If you want to increase your visibility as a business or personal brand, connect with your audience, and fight for your own space on the Internet, you must establish an online presence. In a study by GE Capital Retail Bank, between 70-80% of customers at first search for a company online before visiting its premises or committing to a purchase.
Whereas businesses can get online through social media, having a website is the recommended first step into establishing your brand and business online. The website will act as a hub from where the ‘spokes’ connecting to guest blogs, social networking sites and other online spaces emanate.
The first decade of the 21st century has recorded an explosion of technologies that have taken about 1.5 billion websites online. Some of these are business websites while others are for individuals and non-profits. You must be a part of it if you want to succeed online so let’s learn how to buy a domain registration and even how to register a domain name for free.
Getting A Domain Name – Where It All Begins
While you can build a website on your local machine, you cannot take it online without a domain name. Think of your domain name as your online address where all your resources are located. Therefore, getting a domain name from the best domain name registrar is effectively the first step toward building a website.
Much like your personal name, the domain name is your website identity. While coming up with any name suffices, you’ll want one that truly reflects your activities and what you want your website to be known for. This guide discusses all you need to know about domain names, how to find, register, and maintain them.
The Importance of a Domain Name
Are you probably asking yourself how important is a domain name? Well, there are three critical aspects of domain names that you need to appreciate right from the onset.
First and lasting impression – Your domain name is the gateway to your website resources. It has the power to give your visitors a positive lasting impression about your brand or ruin the party.
Affects SEO Ratings – While exact match domains (EMDs) such as cleanyourroomflorida.com are no longer an outright ticket to the top of search engine result pages (SERPs) having well-placed keywords in your domain name can boost your ranking efforts.
An important tool for brand definition – Getting the domain name right makes it easier for your target audience to identify with your brand and for potential customers to quickly wrap their heads around what your business is all about.
How to Register a Domain Name
To register a domain name, you must first identify an ICANN-accredited domain name registrar. The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) is a non-profit organization that plays a unique role in defining how the domain names ecosystem works and evolves. Some of the top domain registrars are:
NameCheap – A reliable and cheap Los Angeles-based registrar and web hosting provider. Currently home to 10 million domains.
Hover – Registrar with headquarters in Toronto, Canada.It’s a good option, but we suggest to go with NameCheap or DreamHost.
To get a hang of what domain registration is all about, we’ll cover three options one for each of the above registrars.
Register a Domain Name with NameCheap.com
Step 1: Go to NameCheap.com and type your domain name into the search box.
Step 2: When you see that your domain name is available, add it to your cart.
Step 3: Note that WhoIsGuard, which is the domain privacy functionality is freeforever, while on other sites it can cost up to $9.99 per year. Great perk by NameCheap (and of course, if for some reason you’re not interested, you can simply un-check the box).
Step 4: You can change the term of the registration (number of years for domain registration). I’m suggesting at least a 3-year period, so you won’t have to worry about renewing after the first year.
If you’re absolutely committed to making your website work over the long term, perhaps you should even select the 5-year term domain registration period.
Now press on Confirm Order, insert your payment method information and you got it, your own domain name!
Get a Free Domain with DreamHost
A neat trick that we highly recommend people to use is to get a web hosting and domain together. Because, later on, to make your website work, you’re going to need both of them anyway, so why to enjoy a free domain if you can?
So why DreamHost? It’s a Los Angeles-based hosting provider, that not from the EIG list and has been in the industry for close to 25 years and offers free domain name register for up to 1 year.
The free domain name and hosting will also help you save some time, money and the need to migrate your domain name (name servers) to your web hosting service (when you buy them separately, you need to configure your host with your registrar name servers).
DreamHost.com: Currently offers register for FREE domain name (for 1 year) whoever signs up with their web hosting services. Great deal and if you wandered on how to register free domain name, you got it.
Q & A: Registering A Domain
The domain registration process, especially to beginners, comes with lots of what, how and why questions. In this section, we shall cover some of the basic questions that are frequently asked in forums, blogs and emails to registrars.
What is a Domain Name?
A domain name is an address that points to the location of your website and web resources. It is much like a stake on the ground that identifies where your business is on the vast world of the internet. An example of a domain is Namecheap.com or Cnn.com.
Domain names were created to replace or stand in for Internet Protocol (IP) addresses. The internet is a massive network of computers each having a unique identity known as an IP address. For instance, an IP address may read 22.214.171.124
As you can imagine, remembering this number every time you want to visit a website is rather difficult. To help ease the pain and simplify website location, domain names were created. A domain name can have a mixture of numbers and letters such as mysite123.com.
