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How to Register a Domain

So you decided to take the plunge and get a domain name, eh? Congratulations!

Registering a domain name is very easy . . . find an available domain name is the hardest part. If you need help finding a domain name, see my article, Find a Domain Name. It will give some great ideas for finding a domain name with high search engine value.

Registering a domain name is this easy:

  1. Go to a domain name registrar.
  2. Find an available domain name.
  3. Pay the man, Shirley!
Follow those three steps and the domain name is yours for however long you chose to register it. Renew your domain name before it expires and it remains yours indefinitely.

Wow, is that easy or what?

Where to Search for a Domain Name

I guess if you're going to search for a domain name you might need to know where to look. Brilliant analysis by me, eh? My big, dumb smile.

You can search for available domain names at any domain name registrar. Personally, I like Dynadot the best, but NameCheap. Both offer very reasonable prices.

There are many, many other registrars, just make sure the one you use is ICANN accredited. All four of the registrars I use are accredited. Here is the official list of accredited registrars.

ICANN, or the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers, is a not-for-profit, public-benefit corporation dedicated to keeping the Internet secure, stable and interoperable. It promotes competition and develops policy on Internet domain names.

There are some registrars that are difficult to use, and some that make it very difficult to transfer to another registrar if you are unhappy with them. If you don't use the registrars I do, make sure you do your homework so you don't get stuck with a poor registrar.

How to Get a Free Domain Name!

Many web hosts are now offering a free domain name with their hosting plans. Some are free for the first year, some are free for life as long as you keep hosting your site with them. Here are a few hosts that offer great hosting plans at very good prices, and give you a free domain name:

Domain Registration Tips

Here are a few more domain name registration tips.
  • Searching for available domain names is part skill and part luck, so be prepared to spend some time at it, it may take some time.
  • If you find a domain name you really like, grab it right away. If you don't, it could be gone when you try to get it later.
  • If your site becomes popular, sometimes other people will register alternate domain extensions of your domain. For example, if you register and your site becomes popular, someone may register,,, etc. They do this for many reasons:
    • To try to capitalize on your site's popularity
    • To try to sell you the alternate names at a higher price
    • To try to leech traffic from people typing the wrong extension into their address bar—this is common if you don't own the .com version.
  • If your domain name can be easily misspelled, chances are that it will be by some folks typing it into their browser's address bar. If you register common misspellings of your domain name and point those domains to your real site, you'll catch any misdirected traffic.
By the way, someone did register and a few years ago, but I don't worry about the leeches and they eventually decided it wasn't paying off for them.

I mention it though, because you may want to consider registering various top level domain extensions of your primary domain. You can have any traffic an alternate domain gets forwarded to your primary domain.

There you go . . . registering a domain name really is pretty easy. Good luck with your new site!

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