh all the pros and cons before choosing one. And, price also matters a lot. Personally, I would recommend JustHostMe. While there are others as well. You can compare them before choosing one.
Here are a few options you can consider:
Is Domain Registration One-time thing?
Long answer short, no. You need to re-register your domain every year or two. It depends on how long you paid while registering it. As long as you keep paying, the website will be yours. If you fail to re-register your website, ICANN has the right to re-sell it to someone again.
Things that you should keep in mind when buying a domain name
Coming up with a good domain name might be stressful, but it is important. It is how people know you on the internet. Keep these things in mind when buying a domain name:
- .com is the most popular domain name extension and easy to remember
- Make sure it is short and easy to remember
- Make it is easy to pronounce
- Do not use numbers or hyphens in the name
Domain registration is the first thing you need to build a website. It could be challenging if you don’t have prior knowledge of domains and domain name registration. Hopefully, you now have got a better idea of what a domain is and how you can register it.