Jun 04, 2021
How to Buy a Domain Name – A Simple Guide
Every website needs a catchy address. And to get one, you need to know how to buy a domain name. Luckily, domain registration has become quite a simple procedure nowadays. It’s also one of the first steps you need to take when you start a blog or create a website.
In short, this is how you buy a domain name:
- Choose a reliable domain registrar (like Hostinger)
- Find a domain availability checker tool
- Run a domain name search
- Pick the best available option
- Finalize your order and complete the domain registration
- Verify the ownership of your new domain
Below, we’ll overview each step in a more in-depth fashion and present a few tips and tricks to ease the whole process.
Check out this video on how to buy a domain name.
How to Buy a Domain Name (In 5 Steps)
Now that you know how to pick a proper domain name, you might be wondering how to purchase one.
To get a domain name for your website, you’ll need an ICANN accredited registrar (such as Hostinger). Depending on your chosen domain extension, the registration fee can range between $0.99 to $92.99.
Below are 5 steps that cover the domain registration process in more depth.
Step 1 – Find a Domain Checker
The journey of buying a domain name starts with an availability lookup. In fact, we have the perfect tool to check domain vacancy here on Hostinger.
FAQ: What if my desired domain name is taken?
If the domain you wish to buy is taken, there are a few different approaches available:
- Go for another domain extension. In case .com is unavailable, you may opt for others such as .xyz, .net, .org, and many more.
- Try a longer version. Adding a simple word such as “the”, “my”, “a” and other similar words can help get the result you want.
- Reach out to the current owner. However, in most cases, you will need to offer a fairly high sum of money.
Step 2 – Run a Domain Name Search
Now enter your desired name in the search field and take it for a spin. The domain checker tool will present you with a list of available options that you can register. Use the Domain extension filter to search for the exact extension that you’re interested in.
Step 3 – Pick Your Domain
Once you locate a name that you like, proceed with the registration by pressing Add to Cart.
If you’re not planning to look for more variations, proceed with the checkout and you’ll be able to choose a payment processor and complete your transaction.
Step 4 – Complete the Domain Registration
As soon as you complete the domain payment, you’ll be redirected to the control panel. Inside, you’ll find the setup box to complete your domain name registration.
Make sure to fill in all the fields with the correct details, as they will be stored in the official domain ownership database called WHOIS.
After you submit your details, the domain registration will be processed and you’ll only need to follow one last step.
FAQ: Can I modify the domain ownership details?
Yes, you’ll be able to do it using the domain management section within your control panel. Once the changes are made, you will have to confirm them via email. Keep in mind that it may take 24-72 hours for most WHOIS databases to display the updated details.
Step 5 – Verify the Ownership of Your New Domain
The final step of your journey is to verify the domain ownership through the email address you used while registering. It usually arrives within a few minutes after finishing the domain setup.
In the case it doesn’t arrive, you can re-send the request from your control panel. We recommend doing it immediately, as waiting for 15 days or more will lead to a temporary suspension from the registry.
Congratulations! You now know how to buy a domain name and complete the initial registration process.
FAQ: I forgot to verify the ownership of my domain. What do I do?
In case your domain got suspended, simply visit the email you used during registration and complete the verification process. Keep in mind that it may take 24-48 hours before the domain is back to full functionality due to DNS propagation.
9 Best Tips Before Buying Domain Names
Before you purchase a domain name, consider doing some proper investigation. After all, the name of your website is one of the first things that visitors will see. Here are some important tips to keep in mind:
- Do your research. It’s important to study your niche and to know what the user wants. Being aware of the most popular keywords and search terms will help you find a domain name that’s best suited to represent your project.
- Make it catchy and easy to remember. Don’t go for something that is absurdly long or difficult to pronounce. A catchy and short domain name will greatly increase the chances of visitors remembering your website name.
- Go with .com if possible. Currently, .com is taking a stand as the most popular domain name extension. Thus, it’s a good priority when buying a domain name, as most web users will easily recognize it.
