Businesses need their own domain, such as yourbusiness.com, to maintain a professional and credible appearance online—and the first step is to register a domain name. The good news is that not only is domain registration very simple, but it’s also affordable at around $12 per year from domain name registrars or for free with a web hosting plan. Then, search for your desired domain and checkout.
Here’s how to register a domain name in three easy steps.
1. Choose a Domain Name Registrar
To start, you need to choose where you’re going to register your domain name. Which registrar you choose will not only determine the price you pay but how easily you’re able to connect it to your website and business email.
While you can purchase a domain name directly from a registrar, it’s ideal to get it from your web hosting provider, such as Bluehost (for WordPress users), if you’re building a website. Alternatively, you can get your domain name from your site builder if you’re using a content management system (CMS), such as Squarespace, so that your domain is connected to your site automatically.
Here are the three main ways to register your domain name:
- Domain name registrar: Choose when you just need a domain name and nothing else from providers, such as Google Domains or GoDaddy.
- Web hosting provider: Best for those who plan to build a website with WordPress as many web hosting providers include a free domain name with plans, such as Bluehost or DreamHost.
- Website builders: Ideal if you’re building a website with an all-in-one site builder as most come with a free domain name, such as Squarespace or Wix. This also eliminates the need to connect your domain name manually to your website, saving you time and any potential headaches.
If you’re still not sure, then get additional information on the best domain name registrars to make your decision easy.
2. Search for Your Desired Domain Names
After choosing which domain name registrar you want to use, navigate to that provider. From there, you will be able to start searching for your desired domain. However, if you’re getting a domain through a web host, such as Bluehost, or a website builder, like Squarespace, you’ll start by selecting a plan. Then, during the account creation process, you’ll be prompted to search for and select a domain.
Ideally, your domain will be your business name. However, it can be a challenge to find an available domain. If you have trouble finding an available domain, consider including keywords, verbs, or your location to your business name, such as joesicecream.com, eatjoes.com, or joesvermont.com.
Here are a few tips to keep in mind when choosing a domain name:
- Start with your business name: See if your business name is available as your domain. If not, consider variations that might suffice. For example, if www.johnshotdogs.com is unavailable, consider something like www.johnsdogs.com.
- Research relevant keywords: Use a keyword tool such as Ubersuggest to find keywords with high search volume that relate to your business. If your business name isn’t available, consider adding a keyword to your domain to make it unique. Using the example above, this might look like www.johnsgermanhotdogs.com.
- Use a location signifier: For businesses with mostly local clientele, using a city or state abbreviation as part of a domain name can be useful for customers searching for your products and services in a particular area. For instance, consider something like www.johnshotdogsnyc.com.
- Choose the right extension: A domain extension is what appears after the main part of your domain, such as .com or .net. There are numerous extensions you can choose from, but the most common is .com.
For more help, learn more about how to choose a domain name.
3. Checkout to Complete the Domain Registration
Once you have found an available domain name, begin the checkout process. While this will vary based on which domain name registrar you chose, all work mostly the same in that you will add your desired domain name to the cart and follow the checkout prompts.
Remember that the information you use to register your domain is the information that your domain name will display publicly if you don’t opt for domain name privacy or a provider, such as Google Domains, that comes standard with domain name privacy.
Pro tip: Domain name privacy is suggested strongly for businesses that don’t have a store or in-person office, such as an online business. This will keep your information private and reduce spam.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
How do you connect a domain to WordPress?
If you’re building your business website with WordPress, then ideally, you will have registered your domain through your web hosting provider. Not only are domains often free with web hosting plans, but it also comes with the bonus of being able to connect your domain to WordPress and your hosting service easily. For example, if you got a free domain through a Bluehost plan, you can use the one-click WordPress installation tool from your user dashboard.
What Is ICANN?
If you’re registering a domain name, you will likely see Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) mentioned in the registration process. It is a nonprofit organization that manages all namespaces―domain names―serving as an online database of domain names.
How do I use my domain name as my email address?
Getting a domain name is your first step to creating professional email addresses that use your own domain name. Setting up your custom email address will depend on which email platform you wish to use, such as Gmail, Outlook, or Apple Mail. It will also depend on where you purchased your domain name. Get a step-by-step guide on how to set up a free business email address.
Register your domain name in a couple of minutes by researching potential domain names, going to a domain name registrar or web host, such as Bluehost or GoDaddy, searching for your desired domain name, and completing the checkout process.
The best way to get a domain name for free is by signing up for a Bluehost web hosting plan. Not only are plans affordable at $2.95 per month, but they also include free email, site security, and one-click WordPress installation, making it very easy to connect your domain to your website.