How to Buy a Domain Name in 9 Easy Steps

Are you thinking of creating a website for your business? The first thing you must do is to buy a domain name. A domain name is the unique address of your website on the internet, such as www.sample.com. But how do you buy a domain name? 

This detailed guide will show you how to buy a domain name in 9 easy steps. You’ll learn the basics and how to choose the best domain name for your company’s website.

9 Steps to Buy a Domain Name

Trying to buy a domain name for the first time can seem daunting. But fear not! Here is a step-by-step guide to show you the way.

Research Domain Name Options

Before diving into domain purchase, take time to research domain names. Your domain should echo your website’s theme and be memorable and catchy while avoiding legal issues. Use online tools such as Namecheap, Bust a Name, and Domainr to access powerful features such as domain name generators, domain name searches, and extensive domain extension exploration. 

Choose a Reputable Domain Registrar

A domain registrar manages domain names and the ideal one should offer competitive pricing, diverse extensions, user-friendly interfaces, secure payments, and reliable customer support. When comparing registrars, look for domain privacy services and suitable transfer/renewal policies. Reputable registrars like Namecheap, GoDaddy, Bluehost, HostGator, and DreamHost can provide trustworthy domain management.

Check the Availability and Price of the Desired Domain Name

Once you’ve selected a registrar, check your desired domain’s availability and pricing using their search tool. Enter the name and view its availability and cost. If taken, explore alternate extensions (.net, .org) or modify it with hyphens or numbers. You can contact the owner via Whois to see if they are willing to sell. However, directly contacting an owner might be a difficult process. 

Add the Domain to the Shopping Cart

Once your ideal domain is available, add it to your cart by clicking “Add to Cart.” At checkout, review your order and consider additional services like web hosting for website storage, email hosting for domain-based emails, and SSL certificates for enhanced security. Some registrars bundle these services, while others might need separate providers. Choose what suits your needs to accompany your domain purchase and make your online presence secure and functional.

Provide Necessary Contact and Payment Information

Upon adding items to your cart, provide personal and billing details at checkout, including name, contact info, payment method, and billing preferences. Review your entries and agree to the registrar’s terms. Ensure you read and understand the document before proceeding to payment. 

Review and Confirm the Purchase

Before completing your purchase, review the order summary. Check for accuracy in the spelling of the domain, selected services, pricing, and duration. Check applied discounts or coupons. If all details check out, click “Confirm” or “Place Order.” Upon completion, your registrar will send a confirmation email containing your receipt and essential transaction details. This step finalizes your domain acquisition and service selections.

Set Up Domain Name Servers (DNS) for the Domain

After purchasing your domain, configure its Domain Name Servers (DNS) to link it to your web hosting. DNS translates your domain into an IP address, pinpointing your website online. Access your registrar’s account, navigate to domain management, and locate the DNS settings. Input your web hosting provider’s DNS details (usually found on their site or in a welcome email). Save changes and allow a few minutes to hours for the settings to propagate, connecting your domain to your web hosting. This wait time varies based on registrar and hosting provider configurations.

Complete the Domain Registration Process

After setting up your domain’s DNS, finalize the domain registration by confirming ownership and contact details. Expect an email from your registrar or ICANN (Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers), the Internet’s naming authority. Click the link provided to validate and activate your domain. Agree to ICANN’s terms and privacy policy typically within 15 days. If you fail to complete this step, your new domain might be suspended or deleted. 

Consider Domain Privacy Protection for Added Security

Consider enabling domain privacy protection after purchasing a domain. This service shields your personal details from the public WHOIS database, averting spam, scams, and identity theft. By default, WHOIS displays your contact info, risking privacy breaches. Privacy protection substitutes your data with a proxy service like WhoisGuard or Domains by Proxy, safeguarding your identity. 

Some registrars bundle this service, while others offer it separately. Securing this feature ensures your personal information remains confidential, fortifying your online safety.

What Is a Domain Name?

