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How to Purchase a Domain Name

by ContributorUpdated September 28, 2017

Items you will need

  • Internet access

  • Computer

To really get serious about your website, you need to purchase a domain name. A URL like http://user.host.com/~amateur329 won't make your website look professional. Luckily, buying and registering a domain name is as easy as signing up for an email account or buying any other product off the Internet.

Check for availability. In order to buy a domain, you have to make sure no one else owns it already. There are several places to go online to run a search for a desired domain name. If no matches are found, great! If someone does own it, the program will let you know who has the rights to the domain, in case you are interested in buying it from them.

Find out the DNS servers of your ISP or host. For example, if your current URL looks like http://members.tripod.com/~forkiusfrite then do a search on the Tripod website to find out their DNS servers. There should be two.

Find a registrar. Visit the accredited registrar directory at InterNIC and choose a registrar near you. If that list is a bit long, try some tried and true registrars like Go Daddy, eNom and domain.com.

Register your domain name. Depending on which site you choose, the process may be a little different. For the most part, type in the domain name you want to check for availability, choose a hosting package and fill in your payment and contact information.

Contact your ISP. If you are still using your old ISP to host your files, you'll want to call them to set up your domain name with them. Send them an email or call and make arrangements to set up your domain on their system.

Tips

Check domain name availability often. If a domain name is not in use, but is not available, it may be on hold. Domain names usually go off hold within three months. If you don't want to mess with DNS registration and other set up fees, you can have your domain name simply forwarded to your current URL. This is usually a cheap alternative that makes your site look professional without uprooting your web presence.

Warnings

Pay your bills on time! If you miss a payment, you could lose rights to the domain name and someone else could buy it. Your ISP will probably charge you a fee for setting up your domain name on their system.

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