Even if you plan on hiring a firm to build your web site for you, it is good to have an idea of how the process works before getting started. An important part of the process is how to register a domain name.
A domain name is the URL you'd type into a web browser to get to your website. Nowadays, it's not enough to simply have a web page located on someone else's domain, such as your Internet Service Provider's web site. To be truly noticed it is far better to register and use your own unique domain name. This will give you the added benefit of being able to create email addresses using your domain name -- much more professional than a Hotmail email address!
So, how to register a domain name? The first thing, of course, is to find a domain name that isn't already in use to register. Domain names are registered with "registrars". A registrar is the site where you would register a domain -- a few examples are networksolutions and lowcostdomains.
Please keep a record of any information about your domain the registrar provides. Registrars will give you a user name and password that you'll use to manage your domain so you'll not want to lose them. I've pulled what little hair I have out trying to make changes to a domain when the domain owner has lost the registration records. Believe me, it's no fun.
Registrars will have some type of tool on their websites that you can use to research what domain names are available. The There are many people on the Internet and it's all too common to not be able to get your preferred domain name.
Once you find a domain name you would like, it's time to pay for your selection. You'll have the option to register your domain from one or two to many years - yes you will have to renew, and pay again.
Once you have bought your domain name, it will have to be hosted. By "hosting", I mean having the web site stored on server on the Internet. Often the same company that registers your domain name will be able to it host as well or perhaps a better option would be to discuss hosting with your website designer unless of course you decide to create your own website. Don't forget to keep any information the hosting company gives you about your domain.
Alright, now that you've signed up with a web host and registered your domain name, the last thing to do before we can think about how to create a website is to configure name servers. It sounds very technical but it's really quite straightforward.
When you signed up for web hosting, the hosting company will have given you the IP addresses of their name servers. IP addresses are a series of four numbers separated by dots, for example 10.0.216.83. You'll have gotten at least two of these numbers.
Make note of them, log into the registrar's site with the user name and password they provided and look for the option to change name servers . Put the numbers into the registrar's site and you'll be finished.
It's going to take a few days for your new domain and hosting to work so sit back and relax.