How to Register a Domain Name

Registering a domain name for your online business or organization shows you are a professional willing to spend money to build and host a website. Many people try to start their business online with a free domain (e.g. and free hosting. This is a mistake as they have no control over their domain. If the company goes bust you lose all your content and your reputation.

Reasons to register a domain name

  • Professional presence
    People are more likely to do business with you if you have a real domain name rather than some obscure website address.
  • Professional email address
    Sending email from an email address that contains your domain name gives your business greater credibility than using gmail, aol, or hot mail address that often are used by spammers.
  • Permanent home for your website
    Even if you change hosting companies your domain name will remain the same. You can take it with you wherever you go.
  • Branding
    Your permanent website address will constantly associated with your business, therefore it will steadily build your brand on the Net.

How to register a domain name

1. Brainstorming

Create a list of possible domain names you wish to use as many of them may already be taken. Try stringing several words together, use numbers or hyphens between the words. Read my article “How to choose a good domain name.”

2. Check availability

Visit (or your favorite domain name registrar) and enter your suggested name in the “start your domain search here” box. It will immediately tell you if it’s already taken and suggest some alternatives.

3. Purchase your domain name

Depending on the suffix of the domain name you will pay approximately $10.00. Other registrars may charge up to $25.00. If registering with Godaddy they will try to add additional services during the registration process such as privacy, email, hosting, web design, etc). I suggest opting out of these extra services. You can always add them later when you can make an informed decision.

4. Change the name servers

You need to point your domain name to the server that’s hosting your website. Ask your web host for the name servers to use. The name servers for my hosting service look like this:

To change them in Godaddy log in to your account. Go to the domain manager to view all your domains. Check the box next to your domain, then click on name servers (top navigation bar). Delete the current name servers then enter the new name servers and click OK. It will take 24-72 hours for the changes to take affect.

5. Domain name parking

While you are waiting for your website to be built Godaddy will give you a temporary web page for your domain name (only if you are using their name servers). If you are using another web host ask your designer to upload a temporary web page to the server that tells visitors your web site will be coming soon or is under construction.

5. Web design and hosting

Some domain registrars (such as Godaddy) offer web hosting and/or web design services as well. I recommend only registering your domain name with them as I’ve received many complaints from clients about these extra services. Find a reputable web design and hosting company so you’ll be a happy online business owner.

Don’t delay registering a domain name. It may get registered by someone else if you wait too long.

Need an informational or e-commerce website designed? Please visit:
Maryland Web Design

Herman Drost is the Certified Internet Webmaster (CIW)
owner and author of


  1. What company is the best Domain Registrar? i’ve heard that Godaddy and Moniker are the best.,::

  2. I use Godaddy to register all my (and clients) domains. They have an affiliate program also.

  3. i always buy domain names at Godaddy or Moniker because they are the most reliable registrars-“:

  4. domain names should be as short as possible and easy to remember, i alway use Godaddy when signing up new domain names’;.

  5. picking a good domain name is enssential for ranking good on search engines ~-‘

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