What are Domain Name Extensions?
Domain name extensions also know as Top-Level Domains (TLDs) refer to the part of the domain that comes immediately after the dot. Examples include org, com, and net. There are two basic types of domain name extensions.
Generic Top-Level Domain – These domains are universal. They do not fall under any specific country or region. Examples are info, net, come, pro, tax, etc. They are regulated by ICANN policies.
Country – Code Top-Level Domains: These are domains associated with a geographical region or country. They have two instead of three letters. Examples are nl, dk, ke, de, and ir.
New general top-level domains have come up such as auction, attorney, associates, accountant, and many others. There are more than 300 such domain extensions. In terms of popularity, .com is the highest followed by .net and .org. They are familiar and easy to recall.
When Should you Register a Domain Name?
As soon as you have an idea or a concept around a certain domain name, go ahead and register it. As of the latest number, the total number of domain names registered was around 350 million. Each day, more than 45,000 .com domain names are snapped up.
It is not a must that you have a business up and running before you can register a domain. The best approach is just to register the name for a year as you explore the possibilities of setting up a website. Most registrars give discounted pricing that you can leverage to ensure you don’t miss out on your favorite name.
What’s the Price of a Domain Name
Domain name pricing varies based on the registrar and the extension. Registrars such as Namecheap are known for their affordable domain names. With 10-$11 per year, you can purchase and maintain a .com domain name. Specialized top-level domain names such as .service and .store and others often come at a higher price.
For the first year, most domain registrars give offers to their customers. You can get a domain for as low as $0.98 which then renews at the normal pricing after the promotional year.
You Need to Have a Website to Register a Domain Name?
No, you don’t. There are several options available such as registering a domain and then building your website later on such as NameCheap we previously recommended. You could also register your domain name and put up a coming soon page or a temporary website. Lots of internet-based entrepreneurs are in the habit of buying domain names as part of their portfolio and then holding them with the intention of trading them at a profit.
How do I Pick the Best Domain Name?
Choosing the best domain name begins with a research process. Although nothing is cast on stone, the following are some tips to help you get the best domain.
Get a domain name that is simple to spell and pronounce preferably a short name.
Go for a .com TLD because of its familiarity with most users
Incorporate your brand name and keywords in the domain. For instance, lawnmowingtexas.com
Avoid numbers or hyphens and always stick to letters for ease of recall
Which Domain Name Registrar is the Best?
Best could mean many things to many people but in terms of pricing and domain management features, Namecheap, Inc. is one of the best. It always has ongoing coupons and deep discounts for beginners, consistent pricing on renewals and an easy-to-use dashboard with great support in case you will need one.
If you want to try out with a free domain, go for DreamHost. Remember that you can always transfer your domain to another registrar if you don’t feel comfortable with your current registrar.
Which TLD Should You Buy?
The best domain name extension is .com. It is not only easier to remember but also some keyboards and keypads come with a built-in .com extension to make typing easier for users.
How to Get a Domain Name for Free?
As we wrote previously in the article, you can get a free domain name in case you buy it together with a webhosting, from specific hosting providers that provide this service.
We recommend DreamHost, a reliable and SSD based hosting provider that hosts over 1.5 million websites for more than 400,000 users. That’s your solution on how to get a domain name free. Get a FREE domain (for 1 year) from DreamHost.
Do I Need To Register New Domain Extensions?
You probably familiar with the most common .com, .net, and .org extensions, but there are dozens of more potential extensions available. However, these new domain extensions are hard to remember and difficult to brand.
Whereas new domain name extensions are marketed as being brand targeted, some of them may be hard to remember therefore indirectly affecting your brand.
With that being said, You can have more than one domain extension to safeguard your business against destructive competition.
Can I Buy A Domain Name Permanently?
It is not possible to permanently own a domain name. Domain names are bought on yearly renewable contractual arrangements on the minimum. However, you can prepay for up to 10 years thereby getting the assurance of longterm ownership. So if you wandered on how to buy a domain name permanently, that’s your best way to go.
What happens when my Domain Name Expires?
Domain names expire if there is no payment made on the renewal date. Some registrars give you a grace period before taking the domain name back onto the market.
How is the Domain Name Renewal Process?
