Do you need to register a domain for your website but don’t know how?
Domain registration is not a complicated matter – on the other hand, it hides a few things that you should consider before you start the actual registration.
In this article, we will go through the step-by-step domain registration in detail, as well as the possible pitfalls that may accompany you during registration.
Why register a domain?
In short, a domain is the name under which people can find you on the Internet (e.g. ” wp.sk “) – either by entering your domain directly from the browser, via the Google search engine or in another way.
So, if you plan to start your own website, you cannot do without a domain.
As such, the domain represents the name of your website, brand, or in short, what you plan to show people on the pages.
Although this may not always be the rule, you need a domain for practically any commercial or personal purpose (e.g. for a blog , e-shop , personal website, etc.).
In order to “own” a domain, you must register it with a domain administrator or registrar.
In other words: You have to choose it, verify its availability and pay for it .
💡 Tip: If you are a complete beginner in the world of domains (or you are not entirely sure how a domain works), I recommend reading my article: What is a domain (and how to register it) , where you will learn all the basic information about a domain , its composition as well as the principle of registration.
How to register a domain?
Registering a domain is not nuclear physics, but you should be aware of a few steps you need to take to register it.
In principle, you should follow 4 basic steps – they are:
- Domain selection
- Domain availability verification
- Choosing a registrar
- Domain registration
Let’s look at each of these points a little closer.
1. Choose a domain
First of all, you should think very carefully about what your domain should be called and what ending it should have (e.g. ” .sk “, ” .com “, etc.).
When coming up with a name, you can start with a simple brainstorming – in short, think of (or search for) words that could well describe the nature of your website, brand, or simply the content that you will display on your pages.
However, creating a name may not be as simple as it may seem at first glance – you should definitely consider several important things when choosing it, such as:
- Simplicity – the name should not be unnecessarily long or illegible, as it is important for visitors to your pages to remember the name of the website.
- Keywords – from an SEO point of view, it is recommended that your domain contains an important keyword, thanks to which you can increase the chances of high positions in the Google search engine (e.g. if you own an e-shop with fitness equipment, you should definitely consider keywords such as ” fitness “, ” exercise “, etc.).
- Originality – unless you are planning to start a website with an original idea, it is highly likely that people have already come up with different domain names before you. For this reason, make sure to come up with several variations of the name and try to stand out from other websites.
💡 Tip: If you are not completely sure what your domain name should be, be sure to read my article: 63 tips on how to choose the best domain name for a website , where you will learn a lot of useful advice about creating a domain.
In addition to the name, you should also take into account the ending – the 1st level of the domain – under which your website will be located (such as ” .sk “, ” .cz “, etc.).
If you are planning to set up a website, let’s say, purely for Slovak visitors, you should definitely consider the ” .sk ” ending.
If, on the other hand, you would like to reach a wider audience than just the Slovak one, endings such as “ .com ” might be a better alternative for you.
However, when choosing an ending, it is important to remember that they can significantly affect the final price of the domain (e.g. endings such as ” .sk “, ” .cz “, ” .de “, etc., tend to be slightly more expensive than generic domains).
If you already have at least a few names ready for your domain, you can proceed to the next step – domain verification.
2. Check the availability of the domain
Verifying domain availability is one of the most important steps before registration itself – if someone already owns your domain name, you simply won’t be able to register it for yourself.
The domain verification process itself is very simple – if you just need to find out if the domain is free, just go to the page of any registrar (e.g. Websupport ), enter the name of your entire domain into the search engine, and the system will immediately show you whether the domain is free or not:
💡 Tip: For more information on what exactly a free domain is (and how you can check its availability), I recommend going to my article: Free domains: How to check the availability of a domain?
What to do if the domain is already taken?
Should you discover that your domain is already taken, you have practically 2 options to choose from:
- Choose a new name for your domain (and try to verify it again)
- Find out the current owner of the domain (and try to buy it from them)
Finding the domain owner is also a very simple process. Just go to the who.is website (or to the pages of one of the domain managers, such as SK-NIC for ” .sk ” domains or CZ-NIC for ” .cz ” endings), enter the name of your domain into the search engine and the system will immediately display all the necessary information about its owner along with its technical status:
💡 Tip: If you would like to learn more about how to find out the domain owner, who or what is the domain administrator and registrar, be sure to read my article: Domain owner: How to find out who owns the domain?
If you find a contact for the owner, you can try to contact him and negotiate a price for buying the given domain.
In this case, however, it is important to realize that the price of the domain can be really expensive. Popular domain names often range from hundreds to thousands of euros.
For example – the domain called ” internet.com ” in 2009 reached up to 18 million dollars.
Of course, not every domain has such dizzying amounts, you may often come across so-called “domain collectors” who buy and sell domains in bulk.
Such domains can range from tens to hundreds of euros (depending on the profitability of the given domain).
Another option is to wait until the given domain “expires” so to speak – or when the domain owner does not pay to renew the ownership.
You can thus easily register expired domains in your name and use them for your own purposes.
💡 Tip: When verifying a domain, you should definitely not forget its previous history either. The history of the domain can significantly influence whether you will appear in the top positions in the Google search engine or, conversely, not appear at all.
Under domains that were already used in the past, excellent content could be located, which was lucrative from an SEO point of view, or vice versa – a website with a given domain could be penalized by the Google search engine for bad content.
For this reason, it is recommended to look at what content the given domain actually displayed in the past. You can view old content on the website at archive.org .
3. Choose a registrar (along with services)
Assuming that you have already selected a domain and found that it is free, it is time to start the next step – choosing a registrar.
Currently, there are a large number of registrars – these are companies that can rent you a domain for a certain period of time (usually for 1 or more years).
When choosing a registrar, you should consider several aspects, such as:
Price at the registrar
With each registrar, you may come across slightly different (but also large) price differences.
This amount is influenced by several factors (e.g. you can get hosting with the domain, or use other services).
For this reason, you should first look at several popular domain registrars and compare their price for a given domain.
If you have found a domain that is free and also affordable, you should also take into account other things that you will need to get your website up and running – such as hosting .
In short, hosting is a server that offers space for your site – it is a storage where all your data from the web will reside.
Registrars often offer, along with domains, also advantageous hosting packages that you can use for yourself.
💡 Tip: If you can’t decide whether and which hosting would be the right one for you, I recommend reading my extensive review: How to choose the best hosting (not only for WordPress) , where you will be able to view the most popular hosting services and compare their advantages and disadvantages .
In addition to the price for the domain and hosting services, you should definitely not forget about the editorial system – the platform where you will create and manage your websites.
Domain registrars such as Websupport offer, along with domains, high-quality hosting and CMS installation (e.g. WordPress ), thanks to which you practically do not have to do anything – after paying for the order, you can simply start creating your dream website.
4. Register the domain
The last step for successfully owning your domain is the domain registration itself.
Domain registration is very simple, if you want to do it with a registrar like Websupport , all you have to do is simply:
- Verify the availability of the domain and click on the shopping cart
- Fill in the necessary data and pay for the purchase of the domain (possibly also for hosting and CMS services)
You can set the payment for the domain for any period of time (e.g. for 1 year or more years).
After paying for the order, the domain will be yours (usually the entire process of payment and domain allocation takes place within 24 hours max.).
At this point, nothing should stand in your way and you can finally start creating and managing pages under your dream domain.Was this article helpful for you? Support me by sharing, please. 👍