Each year, the purchasing of domain names is on the rise. In the first quarter of 2020, we saw 366+ million domain names registered successfully, which clearly shows that more and more people and companies are coming online.
Today, we will be explaining the step-by-step procedure to register a domain name and why having a domain name is essential. In addition to this, we will be talking about different types of domain names and their importance.
After reading this article, you will have a better understanding of the domain name, and you will know which type of domain name you should buy for your business website or personal use. So, let’s start.
What is a Domain Name?
A domain name is just a URL for many people, and they don’t think beyond it, and frankly, they shouldn’t be. The first thing that anyone needs to make a presence online is a website, and for that, you need to have a domain name. Also, a domain name is different from web hosting services.
If you start just now, these terms could easily confuse you and make you feel a little overwhelmed. Well, don’t worry. We are here to make things easy for you, as we will answer all your domain-based queries as simply as possible.
A domain name is an address of your website or blog on the internet which people type on their browser to visit your web page. Let’s understand this with a simple analogy.
Think about your website as your home. A domain name is like an address plate of your home. Just like how GPS requires your home address to navigate you through the city’s traffic to back home, in the same way, a web browser needs a domain name to navigate users to the desired web page or website.
How does a Domain Name Work?
If we go in-depth to study the working of a domain name, then first we need to understand the Internet. It is a giant network of computer networks present across the globe.
Each computer that is present on the internet is able to communicate with other computers. Also, each computer has a unique IP address, which is a series of numbers that is used to identify a particular computer over the network.
A typical IP address looks something like 22.214.171.124. Now, as you can see, it is pretty hard to remember a specific IP address no matter how sharp your memory is. As a result, a domain name is invented to make it easier for humans to remember the address of multiple websites. In this way, a domain name is just a masking of an IP address.
With the invention of domain names, you don’t need to remember the IP address to visit a particular website. It would be so tricky if domain names were never invented, and we would be writing the IP addresses like we used to write GTA cheat codes to spawn super bikes, sports cars and tanks in the game back in the days when Rockstar still allowed its usage in their GTA games.
If you recall the number of website names that you know, you will find out that most of them follow a domain naming scheme, and there’s no coincidence in this naming scheme.
Nowadays, when a group of people comes together to start a business, the first thing they do is look for the name of their business and see if it’s already registered. If not, they move on to see if the website can be registered with a similar name.
You don’t need to show any papers or official documents to get a domain name. As a result, a lot of people buy domain names with popular suffixes and then sell them at a much higher cost.
Different Types of Domain Extension?
You might have seen different suffixes at the end of the same website name. For Example, there is GoDaddy.com, and at the same time, you can also visit GoDaddy.in. Everything is the same in these two domain names; even the content, for the most part, is the same, but then why are the two domains presented with different prefixes?
Well, the simple answer is “.in” represents that the website is specifically designed for the Indian region. There are a number of prefixes that you can add to your website’s domain name. Each of them is explained separately for your better understanding:
Top-level domains are sitting on the top of the Internet’s hierarchy of domain names. Mostly these domains are referred to as TLDs. In recent years ICANN has come up with the new TLD registration and approval, making sure that new companies will be able to register unique TLDs for their businesses. These domain names include:
In addition to these, there are many other options to choose from. When you are selecting the TLD, you need to make sure it aligns with your brand, meaning if you are into selling a product, it should not have .edu as its prefix.
A TLD is more or less like the foundation of your online presence, so you should make it relevant to your brand. According to the research, more than 43% of the total websites have .com as their domain name extension.
2. Country Code Top Level Domain
After TLD comes ccTLD. You can get a hint that these domains are technically tied to the countries just from the name, country code top-level domain. Each country has its own ccTLD. But you don’t need to use one just because you are living in the respective region.
These are useful when you are building a website, keeping in mind a specific country, and want to signal your visitors about the same. The example of “GoDaddy.in,” which we used earlier, is an excellent example of how companies leverage region-based traffic with the help of ccTLDs.
3. Generic Top-Level Domain
You can say these domains are also top-level domains as many people and organizations also use them for giving addresses to their websites. They are called generic because these domain extensions refer to the types of use-cases for which these domains are intended.
For Example, a military organization will use “.mil,” and an educational institute will go with “.edu,” and in case the organization is a non-profit one, then it can use “.org.”
You can register yourself as a gTLD even if your work doesn’t pass the requirement, but for something like “.edu” and “.mil,” you must fit in the ICANN’s condition.
4. Second-Level Domains
Other than these 3 main domains, we have Second-Level Domains (SLD). These domains are present below TLDs in the domain hierarchy. But to be very clear, having a lower standing in the hierarchy doesn’t mean these domains have any less authority or value.
These types of domains are used to describe the second piece of the domain name. On the other hand, in the second-level domains, companies and organizations include the country code such as “co. uk,” “gov.in,” which helps the user to find out more about the website even before the content of the website is loaded by the browser.
5. Third Level Domains
Lastly, we have third-level domains, and these are not full domain names, and you cannot use them all alone as these domains are just a portion of the entire domain name. For Example, if we are talking about “WWW.GoDaddy.com,” then “WWW” is referred to as a third-level domain.