When you purchase a domain name, you are given access to a dashboard by the registrar from where you can renew your domain. Instead of doing manual renewals each year, you can decide to turn on the auto-renew feature. Domain registrars normally send you renewal reminders to your registered email.
Can I Reserve A Domain Name Without Buying It?
It is not possible to reserve a domain name. The only option available is to register it and then wait until you are ready to build our website.
How Do I Buy An Existing Domain Name?
If you’ve come up with a perfect name for your website but upon checking the domain name with the registrars you realize that it is already taken up, you still have a chance to get it.
However, you may have to first find out when the domain name was registered, who currently owns it and their contact details. Some sellers may decline your offer to purchase while others may give you an outrageous price. All that notwithstanding, it is worth a try.
Registering a domain is not difficult, you only need to have all your ducks in a row before you begin. Take a bold step, buy your domain and build your website. Some registrars have website builders to help you quickly come up with a fancy website.
As we stated in the beginning, our recommended domain registration options are NameCheap for a reliable and cheap domain registrar with great UI, fast support and great pricing and DreamHost for a FREE domain name registration together with web hosting solution that you would probably need for your site as well.
It’s important that you keep your web host and domain registration separate. Before getting into why we’ll start by defining what the two terms mean and why they are the foundation of any successful website.
The domain registration is sort of redirection work, such as ebay.com – that directs people to the files of a particular website through an internet browser. For example .com, .net, .org, .inc and many more.
The web host is the account on a server that stores website files and serves them to users through the internet. It’s basically a kind of file storage. Think of Dropbox, but it’s connected to the network an instead it’s something that serves the files to internet users.
The domain of a website is their internet “address”, while the hosting is the “land” that the website is built on.
Now we’ll look at the reasons you should have a separate domain and hosting providers.
1. Holding your hosting or domain as a hostage
Many hosting and domain registration services offer the two tied together in confusing and obnoxious ways.
If you want to cancel just your hosting, you may find that your domain has become more expensive. Or perhaps the domain is canceled with the hosting because everything was offered as a “bundle”.
Keeping your registrar and web host separate allows you to prevent this kind of thing from happening. It stops one company from having so much leverage against you.
2. Easier to switch web host provider service
Having fewer service commitments makes it easier to change web hosting providers.
If you are getting downtimes from your current supplier, are disappointed with the lack of support, are paying too much for renewal, or facing a similar problem, you’ll have an easier time changing hosts without impacting your domain. All you have to do is move the files across to the new host and redirect the DNS settings.
3. Separate security from the file management
Companies typically specialize in either hosting or domain registration, and not both. It’s hard to find a company that can excel at both at the same time.
The very best domain registrar services offer privacy, advanced DNS settings, sub-accounts, and other benefits. The best web hosting companies have great file management, backups, site-lock features, and more. It’s good to have separate accounts for domain and hosting to get the best of both worlds.
4. Hacking to your account or website
Let’s assume that you have your domain and web host handled by the same company. What happens if the hosting website gets hacked or something happens to your host or website? What if someone stole your files and your domain and injected malware, or your hosting company locked your account? That means you lose access to your web domain too.
By keeping domain and hosting separate, you have an easier time dealing with these problems without affecting your domain. You’ll still have access to your domain dashboard and are in control.
5. Several domains support and control
So you’ve got multiple domains, each of which is hosted on a different service. This makes it easier to manage your domains all under one roof as you are able to manage several domains all from a single account.
6. Keep problems and concerns separate
Will your host provider still be in business in five more years? Will your domain provider? By keeping your registrar and web host separate like this, you reduce the risk of a total and complete outage. Especially true if you went with EIG hosting.
Summary – Separate hosting and domain registrar
If you are considering a website project, then it’s critical to understand the difference between domain registration and web hosting and the way they work together but also act like different products.
A domain is critical to any website project — whether you go with a hosting company or bundled services so you must learn how to buy a domain name.
We also understood what it’s recommended to separate the web hosting solution and the domain registrar. But, what solution should we go with?
For a web hosting provider, we recommending DreamHost. They are global, SSD based, non-EIG hosting service and provide a free SSL (by Let’s Encrypt) with great support and uptimes. Check out this DreamHost review.
As for domain registrar, we are fans of NameCheap, which is an affordable domain service with constant pricing, quick support, features rich and 14-day money-back guarantees. Look into our domain registrars review.
You know that buying a domain name is a must when you starting a new site and you can’t dodge the need to register a domain name but where’s the right place to buy a domain name?
