A Basic Guide to Domain Name Registration

Domain name registration sounds like a simple task and that’s why many new website owners are not reading guides related to this process when they are trying to launch a website. However, many of them have realized that this approach is wrong. The truth is that with the right information you can speed up and make this process more effective.

Domain name: What is it?

In order to understand this process, you have to understand the meaning of domain names. Domain names are defined as web addresses that people type in their web browsers to find a specific site (google.com for example). In their essence, domain names are simple pointers to a specific Internet Protocol (IP) address. These IP addresses are used by servers in order to find each other and display information to the end user. If it wasn’t for the domain names, these addresses would look like long strings of numbers that are difficult to remember like 192.168.25.3 for instance.

The process of registering a domain name

In case you are interested in buying a domain name, you should be prepared to look for a registrar. These service providers will process the registration application you’ve made. At this moment, you can choose from hundreds of service providers like this. Of course, you should deal only with accredited registrars. After brief research, you should be able to find a good registrar. Once you visit their official website, you will get a chance to use their domain name search box which will let you find out whether the domain name that you are interested in is available or not. Obviously, if the name is not taken, you can move to the next step. On the other hand, if the domain is not available, you can try to contact the owner and purchase that domain name directly.
We will focus on the most common situation in cases like this – you’ve found an available domain name and you are trying to register it. Before the process is finished, you will have to take three additional steps. Make sure that you’ve done your research before using any of these steps.

1. Domain registration length

Whenever someone is trying to register a domain name, they are free to select the number of years that they will own the domain name. This means that when you are purchasing a domain name, you can’t buy it forever. Typically, users can purchase a domain name for at least one and up to ten years. The good thing is that every user can renew their ownership before the domain expires. Keep in mind that in some cases, domain name registrars will ask users to purchase the domain name for at least two years.
But, how many years should a website owner register a domain name for? This is not a simple question because the answer is linked to a few different factors. Let’s say that you have a business that you want to develop and run for many years. In this case, it’s probably a good idea to register a domain name for five years. In case you are doing a short project and you need a website, you can pay for one or two years. In any case, you should remember that you can always renew the domain name before it expires.
As a matter of fact, many domain name registrars are renewing domain names automatically if you opt for a solution like that. Of course, you will also get many timely reminders about the status of your domain. Even if the renewal period is over, you can still get some discounts and special offers from the registrar in the next few weeks.

2. Private vs Public Registration

This is an optional step because there are domain name registrars that won’t provide an option like this. But, if you encounter this option, you must know what you are doing. Public registration of domain names is a type of registration when registrants are sharing their personal info in the contact form. There’s no doubt that this is an easier registration process, but it also raises some security issues because personal information like your email address, home address, full name, and phone number will be visible to the public. Many fraudsters, scammers and spammers are using this type of information.
With the help of private registration you can get extra security in this process, but in order to get this security, you should be prepared to pay more for this process. When you use this option, your personal information is replaced with the basic info of the registrar. There’s no way for spammers and scammers to find out who’s behind a privately registered domain name. However, you can still receive emails if you want to.

3. Share your information

Finally, in case you’ve selected private name registration, you can skip this step, but public name registration requires this step. It will take just a couple of minutes to fill the form where you have to share your contact information. Keep in mind that the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers requires four kinds of contact information from every registrant – domain owner’s contact, admin’s contact, tech person’s contact, and billing person’s contact. Don’t forget that you can use the same name for all persons unless you are planning on hiring other people to take care of the things listed there.
This is basically the entire process of registering a domain name. The final step is to finish the checkout process by paying for the domain name. In some cases, it takes 24 to 48 hours to complete this process. When the process is finished you can start using the domain name you’ve selected. Obviously, you will need a good web hosting service to host your website and you must build a website too before you publish it. You can use a website builder or hire a web development agency for this purpose.