How to register a domain name

Three legs of a website: All the pages
0. Overview of the three legs 1. How to register your domain name 2. What is dns 3. How to get web hosting

Registering a domain name: First leg of a website

Registering a domain name makes an official record that the domain name belongs to you.

Domain name registration doesn't give you a place for your website.

Getting a domain name is like registering a business name. Registering your business name doesn't give you an office and employees. It just makes an official record that you own the name.

In the same way, domain name registration doesn't give you a place for your website. It just makes an official record that the domain name belongs to you.

How much does it cost?

Domain name registration can cost between $US 4 and $US 30 per year.

How do i pay for my domain name?

How do i know a good domain name registrar?

Registrars all do basic registration quite well, but vary widely in the quality of their services. These days the very best one i use is register4less.com. It is not the cheapest (about $15/year), but it is really "less" when compared to others for the service you get. They provide many things (privacy of your contact info, hosting, forwarding, etc., that cost extra with other registrars. You don't waste any time with them, or money on phone calls or going to their office: their website and email support is excellent.

A good domain registar:

Cheap registrars are quite tempting, but you end up spending (wasting!) quite a lot of your precious time in getting basic things done such as setting up domain name servers, and in deleting all the spam you get from them selling your email address. Due to this, i am unable to help with problems with cheap, bad registrars — It's not really worth my time either to deal with their failings.

What information do i need to have for registering my domain name?

  1. name, address, etc for 3 "roles" (may be two or three different people, or all the same person):
    • "Administrative Contact" - who is reponsible for the ownership of the website. If you are a company, give the contact information for some position that will always be there, not an individual person.
    • "Billing Contact" - who is reponsible for paying for the website registration. Again, if you are a company, give the contact information for some position that will always be there, not an individual person.
    • "Technical Contact" - the person who understands the technical things about your website.

    Important: When you give email addresses for any of these, don't give an address that is based on the domain name you are registering! For instance, if you are registering "bigwebsite.org", don't give them the new address you will have there, "[email protected]". Because if there is a problem with registering, or later your domain expires - they won't be able to contact you by email!
  2. your domain name servers
    • At least two. (Your web hosting provider will tell you what they are.)
    • If you don't know these right away, you can come back to the registrar later and put them in. However, your website will not work until you have them!
    • The registrar may also “do dns”. If they do, the domain name server fields will be filled in already with the names of their servers. You can change this if you want to use different servers.

How do i renew the domain name?

How to do it is easy:

Be sure to renew in good time before the domain expires!

How do i know where my domain is registered?

You should have that information in a safe place, the same as where you keep your other important records.

If you can't find it:

When you find out who is the registrar, be sure to save that information in a safe place with your other important records!

How do i remember my registrar, password, and all those things?

You don't!
If you can remember your password easily, a hacker can hack it easily!
You keep that information in the same place you keep all your other important information: office rent, telephone bills, email passwords, business license, etc.

If you are an organisation, you keep this information with your accounting office or bookkeeper.

Three legs of a website: All the pages
0. Overview of the three legs 1. How to register your domain name 2. What is dns 3. How to get web hosting

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