A step-by-step guide to registering a domain name with WestHost.
You may have heard it before: “register your domain name before doing anything else!”. When coming up with a new business idea or deciding to launch a website, the first thing you should do is lock down your domain name. In this post, we’ll break down the exact steps required to land the domain name you want to showcase your new website.
What’s a domain name again?
First things first: a domain name is your website’s address. It’s how you access the website you’re looking for.
For example, let’s take a look at Google. If you want to access their homepage, all you have to do is type google.com into your address bar. Behind the scenes a process called DNS begins, which takes the domain name you typed and sends a message to a web server, which then returns the desired webpage and displays it on your screen.
Domain names have become a huge part of business as they’re the means by which websites are accessed. Most companies use their domain name to market their online presence. Here are some other domain names you’re probably familiar with:
What steps do I need to take to register my own domain name?
Registering your own domain name is an easy process that only takes a few minutes. As we said earlier, since each domain name is unique to specific websites you don’t want to hesitate and let your desired domain name fall into someone else’s hands.
Step 1: Decide on a name
Before anything else, you need to decide on the domain name you want. Since there are millions of domain names currently registered, it can take a little bit of creativity to find the perfect domain name for you.
Try to come up with a domain name that will make sense and tie in with your company or blog for which you’re creating a website. If my company name is WestHost Example, the obvious domain name choice would be westhostexample.com.
You can check if a domain name is available by searching here. Just enter the domain name you want into the search bar and WestHost will return whether or not the domain name is available for registration.
What if the name is already taken?
In some cases the domain name you’re after will already be registered by someone else. If you really want that specific domain name, you can run a WHOIS search to see who owns the domain name. This search will return the contact information of whoever owns the domain name, allowing you to make them an offer.
If this route doesn’t work for you, we suggest either tweaking the name just a little (be careful not to use alternate spellings or make the name too long) or register a generic Top Level Domain (gTLD). A gTLD is an alternative domain name ending to .com. In the last couple of years, hundreds of new gTLDs have been released to the public with the hope of expanding the limits of internet domain space.
gTLDs vary enormously, but some of the popular ones are .xyz, .online and .tech. By using a gTLD, you differentiate your website from your competition. This new trend is catching on and it appears the future is bright for these new domain name extensions.
Step 2: Register the name
Once you have picked out the domain name you want, it’s time to secure it. Again, use the WestHost domain name search bar to check availability. After typing in your domain name the search will select the domain name you want. If your desired domain name is taken, WestHost will offer alternative solutions.
If you’re planning on purchasing just the one domain name, click the green “CONTINUE TO CART” button. If you want to register additional domain names – which is considered good practice – add those to your cart as well.
From there, a screen pops up with details about your domain registration. For this demonstration, we’ll register westhostexample.com.
You then choose how long you’d like to register the domain name for, as well as adding the option of making your domain name private for $10 a year. By making your domain name private it hides your private contact information from someone conducting a WHOIS search. We highly recommend this option, especially if you’re registering the domain name for a business website.
Below that, you can select web hosting and website builder options. These aren’t required to register a domain name, but keep in mind that you will definitely need web hosting in the future to have your website online. By keeping your domain name and hosting bundled together from WestHost, you keep everything together which simplifies the process down the road.
Website Builder from WestHost is a great tool that allows you to build an entire website with no coding skills required. Our drag-and-drop interface makes it easy for you to create a beautiful and professional website.
If you just want the domain name for now, click “PROCEED TO CHECKOUT” near the bottom of the screen.
Step 3: Finalize the transaction
After proceeding to checkout, you’ll be prompted to enter your name/company, email and country.
Upon verification you will then enter an address and credit card details. Note that WestHost uses SSL and we always stress the highest level of cyber security to ensure that your personal information is protected.
Once you’ve double checked all the information you’ve entered, click “CONTINUE” at the bottom of the screen. You will then confirm your purchase, making you the proud owner of a domain name!
Step 4: Managing your domain name through CHI/cPanel
Once you’re a WestHost client you’ll have access to CHI, which is your platform for managing domain names, web hosting and any additional features you purchase from WestHost. Thanks to its easy-to-use interface, you can point your domain name to your website and your site will be live for the world to see!
If you have any questions along the way, be sure to reach out to WestHost technical support for help. Our technicians are available 24/7/365, and are always ready to lend a helping hand.
When it comes to domain names, WestHost has you covered. Check out our current deals today!