The registration of a domain name is a simple process, even if you are doing it for the very first time. The process for the first-time domain buyer can be broken down into the following steps:
1. You decide on the name you want to buy.
2. You sign up with a domain registration service (this is free).
3. You buy the domain you want using your credit card (this takes a few minutes).
4. You leave the domain name parked with the registrar (as an investment for later, or until you decide what to do with it); or you develop a web site for the domain.
Let’s look at these steps in detail.
Deciding on your name
You may know the domain name you want already, and know it is still free – if you don’t, just type the name in a browser to see if it is already taken. If it isn’t taken, then you can buy it.
If you are not sure about the name you want, you need to do some brainstorming. Short, generic names are the most valuable, but they are in very short supply now. If you need ideas, go to a domain name registrar like Godaddy and use their tools to suggest a free (unregistered) name based on the theme or subject you have in mind.
Signing up with a domain registration service
Go to a service like Godaddy, and register yourself. This means you will have to enter your name and contact address, so that any domain names you buy are registered to you. You also have to enter your credit card details. There is no cost to you for signing up, and you can get an overview of the process of registering a domain and read a FAQ about it before going any further.
Buy the domain you want
After you have registered, you can buy any domain name you want, as long as it is still free. Note that the .com name extension is still the most popular one, though you could buy .net, .info, .org, .tv, or .biz versions of the name if the .com is taken. Expect to pay about $10 for the registration, and then the same every year you want to keep the name registered.
Park the name, or build a site
Services like Godaddy allow you to simply ‘park’ the domain with them. You own the domain, and no-one else can buy it, unless they make you an acceptable offer of course. Or, you can find a host and build a website for the domain, which is the next step in making the domain a valuable asset.