Buying a domain name
A domain name is the address of a website online.
At the top of this page, in the address bar of your browser, you’ll see ‘make-website.com’. That is the address of this website. No other website on the internet can have exactly the same address.
How to choose a domain name?
A domain name can be your own name, the name of your business, or some other words (or word).
A .com address is the most popular, followed by .net and .org If you’re running a business, it’s best to choose a name with a .com extension, as that is the most recognised. When people go looking for your business online, they are likely to type in a .com extension. If your business name is already taken in a .com and your business is operated locally, you may be able to register your business name in an extension that signifies your country – such as .co.uk for England. You can also add words to your business name if the name you want is already taken, such as a word related to your business.
Before you start, it’s important to realize that the shorter the domain name, the more likely it is to have already been taken – especially if it has a .com extension
If you like a name, look it up immediately with a domain name provider. That way you’ll know straight away if it’s available or not.
A memorable name is generally best – one that your website visitors will remember.
How to buy a domain name?
Type ‘domain names’ into a search engine such as Google, and choose some sites to look at from the search results. Take your time, look around carefully, and compare before you buy. Some are much cheaper than others. Getting a free domain name with hosting may look good, but that same domain name may cost much more than it would have at independent domain registrars after the first (free) year. You can often buy a name with a .com extension for under $10 (US)
Can I have any domain name I want?
Unfortunately, no. Every word in the English dictionary has already been registered with the .com extension, and almost anything else that you can come up with! You must come up with a unique name. But there are still good names out there that you can register.
Where do I register a domain name?
With an ICANN accredited domain name registrar.
Why are domains with a .com extension so popular?
The .com extension was the first, and is the most recognisable on the internet. There is fierce trading in ‘good’ .com domain names. The best names will sell for many thousands of dollars, as they are not available anymore and are highly sought after.
More information on domain name extensions:
Country domain extensions
A business site that carries out its business in a particular country will want an extension that signifies that country.
Find a comprehensive list of the lop-level domain name extensions for countries around the world here: http://www.iana.org/
Cost of registering a domain name
The cost of registering a domain name can vary, although the most popular extensions such as .com, .net and .org usually costs less than US$12 per year.
You can often pick up a .info or .biz extension for only a couple of dollars per year. It is cheaper to register for two or more years.
If you are buying an established domain name, the cost can range from a few dollars to a few thousand.
Signing up – READ EVERYTHING CAREFULLY
Take your time when deciding on a domain name. Be certain about the name that you want, be sure to spell it correctly, know if you want the domain for one, two or more years, and know if you want a privacy option.
A domain name provider may try to upsell you extra years, extra features and hosting as you go through the registration process. You might save money if they are offering a good deal and if these things are features that you want – but it can be confusing, and you might sign up for things you didn’t want.
Read everything carefully.
Read more about domain names on our business websites page.
.com commercial. The most widely used in the world. Can be used by anyone.
.net network Can be used by anyone.
.org organization Used by non-profit groups
.biz business Used by small-business sites.
.info Information Resource and information.
.us US New extension for the USA
.mobi mobile This is used for access to mobile phones
.name personal Is the only domain extension created especially for personal use.
When you buy a domain name, all your personal details, such as your full name, phone number and address are displayed publicly.