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How to register a domain

A domain name is a human-friendly version of a website IP address, and it allows people to navigate to their website on a browser. For example, Google.com is a domain name. If you want to have a website, you'll need to register a domain name. The entities that control domain name registrations are called domain registrars, and there are many of them. Therefore, the prices will vary. Registering a domain is easy and straightforward. In this article, find out how to register a domain.

Choose a domain name and TLD

If you are not sure about what address you want your website to have, you can brainstorm a few potentially good domain names and check if they are available using a WHOIS service. Most domain registrars will let you check the availability of a domain name with many possible top level domains or TLDs, such as .com, .net or .co.uk. If you are doing business locally in the UK, you may want to choose a domain that ends with .co.uk, whereas if you are after a global audience, .com is usually a favourite.

Find a domain registrar

Most people prefer to use the same service provider to register the domain and rent hosting space. Many UK providers also allow you to register a domain for free or very cheaply if you host your website with them, so take a look at your hosting provider and see if they offer the service. You can also buy a web domain from a company that specialises on selling domain names and point it to your existing hosting from their administration panel.

Check availability

Once you have decided on a domain name and a domain registrar, it's time to see if the domain that you want is available. Most domain registrars will let you enter a word and check if the domains with that word and the most common TLD are available. You can also use Whois.net to see if your chosen name is available, and if it's not, who owns it. If you are after a .co.uk domain, you can look it up at Nominet.org.uk.

Buy the domain

If the domain that you wanted to buy is available, you can just proceed to purchase it through your chosen domain registry service. It is usually processed instantly, and your domain will be available for you within minutes.

What to do if the domain isn't available?

However, if the domain was already taken, you may need to contact the current owner and buy it from him, but this is often expensive. Unless you have a clear claim to that particular name for trademark reasons, they have no obligation to sell, and buying a domain name this way means that you'll need to personally negotiate that sale.

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