A domain name is like your website’s home address on the Internet. It comprises different parts separated by dots. For example, in www.sample.com, the first part, “www,” is the subdomain. It pinpoints a specific page or service on your site. Then there’s the “sample” part, the domain, which is your website’s name or brand. The last bit, “com,” is the top-level domain (TLD), showing what type of site it is—commercial, educational, governmental, etc.

Think of a domain name as an easy-to-recall nickname for an IP address, which is a set of numbers that tells your browser where your site is located. So, instead of remembering a complex string of numbers like 192.168.1.1, people can simply type or remember www.sample.com. It’s all about making it simpler for internet users to find and remember your website.

Why Do You Need a Domain Name?

Owning a domain name can provide several benefits that can significantly enhance the performance of your website.

  • Professional appearance: It lends your website credibility, making it look professional and trustworthy to visitors and customers.
  • Distinct identity: Creates a unique and memorable identity for your website, helping it stand out among competitors and other websites online.
  • Customization and personalization: Enables personalized email addresses using your domain name (e.g., info@sample.com) and allows for a more tailored website experience.
  • Flexibility and control: Provides flexibility to change web hosting providers without altering your web address, giving you more control over your site’s backend.
  • Improved visibility and SEO: Enhances visibility and search engine ranking potential. You can optimize your website for relevant keywords and phrases, boosting its discoverability.

How Much Does a Domain Name Cost?

The price of securing a domain name isn’t set in stone—a bunch of factors influence it:

  • Registrar variance: Different places from where you buy your domain might offer different prices or discounts for the same name.
  • Extension choices: Picking the domain extension matters too. Extensions like .com, .net, .org, and .co come with different price tags. The .com is usually top of the range and might cost more compared to others.
  • Registration duration: You can book your domain for a year or stretch it to a max of 10 years. The longer you lock it in, the more you might save on the yearly fee.
  • Extras and add-ons: Additional goodies like web hosting, email hosting, SSL certificates, or privacy protection can pump up the overall cost.

Generally, a domain name’s ballpark figure is between $10 to $20 a year. But you might stumble upon cheaper ones or some that cost a pretty penny—like thousands or even millions! It all depends on how much buzz or resale value they pack.

How Long Does It Take to Buy a Domain Name?

Buying a domain name is typically a quick and easy process, taking anywhere from minutes to hours, depending on the domain registrar and web host you select.

Buy a Domain Name with doola’s Help

Buying a domain name might seem intricate initially, but following these nine steps can simplify the process. Each step contributes to securing your online presence, from researching available options to confirming ownership and setting up DNS. Remember, a domain name is your digital identity, influencing your website’s credibility, visibility, and branding. Establishing a distinct and trustworthy online presence is an investment worth making.

If managing the financial aspects feels overwhelming, tools like doola can streamline your bookkeeping needs. With doola Bookkeeping, you can efficiently organize expenses, track payments, and manage invoices, ensuring that your website’s financial side aligns with your domain’s professional appearance. Invest your time in crafting a compelling online presence while doola handles your financial management.

Ready to streamline your finances for your website? Explore how doola books can help today!

FAQs

Can I buy a domain name forever?

Domain names are typically purchased for a specific period, usually 1 to 10 years, and can be renewed before expiring.

Can I transfer my domain name to another registrar?

Yes, you can transfer your domain name to another registrar if you wish to manage it with a different domain registrar.

Can I change my domain name after purchasing it?

Domain names can be changed, but it involves purchasing a new domain and potentially redirecting traffic from the old domain to the new one.

Can I buy a domain name that is already taken?

Buying a domain name that is already taken is possible if the current owner is willing to sell it or if it becomes available through a domain marketplace.

Can I cancel the purchase of a domain name?

In most cases, domain name purchases are final and it may not be possible to cancel the purchase once completed.

doola's website is for general information purposes only and doesn't provide official law or tax advice. For tax or legal advice we are happy to connect you to a professional in our network! Please see our terms and privacy policy. Thank you and please don't hesitate to reach out with any questions.

Start your dream business and keep it 100% compliant

Turn your dream idea into your dream business.