How to Register a Domain Name
This article demonstrates how to register a domain name. A domain name is the thing that looks like my-domain-name.com. If you intend to create a website, you will need to know how to register a domain name.
Registering a domain name is no different to any other online purchase - you simply add it to your shopping cart, then head to the checkout.
Where Can I Register a Domain Name?
You register your domain name through a domain name registrar (or partner site) like ZappyHost.
To register your domain name, enter your preferred domain into the search form. If it's available, simply proceed to the checkout. ZappyHost will walk you through the registration step by step.
Step by Step
Here's more detail on registering your domain name.
- Check Availability (opens in new window)
This is where you check that your preferred domain name hasn't already been registered by somebody else. A domain name can only be registered to one person at any one time, so if someone else has already registered it, you won't be able to (or you can put it on back order). Of course, the good thing about this is that, once you register your own domain name, nobody else can get it - it's yours for as long as you want it to be!
If the domain is not available, try again using an alternative name.
- If the domain is available, continue to checkout.
This part is just like purchasing any other product online. You simply follow the prompts through to the checkout. You may be offered related products, such as similar domain names or different top level domains. To add these to your order, click "YES! Add these to my order.". Otherwise click "Continue to checkout".
Note that you must supply up to date contact details. Domain name registrars won't let you register a domain name without providing these details. This is a requirement by ICANN (see below for info on ICANN).
If you don't like the idea of having your details available on the internet, you may be interested in a private domain registration. Private domain registration ensures that your details are hidden from public view.
Without a private registration, anyone can see the details of a domain registrant by using the (publicly available) "WHOIS" database. The WHOIS database is a searchable list of every single domain name registered in the world.
For example, if you were to register a domain name, anyone could look up your details by going to the WHOIS database and entering your domain name. That is, unless you have private domain registration.
If you register a domain name as a private registration, your details are replaced with a proxy company. When somebody does a WHOIS search on your domain name, the details of the proxy company appear instead of yours.
Who is the Worldwide Authority for Domain Names?
The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) is the organization responsible for top-level domains. Top level domains include .com, .org, .net, and much more.
Although ICANN is responsible for top-level domains, you can't actually go directly through them to register your domain name. You have to go through an accredited domain name registrar or partner site (such as ZappyHost).
ICANN operates the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA) and is in charge of maintaining the DNS root zone.
About Domain Name Registrars
Domain name registrars are companies accredited by the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) and/or by a national ccTLD authority to register Internet domain names. These companies are often web hosting companies who offer a range of website-related services.
Again, ZappyHost is an example of a web hosting company offering domain names.
You can read more about domain names at our main domain names page.