In the era of digital marketing and digitalization, it’s essential to have an online presence. And one of the first things you should do to establish an online presence would be to create a website. Each website has its own domain name which plays a big factor in how easy you are to be found online.
If you are truly dedicated to having a strong online presence, then the first thing you should know is how to register a domain for your website. Having a good domain name is vital for success in the congested market of today. Here, we’ll show you how to register a domain name very easily, and how you can get a domain completely free!
We’ll talk about what a domain name is, which are the best places to register your domain name, how to choose your domain name, and we’ll also get into a step-by-step guide to help you register your preferred domain name.
It might be intimidating for a beginner to start a website without any or much knowledge. But don’t worry, we’re here for you! Let’s talk about the important stuff – what is a domain and how to choose and register a domain name.
What is a Domain?
A domain, or a domain name, is the online address that your website will be found at. In simple terms, that address will read something like this:
That is a domain name. Now there are many domain names and domain extensions that you can choose from. A domain extension is the part of the domain name that comes after your domain name. The most common domain extensions are: .com, .net, .org, .info, and many more. You get the picture, hopefully.
A domain is a simplified address of your website. Normally, your website will be hosted by a computer, and this computer will be available through an IP address. However, it would be extremely difficult to remember a selection of random numbers of an IP address. For that reason, domain names were invented.
As you might imagine with the wealth of domain names and domains online, the world of domain names and how they work is pretty complex. That topic would deserve its own article, but for the sake of simplicity, we’ll leave most of it out. The simple explanation is that when we type a domain name into the browser, our computer “scouts” various DNS servers to find our domain.
You don’t necessarily need a website to register a domain. What many people do is register a domain name before they actually build the website itself. And good-ranking domains are hard to find or establish, which is why many people often decide to buy high-ranking domains for large quantities of money.
Where to Register a Domain Name?
When you’re choosing the domain name, your first task should be to find out and decide where you will register a domain name. Now there are tons of domain name registration websites and providers. A provider of domain registrations is called a domain name registrar. In most cases, it’s a web host that also offers you hosting services.
There are many places online where you can register your domain name. Some of the biggest providers of web domain registrations are Bluehost, GoDaddy, Domain.com, Namecheap.com, Hostgator, and many more. But what makes a good, worthy domain name provider?
- Security. The number one priority when you’re picking where you will register your domain is security. Is the domain registrar secure, do they offer any certificates that improve the security of your domain? All something you should consider.
- Pricing and Registration Period. Another crucial thing when you’re choosing where you will register a domain name is the pricing per year. Is the registration cheap, or is it expensive? And what are the terms of registration? Usually, most registrars will offer you a domain name for at least a year. Most of them offer a 2-year registration period.
- Domain Transfers. Does the registrar allow you to transfer the domain name to another provider? Some offer you this option without additional fees. However, there is a 60-day period after registering the new domain that doesn’t allow you domain transfers.
- Additional Services. Does the registrar offer anything else besides the domain registration? Some providers, such as Bluehost, will offer you a big array of other useful options, such as web hosting, WordPress hosting, website builders, and more.
Which One To Use?
From our experience, the best choice to register your domain name is Bluehost. Why?
- Bluehost is the largest web hosting service in the world. While they are primarily a web host, they also provide a completely free domain name for the first year for new users!
- Their web hosting services are by far the most secure on the market. In 2019, Bluehost had an uptime of 99,9%. They will rarely fail you.
- Additionally, they will offer you 24/7 customer support when you need anything from them. This includes a useful live chat option, as well as other means of contacting them.
- They offer affordable hosting plans for everyone. A simple hosting service to start and register a domain, is available for only $2.95 monthly.
- Fast load times if you choose their hosting service, including a free SSL certificate.
How to Choose Your Domain Name?
So now that we’ve seen what the best registrar for your new domain is, and you’ve selected where you will register a domain, we can start talking about selecting your domain name. Choosing a good domain will allow you to dominate the domain search, make sure you rank high in search engines, which will set you up well from the off.
Your URL, or domain name, is the first thing that your visitors will see. It will resonate with your website visitors and it’ll make it easier for you to make a name for yourself, to build a brand. It gives your online business a name.
