In my Everything You Need To Know About Domain Names And How They Work tutorial, I talked about how critically important your business's domain name is, and how we want to always use a dedicated domain name registrar to register and manage our domain names.
In this tutorial, I'll walk you step-by-step through the process of registering a domain name for your business. To do this we'll use NameCheap, the domain name registrar I use and trust myself.
If you'd prefer, I've embedded a video below that takes you through the domain name registration process. But you might want to scan through the full article as it contains more detail than the video. Either way, let's get to it!
So why NameCheap? After all, there are plenty of domain name registrars that we could use. Well, here's the gist: Since getting started in web design, I've used all of the biggest domain name registration companies that are available. If you've heard of them, I've used them! But after years and years of tolerating spammy sales pitches and other unsavoury business practices, I'd had enough. About five years ago I switched everything over to NameCheap, and I haven't looked back. Now, I use them for all my domain registration and management.
NameCheap has a clean, modern website that's easy to use and get around in. Their domain name search feature is nice too—it provides alternative ideas and versions of domain names that you're searching for, which is great. If a domain you're after isn't available, they'll suggest alternatives.
But the best thing about NameCheap is their simple, uncluttered account dashboard. When you go to register a domain with them, you'll be given an account on their website, which includes access to this dashboard. Here, you'll see the domain names, both those for personal use and that are business-related, that you've registered with them. This makes managing your online projects and businesses, handling domain renewals, and so on, very easy.
NameCheap has fair pricing, automated renewals, and if you ever get stuck, you can reach out to their reliable, professional customer support. When you're going through the actual process of registering a domain, you won't be slammed over the head over and over with suggestions for other (useless) add-ons like you do with other registrars.
For these reasons, NameCheap is one of the best. I see myself continuing to use them for years to come.
So if you're ready to register your business domain name with NameCheap, then let's get started!
Armed with everything we learned in my domain name fundamentals tutorial, we're ready to register a domain name. Most importantly, we know about TLDs and how to protect our WhoIs information. If you're fuzzy on that stuff, go back and give it a quick look.
When registering a domain, you can register as many as you like. I've mentioned in a few places that online business can be addictive! So if you have a few creative projects or online businesses in mind, you can register them all with NameCheap. This way, you can manage all your domains from that single control dashboard that I mentioned above.
And remember, you can register domain names without assigning them to a website. This way, you can register a domain while it's still available, and then actually build the project later in the future.
Back in the domain name fundamentals tutorial, I suggested having a "first-choice, second-choice, third-choice" list of domains. You could use your company name, an abbreviation of your company name, the name of your flagship product, and so on. Do you have some ideas ready? Alright, let's go see if we can get your domain name registered!
Okay, we're ready to register your domain name. Just follow the steps below—the process is easy!
When you search, you can include your preferred domain name suffix or leave it out.
This is the toughest part. If your top choice for a domain name is available, you're in luck—snap it up while you can!
However, you may find that the domain you wanted isn't available. NameCheap is going to provide some alternatives for you. If none of them will work for you, go back and try searching for your second choice and see if it's available.
If you wind up going through this process a few times and you're not having any luck, it can get frustrating. At this point, you might want to try an alternative domain name suffix (TLD). Another option if a domain you want isn't available is, you can offer to buy it. But that might be a pricey option.
At this point, though, I'll assume that you've found a domain so that we can continue with the registration process.
You can add as many domains to your order as you'd like. So if you want to go grab a few more domains while you're here, go for it.
If you scroll down a bit on the same page, you'll see all sorts of add-on services that you can include. So you can also include "Award Winning Value Hosting," "Build and promote your website" (whatever that means...), "FREE private email," etc. This is NameCheap asking you if you'd like fries to go along with your domain name. You really don't need any of these extras—all you really need is the domain name and WhoIs protection. Remember, we want to keep our business's three key web services separate, so we don't need web hosting or email from our domain registrar.
On the next screen, you'll be asked to create an account before you can check out.
Setting up an account is how you gain access to that easy to use dashboard that I mentioned earlier.
That's it, that's all there is to it—You should now have your online business's domain name registered!
Congratulations! Feels good, doesn't it?
So that's the process for registering a business or company domain name with NameCheap. We talked about why NameCheap is my preferred domain registrar, which really boiled down to a simple, easy to use interface and a checkout process that doesn't constantly nag us for upgrades we don't need. Hopefully they keep things like this!
Then, we went through the process of registering a domain name, step-by-step. As you can see, it's a fairly simple process. But, it can get frustrating if you're having a hard time finding a domain name that isn't already taken.
But the big question is, what now? Well, if you've registered a domain name, but are content to simply save it until you're ready to use it in the future, then you're all done for now.
Or, if you'd like to begin using your domain name right away and start building your website, you'll now need to set up web hosting for your online business. You might be interested in my tutorial, Finding The Best Web Host For Your Site.
Or if you want to get right to it, I show you how to sign up for low cost hosting with Web Hosting Hub right here, how to set up hosting that'll grow with you as your needs change using SiteGround over here, and how to register for world-class managed WordPress hosting with WP Engine right here.
If you already have web hosting for your business, then the next step is to point your domain name to your web host. This is how you connect, or direct, your domain name to your website. I show you how to do this right here.
Whichever direction you're headed in next, I hope you were able to register the domain name you were after. You now own a valuable asset for your business, because the domain name you registered is now your website's identity on the web.