When you’re thinking about creating your own website, the number one thing which pops into your head is what your page will be called, what its name is going to be. When you look at the address bar of your browser, the text which comes after “www.” is referred to as your domain name. This is one of the most important things, if not the single most important, you’ll have to consider. Think of it as your brand. You’ll want a good, strong one, easily memorable, and difficult to mistake.
Registering a Domain Yourself
There are two main ways to register a domain name. One is by using an online hosting service, and the other, a bit trickier one, is by setting it all up yourself. If you’d like to skip using a hosting service, first you’ll have to check with your ISP (internet service provider) to see if they allow self-hosting. Some don’t. If they do, you’re good to go. Choose a registrar where you want to register your domain. This can be a hosting site or just a page that does registration.
Then you’ll need a server. This could be even an old PC, but the more traffic you expect, the higher quality your server should be. Next, you’re going to want to make your IP address static, so visitors will always be able to get to your website. After that, get some hosting software (Apache is popular), configure your router and firewall, route your domain traffic to your computer, and you’re good to go. This option requires good internet security options, as visitors aren’t always necessarily benevolent.
Using a Hosting Service
The second, far easier and straight-to-the-point, albeit more costly, way to register a domain name is by using a hosting service. Choose a hosting service that is most to your liking (there are heaps to choose from, such as misshosting, godaddy, safetynames, and the like) and check for your desired domain’s availability. Different names could have different costs, according to their perceived desirability. Once you have it, you’ll be given a checklist of other services you could opt for.
Just follow the instructions, and choose what suits you best. Afterwards, you’ll be prompted to fill in forms where you provide various information, which is needed to register at the WHOIS database, where website owners are listed. You could make this information private if you choose, but this usually entails an additional cost. The only thing that is left is to make your payment using one of the several banking options. Now you’re a registered user and can utilize the tools the service provides to upload content to your website.
Your Internet Identity
In conclusion, a domain name can be seen as your online identity, so you should be deliberate with choosing it. Don’t rush it, give it a healthy dose of consideration, ask what your friends, family and coworker think is best. After you’ve got one that’s good, strong and memorable, registration becomes just a technical issue which you’ll surely learn how to do in a few quick steps. Register it in one of the two ways we’ve specified, and the website of your dreams will become reality!