Web Hosting for Dummies: How to Buy a Domain Name

Web Hosting

Why You Need a Domain Name

Getting a domain name is the first step to start a website. A domain name that describes your company’s business or name enables people to remember the name and return to your site easily. It also gives you credibility, as few people will be willing to do business with a company that does not have its own domain name.

Top-level Domain (TLD)

TLD refers to the last segment of a domain name, or the part that follows immediately after the “dot” symbol. There are hundreds of available TLDs. Examples of popular TLDs include .com, .org, .net, .gov and .edu.

Many of these domains have specific registration requirements. For example, only organizations can register a “.org” domain name. Registration of “.com.hk” domain name requires a valid Hong Kong Business Registration Certificate (HKBR). Failing to meet the guidelines and requirements for each type of domain during the actual registration and payment process will result in the domain name being “released” back into the pool of available domain names. You should always pick a TLD that you actually qualify.

Tips for Choosing a Domain Name

Picking the perfect domain name gives your business a step in the right direction. Here are a few tips for choosing cool domain names.

  • Keep it short, easy to type and remember. Avoid odd spellings of words, multiple hyphens or other characters, numbers and so forth.
  • Avoid trademarked names. You are likely to face some legal challenges by buying trademarked terms in your domain name.
  • Get a .com if possible. Most people assume a domain name ends in .com.
  • Keyword relevant. It will give first time visitors an immediate idea of what your website is about.
  • Don’t be afraid to make up a word or use a compound word (think – FaceBook, YouTube, Google, Yahoo)
  • Easy to pronounce, so that it can be passed along easily by you and your visitors.

How to Register a Domain Name

You can either register the name directly with a domain name registrar or through a web host like us.

Step 1: Think of a good domain name for your website. As domain name needs to be unique, you should prepare a few variations – just in case the name is taken by others.

Step 2: Make a domain name search on one of the registrars’ website or on your web host’s website. If your selected domain name is not taken, you can order it instantly.

Step 3: Pay a registration fee, range from US$10 – US$35 per year depending on the top-level domain (TLD).

Step 4: Once payment is made, you can get the domain name immediately. It gives you the right to the name for a year, and you will have to renew it annually.

Step 5: Next you will need to point the domain name to your web hosting by changing its DNS record.

How to Buy an Existing Domain Name from Its Owner

What if you want to purchase a domain that is already registered? You can choose to purchase active domains and transfer ownership through a domain name escrow (e.g. Escrow.com, Sedo, and Moniker). It is an independent third-party agent that assists in the selling-buying process of domain names on the internet. These sites provide a safe way for buyers to purchase domain names from sellers who want to let go of their domain name.

Add Privacy to Your Domain Name

When you register a domain name, it is recommended to protect your domain privacy by subscribing ID protection services.

As required by the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), all of your contact information and ownership details such as your email address, home address, telephone number, etc., will be detailed into WHOIS. Since anyone can look up a WHOIS record, spammers, hackers, identity thieves and stalkers may access your personal information and use it in ways that are not legitimate or desirable.

Got any questions about domain registration and domain privacy protection?

Contact us by phone +852 3959 1888 or email sales@dataplugs.com