How To Buy A Domain Name
How To Buy A Domain Name
The Domain Name is the little www. bit you type into the address bar. It's the name of your website. This film explains how you should pick it, and how to buy it.
Your domain name is what your website is called. It's the bit that people type in the address bar after all the www's to visit your gloriously-designed homepage, so make sure you think long and hard about what you're going to call it.
Step 1: Picking A Name
It needs to be memorable, and easy. You don't really want to be changing it once you're up and running and people are becoming familiar with your site, so make sure it clearly sums up exactly what your website is and does.
Here's a good trick – imagine yourself telling someone what your website is, and if it could possibly be misconstrued in any way. You'd have to explain www.DotCottonsDotMatrix.com in horrendous, bumbling detail for example. It'll take too long, and they'll probably jot it down wrong on the other end of a phone. So keep it clean, crisp and clear.
Also, if your domain is more than one word, make sure the words don't overlap: www. Pen Island .com looks a little bit different when written down all together in lower-case letters, for example.
Step 2: Make Sure it's not Taken
When you're ready to buy the domain name, you'll probably find some other bugger's nicked it already. In the same way that www.google.com is taken, you'll find people have registered all sorts of crap all over The Internet. Even www.abcdefghijklmnopqrstuvwxyz.com is taken.
Some people even buy up domains they don't even need, and park adverts there. They'll buy mis-spelled versions of popular sites in case your big fat fingers jab the wrong keys on the keyboard, in the hopes of snaring some unsuspecting simpletons and earning a few pence from the advertisers. http://www.gmaespot.com/ for example is a knock-off of popular gaming site GameSpot. It's currently full of adverts for filth, so probably best not go have a look-see right now.
When you try and register a domain, the company you're doing it through will tell you if it's taken, and suggest alternatives if it is
Step 3: Find A Company To Register It For You
All domain-registering companies are much of a muchness; you just need to hunt around for a decent price. .com domains are the most expensive, and more obscure ones like .org.uk tend to be cheaper. It doesn't matter what country you're in, and what currency you're dealing in, but it's perfectly understandable that you might want to deal with a company within your borders in case something goes wrong.
Step 4: Spend Your Money
Bear in mind you're only buying the rights to the name at this point. You won't be able to host any of the files that make up a website, yet. For that, you'll need to watch VideoJug's ‘How to Buy Hosting' and ‘Guide to FTP and Uploading'.
You buy for a period, generally of one or two years, and you'll receive emails when your domain registration is about to expire so you can renew it and keep your website up and running.
Once you've found your company, be it 123-reg.co.uk, Servage.com or Dreamhost.com, buy the domain and hand over your cash. It'll take some time to register, maybe up to a day but it's generally done within a few hours.
You'll get a password and a login through from the company, which allows you to access a control panel. From here, you can normally change the ‘holding page' which is the page that lets people know that domain's taken, and set up email accounts, like firstname.lastname@example.org.
Once it's registered and up and running, you own the domain and can type it into your favourite Internet browser. Next step is to buy some hosting so you can set up an actual website…