The answer to the question ‘how to buy a domain name’ is relatively straight forward however there are a few subtleties that you should take into consideration.
By entering ‘domain registrars’ into any search engine you will be presented with a choice of companies any of which you can use to purchase your domain name. Are all domain registrars pretty much the same? They are but you should take the following into account.
The good news is that there isn’t a great deal of difference between the most expensive and the cheapest. You should only buy one year’s usage of your domain, most registrars have, as a default setting, two years. You should also avoid the seemingly endless add-ons that will be offered.
Ease of use
Here there are noticeable differences. Some have a search bar prominently displayed on their home page, while with others it can take a few clicks to track down.
The real differences arise when it comes to handling your new domain name after buying it. You will, at some point, need to point your name servers at your hosting company. Don’t be concerned if that sounds a little technical, it simply means enabling your hosting company to use the name that you have bought from elsewhere. This brings me to my next point.
Domains and hosting from the same company
You can indeed buy your domain at the same company that hosts your website. This, in my opinion, is rarely a good idea. Hosting companies are usually quite expensive when it comes to buying domains and domain registrars rarely offer first-rate hosting services. Far better to use separate services, your hosting company is a far more important issue than where you buy your website address.
.com or what?
Especially if you are setting up a commercial website it is better to register a .com, .net or .org. There a number of reasons for this but the most important is that those are the suffixes that people across the world are most familiar with.
If you are going to operate solely within your own country then that countries suffix can be a good option. For example, if you were trading exclusively within the United Kingdom the co.uk suffix would work well.
How to buy a domain name that will work for you
A domain name should be relevant and easy to remember. The perfect name would convey what your site is all about, would be no longer than three words and would contain no hyphens.
A sneaky trick
Imagine the situation where someone asks you the name of your website. You have no business card on you and there is no way of writing it down. You would tell the enquirer to just look up your name.com. It is a good idea anyway to have your name registered as a.com. You would then set up a ‘forwarder’ for your own name domain so that when someone goes to it they are automatically transferred to your real site. This happens so quickly that they would not be aware of anything strange happening.
I hope you now know a great deal more about how to buy a domain name. It is one of those fairly simple processes that are well worth spending a little time to get the best result possible.