How to Buy a Domain Name

A domain name is like the online signature of your company or project. It is the main feature that differentiates your website from others. Thanks to it, people are able to find you on the internet. Not to mention that since it’s spelled in plain language, it’s certainly way less confusing than numerical IP (Internet Protocol) addresses. It typically looks like this: google.com. What about you? Are you planning to get one? Don’t you know how to proceed precisely? No problem. We are here to show you how to buy a domain name easily. Just keep scrolling through our article.

What Is a Domain Name for a Website?

To be precise, a domain is the name and address of the website. Users recognize the website by this domain name. The domain also addresses that point to the website, such as “domain.com” or “domain.net.”

types of domains

Types of Domains

Domain types are generally named in two ways.

Second-Level Domains (SLDS)

The name and brand you choose to promote your website. People often use this name when talking about your website. SLD is usually the name to the left of the extension.

Top-Level Domains (TLDS)

Top-level domains are also often referred to as extensions. It is the part with a dot after the domain name.

How to Buy a Domain Name?

The way to get a domain name is to find an extension that no one else uses. You cannot retrieve names that are already in use. That’s why finding a unique domain name is very important. We explained some steps that can help you buy a domain name:

buy a domain name

Reliable Domain Registrar

It is very important to find a reliable registrar for domain name registration. Be sure to check their pricing policies before signing up for a service. Make sure there are no hidden fees that you have to pay later. You should also pay attention to your domain’s expiration date and how long the domain you purchased is valid. Therefore, you should choose a service that will remind you of your domain renewals. You can also sign up with a web hosting company instead of getting a service. This will make your job easier.

Domain Availability

You need to make sure that your chosen domain name is available. Domain name availability is a vital thing for your process. That’s why you should do some domain name research. While doing your research, you should also pay attention to extensions. Country Code Top-Level Domain (ccTLD) codes usually represent a country. An example is us. extension. Sponsored domains (sTLD) are extensions used by certain institutions and organizations. As an example, .gov and .edu can be given. Generic Domain (gTLD) is the most widely used. Popularly known examples are .com, .org, and .net. Therefore, when choosing an extension, be sure to choose it according to your purpose.

Domain Name Options

The domain you want to choose may have been taken by others before. That’s why you should choose the right domain by looking at other options that may suit you. You can always keep searching until you find a domain name that you like and think is appropriate. You can check domain suitability by trying different extensions.

Purchase Domain Name

After choosing your domain name, you can make your purchase. Make sure you provide the correct contact information to register domain you purchased.

Verify Ownership

After purchasing your domain name, you need to verify your ownership. You may receive a confirmation email from the site where you registered. After verifying this email, you will also confirm that you are the domain owner.

How to Register a Domain Name

Buying a domain name requires a few steps. Or said more directly: you have to worry about some necessary formalities before even asking how to buy a domain name. 

Once you have a domain name idea coming to life, you will first need a birth certificate, namely a registration. Indeed, one of the most important tasks is to make your name publicly recognized. This is also how it goes for us humans, isn’t it? We don’t just assign a name to newborns on our own. We also officialize both their name and existence via a civil registration service (or equivalent, depending on the country). Similarly, by registering your domain name, you legally validate its existence. 

To register a domain name, you actually don’t even need a website. Think of registration as an open-ended reservation. You are buying now for future use. The ‘now’ part is important, though. When you see that the domain name you want is available, you should hurry to register it. Otherwise, you risk seeing other people seize it before you. This is all the more true for .com extensions, which are the most popular and thus harder to obtain. You may check the availability of your desired domain name within a few seconds on some dedicated platforms such as GoDaddy. We tested it while writing this article. The name we picked was available, and GoDaddy proposed registering it for approximately 7 USD/year (limited promotional price).

GoDaddy

Register a Domain Name with GoDaddy

Since there are so many registration sites on the market, let’s just learn what is GoDaddy here. The procedure is pretty much similar for every site anyway. Once you have the availability confirmation, you can add the domain name to the cart and check out. Then you have to create a GoDaddy account to continue. This is where you will enter your personal data, such as your billing address. Don’t forget that you can purchase additional services simultaneously if you wish (e.g., email address). GoDaddy will show you those during the process. 

At this point, the screen will display your order summary. You will have the possibility to choose your registration period, which can go up to 10 years. It’s usually better to opt for an annual subscription, though. Indeed, you never know if you will change your mind or your project in the near future. Plus, you may want to spend your money sparsely in the beginning. Don’t worry about any expiration risk: you can activate the auto-renew option on your domain. By doing so, you will allow GoDaddy to renew and charge for your domain name automatically.

Once your payment is completed, you will receive a confirmation email from GoDaddy. It will include a link redirecting you to your domain control panel. 