- Check for trademark infringement. To avoid any legal issues, it’s best not to register a domain similar to popular, well-established brands. You can use various online tools to look up trademark information and avoid such situations.
- Avoid numbers and hyphens. While numbers and hyphens let you create more domain name variations, they can sometimes do more harm than good. For example, people can mistake the number zero (0) with the letter (o) or the number (2) for a word (two). Therefore omitting numbers and hyphens may be a good idea.
- Look for close alternatives. If you already have a domain name in mind, think of possible mistyped variations to make sure all the potential traffic reaches you. A great example would be amzon.com which takes you to the main Amazon website, or fb.com which goes directly to Facebook.
- Research social media platforms. Once you have a rough draft of your domain name, look it up on popular social media platforms like Twitter, YouTube, Instagram, and Facebook. Even if you’re not planning to do anything with them at the start, reserving a page for your project will ensure it’s not taken by someone else.
- Think future-proof. Websites and domains are a long-term investment. Hence revolving the name around the most overhyped thing at this very moment might not be the best approach in the long run. So don’t be afraid to think outside the box.
- Discuss your ideas. If you feel like picking the right name for your website is the hardest choice of your life, perhaps you need some help. Present your ideas to friends, family, colleagues. Who knows, they might give you that golden nugget of advice that you’re looking for.
Domain Name Pricing Table
You cannot say that you know how to buy a domain name without knowing where to get the best deals. On Hostinger, we offer over 100 unique TLDs (and that number is always rising) with prices starting as low as 99 cents for the first year.
|Domain extension||Registration fee (12 months)||Renewal fee (12 months)|
FAQ: I want to buy a few domain names and have them display the same content. Is it possible?
It surely is! If you’re using our web hosting platform, parking the domain through your control panel will be enough. In case you want to host different content, use the addon domain section instead. In both cases, you will need to point the domains to Hostinger.
Want to learn more about domain names and what it takes to create a website? Here are a few good reads:
- What is a Domain Name? Domains Explained for Beginners
- What is Web Hosting? A Short Overview
- Best Blogging Platform for Your Blog
Frequently Asked Questions
What’s a domain name?
Each website and server on the internet has its own IP address used to identify them. The IP address is a long string of numbers, which can be difficult for users to remember.
A domain name acts as a user-friendly substitute for an IP address – it is the URL or online address of your website. If people want to visit your site, they will type your domain name on a browser’s address bar.
The structure of a domain name consists of two main parts – a second-level domain (SLD), which is usually the site’s name or brand, then a top-level domain (TLD) like .com or .org. As an example, Hostinger’s domain name is hostinger.com. You can learn more about domain names here.
How can I get a free .com domain?
You only need to register for a hosting plan that offers a free domain. However, make sure the value is enough for you to buy the .com TLD.
For example, if you sign up for Hostinger’s Premium or Business shared hosting plans, you will get a free domain for one year with a value equivalent to a .com TLD.
Can I buy a domain name without hosting?
Yes, you can. Domain name registration and web hosting are two different services. You don’t need to buy or have a hosting plan to register for a domain name.
Check if your preferred domain name is available, then feel free to buy and register it at a domain name registrar.
Whether you have a website or not, the domain name will be yours as long as you renew the registration.
How do I permanently buy a domain name?
It’s not possible to permanently own a domain name since it’s not a one-time purchase – the maximum period of registration is 10 years. You will need to pay and renew your subscription if you want to keep using the same domain name.
This is to cover the maintenance costs or “domain tax” collected by the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN).
As the number of registered domains grows, the tax increases. Hence, registrars need to adjust their pricing accordingly, which is why the renewal fees are more costly than the registration prices.
In this guide, we have learned how to buy a domain name on Hostinger. Though buying domain names is the easy part. The real challenge is thinking of a good name and picking the right extension. And once that’s done, the whole website building journey awaits.
We hope the tips highlighted in this tutorial have eased the process. In case you have any additional questions, drop us a line in the comments.