Web Site Creation: Name Registration



After creating a domain name, you must register it. The goal is to make it unique among the other millions of domain names. After you have registered a name, it (must/should) belong to you.

There are two main ways you register a name: you can do it yourself or ask a host to do it for you. Both approaches are legal and valid but, because the name is going to belong to you and because you may (will, at one time) end your relationship with your host, it may be (this the author's opinion) a good idea to register the name yourself so you can keep better records.

There are various web sites where you can register a name. Probably the most popular ones are Network Solutions and Go Daddy. The first step is to check that the name you want to use is still available, that is, that nobody has already registered it. Both (and all other sites that offer registration) allow you to easily check the availability of your name.

Checking the Availability of a Domain Name


To check the available of the name you want to register, locate the empty box on the web site. Type your desired name and select your desired extension (.com, .org, .net, etc):

Domain Name Registration

After typing the name and selecting the extension, click Search, Go, or the button next to the box (you can also press Enter). If the name is already taken, you will be notified. You can then create another name and try it.

If the name is still available, you will also be let know:

Name Registration

Once you are ready to register the name, you can click the next button, such as Continue or Add Selected Domain(s) To Order.

While performing some of the operations on these lessons, you may be presented with offers to purchase something, to apply for a service (such as web design, email addresses, web site hosting, online store, email services, search engine submission, secure email, etc), or else. Unless you know for sure that you need the advertised item or the said service, you should decline. To do this, you may be presented with a No, Thanks... button. In most cases, you can come back to purchase the item or add the service. In our lessons, we will consider that you didn't include any service and that you are only registering a domain name.

Formally Registering the Domain Name

To register a domain name, there are various steps you may be asked to complete.

  • The registration of a domain name is considered on per year basis. This means that you can purchase the name for 1, 2, or more years. You may be presented with the price for a few years. It is up to you and how much money you are willing to pay at this time. There is no strict rule although somebody would suggest that you purchase the name for the longest time you can afford because it can be annoying when you are asked to renew your registration. If you purchase a name for 1 year, you will receive an email next year asking you to renew. If you purchase a name for 5 or 10 years, you certain will not receive an annoying email in the next few years asking you to renew your registration.
  • If you have never registered a domain name before with the company (such as Go Daddy or Network Solutions, etc) you decide to use, you will be asked to create an account that provides a username and a password. You must do this because sooner or later, you will need to "manage" or "maintain your domain name. With experience, you will know what a domain name management or maintenance means (updating your contact information, changing your host, answering to federal authorities :), etc)

To formally register a domain name, you would be presented with a form to fill out (you may have been presented some intermediary pages or offers before you get to the form). Here is a form on Go Daddy used to create a Login account:

Domain Name Registration

If you already have an account with the company you are using, you can enter your username (or User ID, or Login Name, or Customer #) and a password then press Enter. Otherwise, proceed with filling out the form and click Continue or Next. You may be presented with additional forms or sections before finalizing the creation of your account.

One of the problems you may have with registering a domain name is the payment. If you have a credit card (Visa or Master Card), you can use the easiest type of payment. If you don't have a credit card, some companies, such as Go Daddy, allow you to use/send a check or to use a Paypal account. Some other companies may provide you with other means of making the payment. The bottom line is that you must make this payment in order to finalize the registration.

After registering the domain name, it belongs to you. You should receive an email with information about that domain name, how to manage or maintain it, and when it expires. This is information you should print and keep accessible.


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