How do you register a website domain name?
A website domain name is the address that you use to access a website online, usually by typing it on the address bar of a browser. It usually goes in the format shown in the image below.
What you Need to Know Before Registering a Domain
When acquiring a domain name, one important thing you may need to put in mind is that one is more of leasing a domain name than buying one. This is because you have to keep paying for the domain name renewal every year. If you do not renew the domain, it will be deleted and any other person will be free to acquire the domain.
You also need to put in mind that while you can change a domain name any time you want by buying another one, that will be like changing the physical location of your office/shop. You will need to let everybody know that you have moved. This is harder to do online because of emails and people are likely to keep sending you emails using your older domain name.
This is why it is important to ensure that you have the best domain name possible for your website and you will not need to keep changing it.
So, how do you ensure that you register the most fitting domain name for your website?
Considerations When Registering a Domain Name
Before registering a domain name, keep the following important factors in mind.
- A short domain name is easy to master and remember. Try to keep it as short as possible. This might be a bit hard when using the .COM extension because most of the names are already taken. However, you can opt to use other Top Level Domain names or country code top level domain names such as .za where more names will be available.
- Get a domain name that is descriptive of your work or brand. This will help you get more traffic from search engines. For example, if you have a shop in Durban that sells dairy products, ensure that your website domain name has the keywords Dirban and Milk.
- Choose a suitable domain name extension depending on the intended use of your website and your location. For example, if you are in South Africa, you can consider a .co.za domain name in order to benefit from South African traffic. If you are planning to use the domain name for a blog, you can consider a .blog domain name extension.
Process of Registering a Domain Name
To register a domain name for your website, follow the following process.
Decide on a Name
Decide on the domain name that you want for your website. You can use the guidelines above to come up with a name, then use Whois service to identify a suitable domain name that is available. If you are having trouble identifying an available name, try to use a different domain name extension such as .africa, .co.za, .joburg or any one you would like.
Find a Domain Name Registrar
A domain name registrar is the entity that provides domain name registration service. When you are registering a website domain name, you are the registrar and the institution that keeps a record of all domain names is called the registry. To register a domain name for a website, you need to go through a domain registrar which acts as the link between the registry and the registrar.
There are hundreds of domain registrars such as Truehost Cloud that operate all over the world, and local ones that operate in specific locations. You can find the list of the leading domain registrars in South Africa on this link.
Order your Preferred Domain Name
To make an order for the website domain name of choice:
- Visit the registrar’s website.
- Search for the domain name that you want.
- If the domain is available, click add to card.
- If need be, add web hosting or any other service need.
- Specify the Name servers that you will use with the domain name. These should be from the website hosting service provider.
- Proceed to checkout and make payment.
- Once done, wait for your domain to propagate. This could be immediate or might take a few hours depending on the domain extension.