Buying a domain name is normally the first thing you need to do when creating a website. It may sound simple enough – you should simply look for a domain registrars sites and you’ll be on way.
Here’s the thing, with the sheer amount of domain registrars available (with much more less known and reliable) and simply choosing the first that comes up is probably not a good idea.
If you’re wondering, “what’s the difference between them and is one selling you anything the other can’t?” Glad you asked because we’re going to answer those questions while giving a list of the best domain name registrars to get your domain name in a reliable name for an affordable, constant and without-surprises pricing.
But, if you need help in finding the best domain registrar today and learn on how to register a domain name, we’ve compiled the top domain registrar services that you should definitely check out.
Today, Namecheap is a leading ICANN-accredited domain name registrar. They combine a solid trifecta of affordable domain pricing, great customer support, and have a huge selection of top-level-domains (.com, .net, .uk, .inc, etc.) that you can choose from.
When it comes to pricing, Namecheap is hard to beat with some domain names going as low as $0.98 for the first year. Their pricing for year after year renewals can range anywhere between over a dollar for less-common top-level-domains (TLD) to around $9 for more favorable options.
They also offer a completely free WHOIS privacy protection (WhoisGuard) for everyone, forever, a guaranteed uptime with their PremiumDNS system at $5 per year, and the option for SSL certificates which starts at $9 per year.
Namecheap offers online support via its ticket and a live chat system. Their chat support system is responsive and customers have praised both its system and support staff. However, if you ever want to call someone for immediate help, you won’t be able to do so.
Namecheap is a solid choice for registering your domain name. Plus, their site is incredibly intuitive and easy to use, especially on their domain management pages, which can be incredibly helpful. They offer reasonably priced domains and have a free DNS service, and free WHOIS protection. They also offer SSL encryption, for those looking to beef up the security of their domains.
It’s one of the best domain name registrars today.
Founded in 2009, NameSilo advertises the lowest domain name prices in the industry. They focus strictly on domain registry and reselling domains. By utilizing in-house designed backend tools, NameSilo does not depend upon third-party tools to manage domain names.
An added benefit of using its own backend system is that domain transfers and registrations are not bungled- a rare problem throughout the industry of domain registry. NameSilo is truly an innovator in the field when it comes to keeping overhead operating costs low.
On the downside, NameSilo user interface is a bit dated one and we prefer the UX of Namecheap.com.
A unique selling point that makes NameSilo competitive is that their annual fees do not increase after the first month. There are a lot of domain name companies who advertise for a lower price but lock in the customer at a higher price after the first-year renewal.
NameSilo is one of the few domain companies that offer an array of alternate convenient payment options in addition to all major credit cards. These include Paypal, Skrill, Dwolla, AllPay, and BitCoin. (Most companies offer credit card payment options only). This makes it much easier for the millions of app customers who can buy a domain using these popular apps.
NameSilo charges higher fees for alternate Top-Level Domain names like .org, .net, .co, .info and .biz, ranging from $2.89 for a .club extension to $22.69 for a .co extension. Those are the extreme pricing on both ends of the spectrum, with the most common TLDs being $9.89 to $9.99/year. Compared to most domain companies, these prices are low. Some alternate domains run for $13.99 and higher.
For the negative parts, NameSilo does not offer a mobile app that lets customers manage their domains from a smart device. This makes them inferior to the few companies that offer a mobile app for iOS and Android. NameSilo does, however, let customers link their domain name with Google Apps. This will allow for some mobile functionality.
Also, there is an issue with transfer domain policies. Customers that want to transfer their domains away from NameSilo will find information buried deep in the Support Home section. Most companies offer transfer instructions within their ‘knowledge base’ pages.
Registrars, in general, have a terrible reputation for holding names hostage, making it difficult to switch registrars if you become dissatisfied. Some charge exorbitant fees or create delays to avoid losing business. NameSilo does not do this, but by means of ‘omission’ of external transfer instructions, they “discourage” customers from moving their domains elsewhere.
Hover focuses purely on being a domain registrar site. Compared to others on this list, when you load up Hover, it’s clear what their strengths and focus are.
They are also upfront when it comes to pricing. Domain names can cost about $5 per year and they also include the cost of renewals and transfers on the same page itself. If you’re buying more than 10 domains, they offer discounts for purchasing it all at once.
Hover offers a number of options for top-level-domains (TLDs), ranging from popular TLDs such as .com to more trendy ones such as .io. Since they don’t offer any hosting options, they try to make it easy for users to set it up with other hosting companies.
