The first step in creating an online presence is purchasing a domain name. Anyone can purchase a domain name by going to a domain host or registrar. A domain name (or just ‘domain’) is the name of a website. It’s what comes after “@” in an email address. If someone asks how to find you online, what you tell them is usually your domain name.
- What is a domain registrar?
- The domain name registrar handles the process of updating the registry when a customer purchases a new domain name. As part of that, they keep track of which domain names are available and typically provide customers with an intuitive search tool to find out what options they have.
- I have a domain, do I have a registrar?
- This is a tricky question. Some artists start the process by searching for a new domain at one of the places below, then connecting that domain to an email provider (like Google) or website service (like Squarespace). Your domain or list of domains is all controlled centrally at the domain registrar's website. You pay your registrar to keep ownership of your domains(s). Where this gets tricky is when users sign up at a website service company (like Squarespace or Wix) and get a FREE domain as part of the signup offer. This used as an incentive to keep users from canceling service. Many users do not realize that the domain is yours as long as you continue to pay for it, you can transfer it to any registrar.
- How much should a domain cost?
- A .com domain should cost you about $11 a year. Other 'top-level domains' like .me, .design, and so on have different cost points.
- How do I transfer a domain that I might have at an older registrar or a website service (like Squarespace or Wix)?
- All the major registrars have a web page like this one at Godaddy.
- And help pages like this are standard.
Selecting a domain hosing company
When shopping for a domain register you need to consider:
- Convenient Tools
- Reputation, Honesty & Security
Domain Registrar Listing
- Network Solutions (http://networksolutions.com)
- Old, good, reliable and expensive. Call the Gold VIP customer line (866 791.9411) and tell them you only want to pay $8 a year per domain.
- GoDaddy (http://godaddy.com)
- Also good, and inexpensive. Be careful of searching for good domains, they seem to disappear.
- Here is a tip, always search for godaddy promo codes first, it could save you a few bucks.
- Directnic (http://directnic.com)
- Also inexpensive, with really nice search tools
- Dotster (http://www.dotster.com)
- Clean site, friend recommendation.
- iwantmyname (http://iwantmyname.com)
- Clean site, solid recommendation.
Domain Registrar Tools
- Domainr (https://domai.nr/)
- Search tool that can help you to come up with creative ways to secure a domain name.