Secondly, a good domain name will allow you to rank higher for SEO. What is SEO? It’s Search Engine Optimization that uses bots to crawl through all online websites to find the websites that are the most relevant to the search query. And if you include SEO keywords in your domain name already, then you have a good chance of ranking higher.
Also, your domain name will define your brand. It will make you more recognizable, you’ll be found much easier, and it’ll make it easier to make a name for yourself.
Here are some tips that will help you choose the perfect domain name for your website.
- The first thing you’ll want to come up with is your website name. This website name will also be relevant for your domain name, as you will want to make it as similar as possible to the website name. Choose a brandable name, something that’s catchy, and something that will resonate with potential clients or customers. Always avoid generic names – instead, opt for names that are memorable, catchy, and unique. For example, if you choose a name healthinsurance.com, which is very generic, it is much less likely to have success than something more unique. Instead, a name like UnitedHealthInsurance.com is a better example.
- Secondly, choose your domain extension wisely. The most common extension according to research is .com. More than 40% of all websites have the .com extension. Why? Because it’s the most memorable extension, and it’s the easiest to remember. If you can, go with .com. Other good extensions include: net, .org, .info. Avoid weird extensions such as .club.
- Opt for something short and easy to type. it’s easier to remember shorter names and make sure it’s still brandable enough. Aim for something in between 6 and 14 characters for your domain name. Also, make sure it’s as easy to pronounce as possible, and not too complex.
- Use keywords for your niche. For example, if you specialize in local plumbing services in Manchester, opt for something like “Manchesterplumbing.com”. That’s not exactly brandable and unique, so it needs a bit of work, but it’s a good example of a domain name with keywords.
- Think about a name that suits you in the long-term. If you’re intending to change the purpose of the site after a while, take that into consideration when you’re choosing a domain name.
A Step-By-Step Guide of How to Register a Domain Name with Bluehost
Ok, so by now, you should have a clear idea about your domain name, the extension, your registrar, and you should preferably also have your website ready (but not necessarily). Now it’s time to get started with domain name registration.
As we think that Bluehost is the best registrar for domain names, we’ll show you how to do it with Bluehost as it offers you a good package for web hosting where you get a domain name for free. Just follow the steps here to get your new domain registered. Let’s get started. There are two options to get domain names: with web hosting, or without it.
How to Get a Free Domain Name with Web Hosting at Bluehost
Step# 1: Go To Bluehost.com
The first step is to visit the Bluehost.com website. Enter the website with this link to get a special discount that will enable you to get a free domain name later on.
When you enter the Bluehost website, you’ll notice a few things: at the top, you will see an arrangement of menus. In fact, you should see a few menus: so, if you choose the Hosting menu, then you’ll be taken to the hosting page where you can select the hosting plan you need. This is the menu you should choose if you’re looking to get a free domain name for the first year.
If you select the Hosting menu, you can set up a hosting plan and register a domain name for free. You can kill two birds with one stone, and get a good deal at the same time.
However, if you’re looking tojust get a domain with Bluehost, then you should head over to the Domain menu. But know that you won’t get a domain for free with this option. Instead, you’ll have to pay for the domain, depending on your extension and the name itself.
Step# 2: G0 To the Hosting Plans and Choose Your Plan
If you want a web hosting service and a free domain from Bluehost, you’ll need to select your hosting plan first. You can do that by going to the Hosting subpage, and select your hosting plan.
You can select from Shared hosting, VPS hosting, and Dedicated hosting.
For shared hosting, you have 4 plans to choose from:
- Basic – $3.95/month
- Plus – $5.95/month
- Choice Plus – $5.95/month
- Pro – $13.95/month.
If you’re serious about your website and your plan is that your website will grow in the first year, then it’s better to choose Plus or Pro options. But, if you need just the basic web hosting services, then you can select the Basic plan.
Step# 3: Choose Your Domain Name
Now for the most important part here: select the domain name that you get for free for one year! After you have selected your hosting plan, you will have three options to choose from:
- Enter an existing domain name if you have one.
- Create a new domain name
- Choose the domain name later.
