Having a good, relevant domain name is one of the most important aspects of your online presence. It acts as the gateway to your website for people to find out what you have to offer. How to get a domain name?
It’s simpler than you might think.
We explain step-by-step how you can get a domain name , as well as helping you to understand how to keep your details private, and what you should be doing to keep hold of your domain.
There are two main parts to a domain:
-The name itself (e.g. thebusinessbible)
-The extension (e.g. .uk)
Together, these two parts give you your domain.
For us it’s thebusinessbible.uk:
It was chosen because we are called The Business Bible and we want to help people start businesses in the UK. The same logic should apply for your domain!
As such, your domain name should represent your business name, either word-for-word or a shortened version if your business name is long.
Your domain extension should suit what your business does and where it operates.
As your domain is essentially the front door to your website, it’s important decision to make. You might want to check out our article on choosing the right domain name for your business start up before continuing.
How to Get a Domain Name
For this how-to guide on how to get a domain name, we will be using 123-reg.co.uk, a UK domain registrar.
We use them and we think they’re great. There are other registrars that you can also use such as names.co.uk and GoDaddy, but ultimately it doesn’t matter which provider you decide to purchase your domain name with. There isn’t a best place to buy a domain name, it’s just down to personal preference. The same concept of getting your domain will apply to each registrar.
If you haven’t set up an account with a domain registrar before, head over to 123-Reg and sign up.
You’ll need to put in the usual information such as email, name and password, but to get a domain name you’ll also need to input your address details. This is because domain names must be registered with the owner’s full details.
You can pay extra to hide your private details from showing up on the web but we’ll discuss this in further detail later on.
Head back to the front page of 123-Reg and type in your desired domain name (such as thebusinessbible) into the search bar like shown below to do a domain name check. No need to put in an extension just yet.
Hit the search button and a page will pop up showing you the list of extensions available for your domain name. For example, at the time of writing this guide, searching for ‘thebusinessbible’ brings up the following:
You’ll see .com and .co.uk at the top of your search because they are the most sought after extensions, over those such as .me.uk found further down the list. The ones with a green tick are the extensions you’re able to buy. The greyed out ones with a cross have already been taken.
There’s more domain extensions available than shown above but the extensions generally get less favourable as you go down the list. You can refer to our article on choosing the right extension if you are still unsure.
The cost shown next to each domain extension is the price you will have to pay per year to own that domain. The more sought after domains are pricier, but its worth the extra amount to get the best domain name and extension you can.
Once you’ve found the right domain extension for you domain name that’s available, it’s time to add it to your basket and head to the checkout.
Keeping Your Details Private
The first page of the checkout process to get a domain name is the domain privacy option we mentioned earlier. Below is an example of the domain privacy page:
Note: Once you go ahead and get a domain name other people can search your domain name and are able to see your details. If you want to keep your details private, such as your name, email and address you put in at registration, you’ll want to go ahead and get domain privacy. It’s well worth the extra amount.
The screenshot below highlights what details are publicly available with and without domain privacy. You can see that with domain privacy on 123-Reg your details won’t be available for everyone to see. Your details are instead replaced with the details of the Identity Protection Service in Guildford.
Click add domain privacy if you want it, and hit continue.
Finalising Your Domain Purchase
You will get asked whether you want any added extras for your domain name, such as getting email addresses or a website builder. We’d recommend not getting any extras right now. You can always get them another time if you find you do need them.
The last step is to input your card details, and confirm your purchase. That’s it! You’ve got your very own domain name.
Head over to your Control Panel…
…and click Domain Name Overview.
In here you’ll find the domain name you just purchased and any others that you buy.
There’s no need to do anything else at the minute regarding your domain unless you already have website hosting with a different provider. If this is the case you should read our article on how-to point your domain name to your website hosting provider.
Your domain will serve as the main gateway to your business website. If you haven’t got a website already you can read our in-depth guides to getting website hosting, setting up a WordPress website and building a WordPress website.
If you are on a budget you can read our guide to setting up a WordPress website with minimal cost.
Keeping Your Domain
Make sure that your domain is set to auto-renewal and that you keep your payment details updated. If you don’t renew then your domain will go back on the market and someone else can buy it.
Other people are able to ‘backorder’ domain names, meaning that they can get a domain name immediately if the current owner doesn’t renew. If that happens to your domain then unfortunately there is no way you can get it back unless the new owner also doesn’t renew.
Head back into your Domain Overview and you will be able to see whether your domain is set to auto renew or not (it should be automatically):
If you click on edit you can change whether to auto renew your domain or not, and how long to renew for (1 year, 2 years etc.).