A side note: there are platforms that offer registration services for free. Some of them are undoubtedly well-intentioned. However, paid services are generally more reliable in this context. You get less risk of seeing your domain stolen by someone else all of a sudden. Moreover, most of the so-called free offers end up billing you with hidden fees. So yes, it seems more reasonable to ask how to buy a domain name instead of how to get it gratis.  

How to Buy a Website 

Let’s reclarify things a little bit to avoid any misunderstanding. We usually have two sides of the (almost) same coin:

  • There are those wondering how to purchase a domain name. As said previously, this does not necessarily involve the creation of a website. It’s mainly about becoming the owner of a certain name. We have dealt with this part in the first section of the article.
  • On the other hand, there are those who would like to know how to get a website domain. So the request is slightly different here. It’s about people who want both: a domain and a website.
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Are you still on board? Good, because when it comes to buying a website, we have two potential scenarios again:

You Want to Create Your Website From Scratch

Here are the steps to create a website from the ground.

create your website
  1. Buy/ Register a Domain Name
    You already know that the first thing to do is buy/register a domain name.
  2. Find a Website Hosting to Store Your Files
    Then you need to find a website hosting to store your files. GoDaddy, BlueHost, Hostinger, and DreamHost are among the popular hosting companies.
  3. Build and Fill in Your Website
    To build and fill in your website, you may decide to work with a webmaster. You may also use online builders such as Wix.

Let’s focus on the GoDaddy example once more. When you visit their website, you can notice several hosting plans: Economy, Deluxe, Ultimate, and Maximum. The monthly fees are approximately between 8 USD (Economy plan) and 25 USD (Maximum plan). You can select the plan that best suits your needs. Each one comes indeed with different levels of advantages in terms of website space, subdomains, storage, etc.  

You Want to Buy an Already Existing Website   

Here the house is already fully furnished, and all you have to do is move in. Well, almost. It is rather as if you were inheriting a somewhat prestigious place. Thus this would give you some responsibility for maintaining a kind of legacy. This logic is also valid the other way around: you wouldn’t like to inherit something detrimental to yourself. In the following lines, we will mainly concentrate on the previous sentence. 

When buying domain names and/or websites from someone else, there are a few factors to take into account. Simply put, you should check how your desired website is doing. What does this mean? First of all, you should try to figure out why the current owners are selling the website. Because unfortunately, some people may be trying to get rid of a website for obscure reasons. Since you will be purchasing URLs related to the website (instead of just a name), control every single detail. Evaluate the content carefully and see if it fits your project. See if it’s something that you would really like to relay. Track the conversion rate and frequency of visits. What’s the point if you end up in a no-man’s-land? Another essential aspect is to determine the financial situation. Does the website generate sufficient income? Does it have any debts?

Needless to say that consulting with a lawyer would be more than useful in such cases. You should also preferably opt for an escrow, namely a third party that would secure the transaction and contract. 

Note that there are websites specifically dedicated to website buyers and sellers. Flippa, Website Broker, and Sedo are among the renowned ones. It would be easier to make your choice within their well-established system and catalogs.   

Conclusion

Obviously, it all starts with a name idea. Once you feel like you got the right one, you can switch to the registration step, as explained in our article. We have also seen how to buy a domain name along with a website. The current market is quite full of website builders and hosting companies. You can go for either DIY or ready-made websites. What matters the most is to select a reliable and cost-effective provider. Fortunately, there are many online reviews and rankings that can assist you.

Frequently Asked Questions About

DNS, or Domain Name System, is a giant database and one of the foundations of the internet. It manages the naming procedures for every device and resource connected to the Web. It also translates domain names written in plain language (for example, inflatablemugs.com) to numerical IP addresses (for example, 198.110.52.18).

This is mainly due to ICANN’s (Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers) policy. This nonprofit organization is a sort of meta-registry. It has to take care of a huge number of domains worldwide and thus prefers being cautious with fluctuations (inflation, etc.). That’s why domain registration for a limited time is considered less risky. 

Shared web hosting is a type of hosting plan in which several users share the same server resources. It’s like having online roommates if you will.

Yes, you can. A country code top-level domain (ccTLD) name can actually be very useful for those who work with specific countries. However, the ownership conditions may be subject to different authorizations depending on the country. We suggest you get specific information from dedicated services and take note of the eligibility criteria. 

This is a broad and controversial topic. Using hyphens (the ‘-‘ character between words) or not is totally your call. After all, there are some successful examples on the market. Keep in mind, though, that it’s usually harder to remember the spelling of hyphenated names. 

Erdinc Yilmaz

Posts: 42

After graduating from the Language and Literature Department, I have used my advanced skills to edit, proofread and translate. I also enjoy writing short stories in my spare time. Now, with the rise of digital marketing, I utilize my skills to write blog posts on the latest topics.

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