Image source: esellermedia.com
The process of registering a domain name is really simple. You only have to decide who you want your domain registrar to be. For much more convenience in managing your domain names, avoid registering them with the same company that you intend to host your websites, for three reasons:
- Easier to manage DNS (domain name system) records if you ever move hosts
- You can register the domain for a longer contract (e.g. 5 years) as it’s not tied to your hosting contract (Although this is slowly becoming an option with more hosts)
- You can get discount pricing when you register many domains at once with the same company
Still, domain registration services are basically the same, with minor differences in pricing. However, registering with an ICANN accredited registrar rather than a reseller can save you a few bucks. Some of the top accredited domain name retailers include:
One more thing you need to know about before you register your domain name, is the change in the nature of domain names that started in January 2014. From this date, a new wave of web address endings, aka TLDs were released for sale onto the internet. UK2 called the revolution The Year Dot, because the change marked a time in the Internet’s history when its records could be re-written and started again. What The Year Dot meant was that domain name-buyers could now snap-up alternatives to .com, .co.uk, and .net – alternatives like .guru and .ninja, for example.
These new TLDs are being released for sale gradually, as opposed to all in one go. If there’s one you have your heart set on, you can create a watch-list on the UK2 website, to get the latest news on when your perfect TLDs will go on sale.
Domain registration – the process
Here’s how you can register your domain name with UK2
Visit the UK2 website and click on the domains tab at the top – circled in red below. From the drop down menu, click on ‘domain names’.
Type the domain name you would like into the search bar – shown below. Leave out the .com or .guru at this stage and you’ll be given a list of choices.
Choose as many of the options as you like from the list of options, by clicking on the select button circled in red below, and they will be moved into to your shopping basket. If you have selected a few domain names, it’s possible to direct all the search engine traffic they attract to one ‘mother’ website. For example, if you buy your domain name with a .com, .co.uk and a .guru on the end you can have all your search traffic directed to .guru.
When you’ve finished shopping, click on the basket icon – circled in red below – to take you to the check-out area.
Once you’re in the check-out area, you can choose how long you want to register your domain for in the area circled in red below. At this stage, you can also choose whether you want domain name privacy in the area pointed out by the arrow below. This means that Internet users won’t be able to find out that you own the domain via the website WhoIs.
Now, scroll down the page and click on the green ‘Proceed to Checkout’ button.
Your previous action will take you to a payments page where you will be asked to fill in your billing details. Enter these and click the orange ‘continue’ button, circled in red below.
Once you’ve bought your first domain with UK2, you’ll be given a CHI account, from which you can manage your existing domain and buy extras if you like as well as manage hosts, transfers etc.
Here’s how you can register your domain name with Godaddy:
1. Visit the Godaddy home page http://www.godaddy.com and check if your domain name of choice is available using the search box provided. If it isn’t you will find a list of suggestions that come close – or not. You’ll then have to creatively think up a new domain name and repeat the step.
2. If it’s available, you can “Continue to registration” and proceed to fill out your details before checkout. Otherwise, you may want to add other top level domains (TLDs) e.g. the .net, .org and .co versions if they are available. This is especially important if you are registering your own brand name and would like to protect it from similar name registrations by other persons. You’ll then be able to forward these domains to your primary domain (presumably the .com).
3. Select the term of registration for your domain. This can be anything from 1 to 10 years. Continue to registration and fill in your details as prompted.
4. Watch out for the commercial domain add-ons (such as domain privacy) during the registration process, keeping only those that you need.
5. After registration and checkout is completed, you must proceed to update the name servers if you’ll be hosting your website with a different web hosting provider. To do this, click on domain manager and you’ll be able to change the DNS records to something like: ns1.yourwebhost.com and ns2.yourwebhost.com. You do not need to make these changes if you decide to host your website with the same company as your domain name registrar (Godaddy in this case).
What is Domain Transfer?
If you’re not happy with your existing web host, you can transfer your domain name from them to a new company. Each company has a different process for parting ways. Step by step guides to transferring are available on the UK2 website, though, to make it easy for you to move.