For those who are privacy-conscious, Hover provides an additional benefit that most registrars don’t, which is to include a WHOIS privacy protection for all of its packages for free. They believe that you “shouldn’t have to opt-in to protect identity”, which shows that they take privacy a little more seriously than others.
Hover also offers other features such as the ability to forward emails to your domain name at $5 per year and creating a domain inbox for $20 per year. When it comes to customer support, you can contact them via phone call, email, or live chat, but it’s not available 24-hours a day.
To Wrap it Up, the Best Place to Buy a Domain Name
Having the right domain name could be fundamental to the success of your business and website.
And, buying your domain name from the best domain registrar is the key to reach successful domain integration and management. Ideally, you would only have to make this decision once and go back to your preferred registrar whenever you need a new domain name.
Now you know the features and differences between the best domain registrars, you can make a clear decision with the options.
Namecheap – One of the best domain name registrars today for its affordable domain extensions, tons of unique TLDs and personal domains, plus a free DNS and WHOIS privacy protection. Our #1 pick.
NameSilo – A decent domain name registrar that offers affordable pricing, along with a host of free services.
All of the domain registrars that we’ve presented in this list are the best, so to speak, and they’re more than capable of handling any of your needs through your website’s lifespan while providing you with your desired domain. Choosing which one works best for you will depend on the details.
Depending on whether you need additional services, such as hosting, adding SSL security, and so forth, one company might better suit your needs by offering these services compared to others while some might be more affordable. We recommend you take a good look at the companies on the list for the best domain name registrar which will fit your needs.
You have probably heard of .net, .com, .co.uk and many other common domain extensions but, there is a new one on the market now called .Inc (it is the shortened form of incorporated, but we don’t need to explain that to you).
Now, what is .Inc domain meaning? The .Inc extension is for real businesses. For those of you business owners who run an incorporated company, there is now an extension that is built solely for you. Buying this .Inc for your website will let new and returning customers know that you are a big deal in the United States’ market.
Don’t worry — the .Inc extension is also well recognized across the globe for being up there in the business world, so if you are trying to tackle the planet-wide market, you are on to a winner if you choose to go with this one.
Who Should Register .Inc Domain Extension?
As we have already mentioned, this extension is custom-made for your brand — that is, if you truly want to be taken seriously!
If you are worried about being ‘too new’ on the market to warrant having this coveted domain, don’t be. Just like huge, well-established corporations, startups that are aiming for grand heights should invest in this as it will stand you in good stead for your future online success.
Basically, .Inc domain registration extension means business and maybe it’s that one you should consider in case you looking on how to get a domain name.
Why Choose .Inc Domain Registration?
There are many reasons why you should choose the .Inc domain name but, perhaps the most important one is that there are no reserved or premium .Inc domains. What does this mean? Well, it allows you to register a very short domain at the standard, universal price.
Plus, this particular extension supports IDNs which enables you to use characters that are not necessarily found in English — whatever your native language maybe, .Inc will work for you.
Furthermore, with over 5 million incorporated business in just the United States of America, this domain extension is guaranteed to see a rise in use as more CEOs start recognizing the benefits.
How Do You Register a .Inc Domain Name?
You can register during two ‘early bird’ periods throughout the year before the extensions become available to the wider public.
The first one runs from the 27th of March to the 30th of April and is for trademark holders to have first dibs on their online presence.
The second then runs from the 30th April to the 7th of May and is for organizations to register different forms of trademarks.
During both of these times, the fees are higher so you may want to sit back and wait for the general availability — just bear in mind that you may miss out on your preferred choice if you do this.
For a specific domain registrar, you can look into our comparison of domain registrars and specifically, we recommend Namecheap as your domain registration provider. Ok, I think we covered all the relevant information about .Inc domains and now you are well-appointed with all the benefits of registering your website with a .Inc domain extension. All you have to do is decide whether or not to go in at the early bird period or wait until they are widely available — the choice is yours!
What is .Inc Domain Cost?
You can get your .Inc today with $250 off the regular price at Namecheap! All you need to do is go to their website, choose your perfect .Inc domain and apply this coupon code when you check out: GETDOTINC
Getting your .Inc with Namecheap gives you the whole business package of top-rated 24/7 customer support, free personal data privacy system, and reliable DNS.
So, when you thinking about .Inc domain cost, consider investing today into a domain with huge strategic and business value to launch your A-list business in the direction of success.