Thinking of starting a new company or want to build a new website? Great! But how to start? First thing you will need is a domain name. Come up with a memorable yet simple domain name (www.YOURCOMPANY.com) that you want to use for your domain name and possibly email domain (email@example.com).
Visit https://www.whois.net/ and enter your desired domain name and see if it’s available. If so great, if not, change it or come up with new ideas until you find one that is available for you.
Next, you will need to register the domain name. Find a registrar to register the domain name with on the world wide web. There are numerous registrars in the world. Some only provide domain name registration, some are more robust and offer additional service like website hosting, email hosting and more. I recommend using a company that offers more services, this way if you decided to build a website (registering a domain alone name DOES NOT give you the resources to build a full-fledged website) or setup company email addresses later, it’s simple. If you decide to use multiple companies for the registration of your domain, the hosting of your website and the hosting of your email, it will become much more confusing, costly and generally works less effectively. Especially if you are reading this “HOW TO” blog, you should just find one company to work with for all of your website related services. We personally recommend https://www.inmotionhosting.com/ as they have a full catalog of web services, provide great customer service and are very affordable.
Once you find the registrar of your choosing, you need to pick a service with them. You can simply register the domain only or add additional services like email and website hosting if available. Again, you don’t need to purchase web and email hosting yet but keep it in mind for later. Create an account with the registrar and they will ask you a series of questions, mainly what domain would you like to register and for how long. You can register a domain for single or multiple years. Generally, you get a price break the longer you register for. Cost for just the domain per year is typically less than $20.00. Adding website and email hosting can vary on prices per year, how much storage you get and what type of hosting services you get. One item we strongly encourage you buy along with the domain registration is domain name privacy. This will effectively hide your personal contact information from the public. This will greatly reduce the number of telemarketing and spam phone calls you get going forward. Remember the https://www.whois.net/ lookup you did earlier? Now that you are joining that list, your information will be available to the free world unless you mask it with the privacy. Well worth the $10.00 or so dollars a year it costs.
Now that you have a domain name, it is reserved for you. Meaning there is nothing more than a logo for the domain company or other minor details on the actual domain if you visit it. It’s your page, basically blank and waiting for you to point a website hosting name server to it. What are name servers?
DNS or domain name servers are the numbers vs. letters of your website address. By default, if you only register the domain it will point to the registrar DNS who as I mentioned use it for marketing themselves while reserving it for you. If you get website hosting and actually build out a website, those DNS records would need to be updated to reflect the location of the website. Again, this is a lot easier if you have all of your website related services with the same company vs multiple companies. So, if you have a domain and website and email hosting all with the same registrar/host you can easily make things work. If you have a registrar for your domain and separate companies for your website and email hosting each, you need to change the DNS records for the website hosting and the mx records (we will cover mx records in another post soon) for the email hosting. Sound confusing? That’s because it is when you don’t use the same company for all of your services.
Now if you are a brand-new company and getting your very first domain, it’s simple to get the domain and website hosting with email setup easily. Choose the domain, choose your plan and start setting things up. If you are a seasoned company and you want to move registrars, website or email hosts it’s a huge task. Especially if you have large amounts of old email messages you want to take with you. I will cover transferring domains and emails in another post soon. Just know that the initial setup of selecting a domain and services is important.
Find a reputable company (Omaha Computer Service Pros) to help you with all of this if you aren’t confident in yourself. Make sure that company registers everything in your company’s name and not their own. Many website companies will do this, so you have no choice but to work with them for the long haul as they essentially own your domain. And remember, write down your user names and passwords and pay your bills. If you do not pay the host, your website will be deleted, and the domain sold to the highest bidder.
I always tell new clients to think of this all like building a new house. You need land before you can build the house. Getting a domain is nothing more than an address. The land is the hosting plan which gives you the ability to build a site. The site itself is the house.
I hope this article was informative and helped you get a better understanding of a domain registration process. Thanks for reading and let me know of any questions of if we can help you.
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Article Written by: Robert V. – Owner