On the other hand, if you are trying to build a subsection of your website, then the address of that part of your website will be a third-level domain. In order to have a fully functional website, you don’t require a third-level domain necessarily. The only reason for having a third-level domain is it helps you in naming your subdomains.
How to Choose the Right Domain for Your Website?
Given below are some tips on how to choose a perfect domain name for your website:
1. Find the Right Domain Extension
Choosing .com is the best option, but in case you are not able to find .com, then you need to look for something which resonates with your brand and tells about what you and what the website is used for.
For example, if you are an e-commerce website you can use .shop, .trade, or .store. On the other hand, avoid using weird extensions like .club, .space, .pizza, and others like it as it will make your website look fishy and unreliable.
2. Look For Brandable Domain Names
Going creative and brandable is always a good option, then choosing something generic. When searching for the name, you need to keep in mind that your visitors will be looking for you by using the domain name.
For Example, you can’t figure out which website you have visited if its domain name is like this “healthinsurance.net” cause there are multiple websites with almost identical domain names, and you can find yourself clicking on some other website rather than going back to the one you have searched before.
The issue can be resolved by adding your brand’s name to it, such as HDFChealthinsurance.com, to give more credibility to your domain name along with easy-to-remember credentials.
3. Don’t Go for a Long Name
In general, when we are talking about website domain names, we always tend to go with shorter names. The most common name length is around 12 characters; anything more than that would make it hard for users to remember the name. Aim for 6-14 characters, and remember that a shorter domain name is always better and looks attractive as well.
How to Register a Domain Name in 5 Easy Steps
Now you know all the basic information about the domain name along with its working, let’s move to the more exciting part, which is to register a domain name. One thing you need to know is buying and registering a domain name is the same thing:
Step 1 – Find if the Domain Name is Available for Purchase
Sometimes when we have a name for our website, we think about it to be so unique that no one has ever thought about it, and when you go to the domain registrar website and search for the domain name, you find it’s already been purchased.
Thus, it’s best to find out if the name is available for purchase. If the name is not available in “.com” you can still get it in other suffix extensions such as .net, .org, .in, .us. When deciding the domain name and the country suffix, make sure you buy the one where the company is registered or from where you are going to access it most of the time.
On the other hand, you can try for a more extended version, which is not advisable, to be honest, but if you are in desperate need of that particular domain name, then you can surely try this way out. You can add simple words like “the,” “may,” “a,” and other words like these to get to the result.
Finally, if the above method fails, the last resort is to get in touch with the present owner and ask if there is some negotiation that could be done. In these cases, you might need to offer a reasonably high sum to the owner to get the desired domain.
Step 2 – Find the Reliable Registrar
Now that you have found the domain name and checked that it is available for purchase, it all comes down to the domain registrar as you want it to be reliable and must also be reputed. Some famous registrars provide domain names just after the purchase is complete, but in rare cases, it can take some time.
If you have a well-known domain registrar, you don’t have to worry about anything, and they will sort things out in a few hours or days. All this time, your purchase will be completely safe, and if, due to some reason, they were not able to provide you the domain name, you can get a refund.
Some of the famous domain registrars are GoDaddy, Namecheap, Name.com, and Domain.com. Don’t go with fishy names or websites offering massive discounts. The domain name is a one-time purchase, and it really doesn’t cost much if you think about it. So choose the registrar wisely.
Step 3 – Choose the Domain
If you were able to find a domain that has not already been purchased by someone else, then you are good to go. Once you locate the name, proceed by adding it to the cart and buying it. If you are satisfied with your purchase and not looking for more variations, you can choose the payment options and complete the purchase.
There are multiple ways to pay for your domain successfully. You can go with a credit and debit card, and some websites have now started accepting virtual currencies like Bitcoin and Dodge for their online payments.
Step 4 – Provide WHOIS Details for the Domain Name Ownership
Once the payment is made, you will be redirected to the control panel, where you will see a setup box to complete your domain name registration. Here you need to make sure that you provide every single detail correctly and double-check it if you want.
All the information which you provide here will be stored as the official domain ownership database, which is known as WHOIS. Once you give the necessary details about the purchase, you only need to go through one more step before you finally finish with the registration of your domain name.
Step 5 – Verify the Ownership
The final step requires you to verify that the domain really belongs to you through email verification. The verification mail will be sent to you by the domain registrar at the email address that you have provided during the registration. The confirmation will usually arrive in a few minutes after you have completed the purchase.
In case you were not able to get the mail, you can resend the request from the control panel. We require you to do it immediately, as waiting for more than 15 days will lead to the suspension of your registry.
Now that the email verification is done, you have successfully registered yourself a domain name on the Internet, which you can use for your website.
What to Do Next?
Now that you have complete control over the domain name, you can do whatever you want to do with it. If you already own a web hosting service, it’s time for you to connect it with your newly purchased domain name and start working on your website. If not, get your website a hosting plan and set up an official email account for it to start using it for your business.
From this article, you get to know how to register a domain name, and the 5 steps that you need to follow no matter which registrar you chose to get your domain name.
The real challenge is to find a good name and pick the right extension along with it. And once you have successfully purchased the domain name, the next big hurdle is the website building journey that awaits you. So, all the best!