As an owner of a successful web design and development company, some of the most frequent questions I get from both potential and current clients have to do with domain name registration. Questions include “how do I know it’s the best domain name for my website?” “Is it really important to use keywords?” or “What should I do if the domain name I want is already taken?” But if your concern now is “How do I register a domain name?” then this article is just for you.
Below, I’ve listed each step you need to take to ensure that you do this properly. But first, let’s define some key terms:
- TLD suffix – It’s crucial for you to understand that domain names are consist of the actual name and TLD (Top Level Domain) which is more commonly known as extension. When registering a domain name, your choices include .com, .com.au, .net, .org, and so on. The actual name refers to the words or group of words that you decide to call your website by. For example, www.google.com, “google” is the actual name while the “.com” is the TLD suffix.
- DNS – This is an Internet service used to translates domain names into IP addresses. The main purpose of DNS is to make it easier for internet surfers to remember and access particular websites. With their help, you don’t need to remember and type in “126.96.36.199” each time you want to visit the Apple website. Rather, the prettier domain name “apple.com” is used as an alias to 188.8.131.52.
- Domain name registrar – A Domain name registrars an online company that sells domain names and is where you go to register a domain name. This could be a domain name reseller, or an Internet Service Provider. Some of the most popular include Crazy Domains, Zip Hosting, register.com, etc.
Now that you’re at least somewhat familiar with the terms above, here are the steps that you need to take to get started with a domain name registration:
First decide where you want to store your website files. You have the option to store them on a particularly company’s service (with hosting service) or do it on your own computer (without a hosting service). Generally your website will be hosted by a hosting service.
Registering a domain name with a hosting service
- Choose a hosting service. Right now, there are several companies offering hosting services. To make well-informed, intelligent decision, carefully review all your options. Check out not just their prices but also the quality of their customer service and policies. Again for this I suggest Crazy Domains or Zip Hosting as they offer Australia hosting – this is important if you want to succeed on Google.
- Register your domain name. When you go to the website of your chosen hosting service, you’ll be typically asked to enter your preferred domain name. If it’s free, you simply select it and follow the instructions. Most companies will offer you additional services that they provide. Choose wisely and only get those that are useful and relevant to your website. It’s important to note that you can register your domain name with a different company than you choose for your hosting service. It does however make it easier to manage if you get them both from the same company.
- Once you’ve completed the process of domain registration, simply enter the domain name server (DNS) setting (you would have been given these in step 1 when you ordered your hosting service) into the Name Server settings of your domain management panel. You will have to wait up to 24hrs for the domain name to delegate and you can start using your host’s tools to upload files to your website.
Registering a domain name without a hosting service
Should you decide to take this route, there are different steps that you need to take. These are the following:
- Check with your ISP. Keep in mind that not all Internet Service Providers will allow you to host your website on your own servers and they can easily block the traffic. If this happens, your options are to change ISPs or get hosting. (Yes, the first route is a way easier than this one).
- Choose your registrar. Your options here are to find a reputable website that offer domain registration service or choose one of the major hosting companies.
- Get a server. As you don’t have a web hosting service, you’ll have to get a server to host your site on. Your server must be fast and reliable to make sure that it can handle all the needs of your website.
- Get a static IP address. It is important that you ensure that your IP address stay the same otherwise, people won’t be able to access your website.
When it comes to registering a domain name, it’s best to go with the hosting service particularly if you’re not tech-savvy. This option, compared to the later, is significantly less stressful and so easy to follow; even a first-time website owner would be able to accomplish it.
Should you find yourself in need of assistance in registering your domain name or need expert advice on how you can make your website design work for your business, give Ignition Media a call on 07 5568 7515.