Register a Domain

Your address on the Web

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Registering a good domain name is the first step to a successful website. Whether you decide to go with a Self-Hosted site or something like wordpress.com, if you have the funds, you should always register a domain.

Pick a domain registrar

Steps to register a domain:

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STEP 1

  1. Pick a name:
  2. A good domain name
    1. is related/relevant to what you do
    2. does not contain any random numbers (other than a year) or hyphens
    3. is catchy and short (without being illegible)
      • GOOD: seattlegarden.org
      • BETTER: sgc.org
      • STILL OK: seattlegardencollective.org
      • BAD: seattlegardencollective4.us
      • BAD: our-seattle-garden-collective.org
    4. is available preferably as a .COM or a .ORG extension

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STEP 2

  1. Pick a registrar:
  2. Several registrars are available. You should compare prices and research Terms of Service.
    1. Domains bundled with hosting or heavily discounted as part of other promotions are typically only “free” during the first year. Make sure you know what the price is after that when you need to renew.
      • Example 1: FatCow.com offers a free domain for the first year with hosting. Renewal price for ONE YEAR for a .COM is $16.99 (as of 12/17) compared to $11.99 GoDaddy.com would charge right off the bat for one year.
      • Example 2: GoDaddy.com pushes .US extensions for $1.00 for the first year, if you register the domain for 2 years; after that you pay the regular $19.99/year.
    2. Registrars like GoDaddy will attempt to push all sorts of unneeded services on you during registration. You should only consider these:
      • additional domain extensions – if you get the .COM extension, consider getting the .ORG, .NET and/or .US, depending on your availability of funds
      • private registration – replaces your publicly visible personal information with “dummy” information in the registrar’s database; costs typically an extra $7.99/domain/year, but is worth it considering you are cutting down on spam and remain anonymous

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STEP 3

  1. Buy the domain:
  2. You can get a domain name for one or more years. If you are not sure whether you want it for a long time, get it for 2 years.
    1. Registrars like GoDaddy will attempt to automatically set your domain to auto-renew. That means that without you doing anything or knowing at what price it will renew, you will be charged. If you don’t want that to happen, switch auto-renew off when you buy the domain or later in your account preferences.
    2. Again, don’t be bullied into getting any services you don’t need and don’t get the domain for any longer than you think you need it at the moment. You can always renew it later. (Especially GoDaddy is known for setting a 5-year term as the default when you first put the domain in your cart.)

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Infographics

How to Register a Domain
Compare Domain Registrars