Wondering where to register a domain name?
That’s a common question. There are 100s of domain name registrars to choose from, all with different pricing, services available and levels of customer service quality. Refer to the comparison of some of the best domain name registrars’ pricing and features.
How do you buy a website domain name?
You can register a domain name at any domain name registrar company. Most registrars also offer web hosting services, but you can host a website at any hosting company, even if it’s registered elsewhere.
Registering a domain name gives you full, exclusive rights to use that domain name for as long as you continue to renew the registration period. This means you have total control over what is hosted at that website address.
Technically, you never actually “own” a domain name, even though that’s often how people speak. You can transfer “ownership”, or registration, to or from other people or companies by “buying “or “selling” a domain name. So even if a domain name is already taken, it may be possible to buy it from the current registrant.
Ways to get a domain name for your website
- Just sign up
If the domain name is currently not registered, all you need to do is visit a domain name registrar and register the domain. This will cost you anywhere from $5 to $75 depending on the top level domain (TLD). .coms and common TLDs usually cost around $10 per year, but can be cheaper if bought in bulk or with other promotional offers. Some hosting companies will give you a free domain for a year if you buy their website hosting service.
Some international domains like .de (Germany) can cost $75/year, but as with most Country-specific TLDs, you must have an office or residence in that country in order to register a domain name there.
- Buy it from the current owner
If the domain name is already registered, or “owned”, by another person or company, you may be able to buy it from them, if they are willing to sell it. Depending on the domain, this could cost you any amount of money from $25 for a low-value domain to millions of dollars for a prominent domain name that is an important keyword for any number of reasons.
There are several domain buying services that can help you negotiate with the current owners.
- Grab it when the current registrar fails to renew it
Sometimes a domain name owner will let a registration lapse, in which case you can simply register it yourself after a grace period that varies depending on the current registrar company, but usually is 30 to 60 days.