If you want to register a domain name right now, then you can do so here. Just type in the domain name you want, select your extension, and see whether your new domain is available. Bluehost will automatically search for domain names and tell you whether your new domain name is available. Someone else might already be using the same name domain as you.
Here also comes the time when you will have to choose your extension. As we’ve already said, .com seems to be the best and most popular option. However, you can also choose from any other extension of your preference.
As you’re getting a year free, it might make sense to opt for a quality domain name. But know that you will have to pay for the domain name after the free year.
Step# 4: Create Your Account and Select the Billing Options
After that, it’s time to create your account with Bluehost. You’ll have to enter your personal information, such as your name, address, email address, and telephone number. Just fill out the form that appears and then click next. You will have to create an account to be eligible for the domain name for free.
Once you complete the form, you’ll have to select your billing plan. You can select between three plans: 12-month contract, 24-month contract, or 36-month contract. If you select a 12-month contract, you’ll pay $5.95 per month for the basic plan. If you select the 36-month option, then the monthly cost for the basic option will be $3.95.
Some opt for the longest period, as they prefer the lower monthly payments, and they’ll also get longer hosting services.
Step# 5: Choose Extra Services
You can also select from the extra services for your site here. This step covers the following extra options for your site:
- Domain Privacy and Protection – useful for those who want to protect their personal information such as their email address, location address, and other potentially important information.
- Codeguard Basic – a service that covers daily backups, monitoring of your website for safety, and constant improvements.
- Bluehost SEO tools – if you need a useful SEO tool for your site to start with, select this option.
- 1 Office 365 Mailbox with a 30-day free trial.
- SSL Essential – an additional SSL service.
You should select the Domain Privacy and Protection at the very least. All other options are great for your site. And while you do get an SSL certificate for free, you can get a more advanced one here.
How to Register a Domain with Bluehost without Hosting
You can also register a domain with Bluehost without using the hosting services that Bluehost provides. However, the fact is that you won’t get a domain for free with this option. Still, this option is a fantastic one if you’re looking for a quality, secure, and customer-friendly platform to register a domain.
Here are the steps that you need to take to register a domain name with the Bluehost domain registrar.
Step# 1: Go To Bluehost.com
The first thing you should do is visit the Bluehost site. On the main page, you’ll have to choose the Domains subpage to access the registration page for your domain name.
Once you open this page, you’ll see a field where you can enter your selected domain name. The domain registrar will then scan through all of the webpages to see whether your domain name is available. If your preferred domain name is available, then you can select the payment for domain registration.
If it’s not available, Bluehost will provide you with the domains that are still available. You can also choose from the right extension for your site.
Step# 2: Add Your Domain Name to Cart and Complete the Purchase
After you have selected your domain name, you will see the price next to it. If you click on the price, the domain name will find itself in the cart.
To complete the domain registration, you’ll need to add some information about yourself and add the payment details. In this step, you can also add additional features, such as privacy and protection. You’ll also get an option to buy an Office 365 account for your site.
Congratulations, now you should have your own domain name! it’s time to create your site and launch it.
Question 1: Which is the best domain name registrar to use?
Answer 1: We believe that Bluehost.com is the best and most secure registrar to register your domain. If you select a hosting plan, you’ll get a domain name completely free for one year. That’s awesome! Also, Bluehost offers the most secure and advanced hosting services, as well as domain registry services on the market. And the customer service is available to you 24/7.
Question 2: Which is the best extension for your domain?
Answer 2: There are many extensions for your domain to select from for example .com, .net, .org, and many more. We believe that choosing the right extension is an important step in registering your domain name. And the .com domain is perhaps the best domain that you can use right now. It’s the catchiest, the easiest to remember, and most sites seem to use this extension. Also, it’s probably the best for SEO.
Question 3: Can I buy a domain permanently?
Answer 3: You can only buy a domain for a set length of time. As you enter your payment information, you can select the term for which your domain will be valid. Usually, they are extended on a yearly basis. However, you can also buy one for longer. Some registrars also offer to buy them for up to 10 years.
A crucial step when setting up your online business is to select and register your own domain. It allows you to create an online presence, build your brand, and rank better for SEO. You might want to take some time to think about the name you will use, the extension to use, and the registrar you will use. Hopefully, our guide has helped to make your life much easier.