How to Register a Domain Name for Your Website


how to register a domain name

This post was last updated on Feb 28, 2022.


Buying a domain name gives you the rights to your own virtual real estate online. In addition to serving as your online address, domain names also play a significant role in your branding efforts and overall online presence. They can also serve as a valuable business asset since desirable domain names can actually be worth up to millions of dollars.


With this in mind, purchasing a domain is a first step in developing a strong online strategy. Regardless if you already have a blog ready to go live or you’re simply thinking about opening an online store, follow these steps to learn how to register a domain name for your website.



What is a domain name?


What is a domain name, anyway? This term describes the address that you type into a browser to arrive at a website. It is essentially a website’s home, so every domain is unique. An example is www.wix.com.


Domain names were created so people could more easily access a website’s Internet Protocol (IP), a string of numbers representing individual websites. Every URL has an IP address, and unless you are a computer, a domain is much simpler to remember than a string of numbers. For example, take the IP address 185.230.61.98: to most, this is just a complicated string of numbers. But its domain name wix.com, is not only simpler to remember, but it also conveys a distinct brand that numbers cannot.



what is a domain name


The importance of a good domain name


A good domain name will represent your brand online and act as your company’s home on the web. Your domain and website will help reach new audiences and convince them to return. There are three main areas in which picking a good domain name immediately affects your business:


  • It ensures a good first impression. Your website will often be a potential customer’s first exposure to your business. A personalized domain name will help your audience perceive you as credible, reliable, and authoritative in your professional field.

  • It’s a solid foundation for brand building. Your domain name can help enhance your company's name recognition if it stands out, is memorable and in tune with the rest of your branding assets.

  • It’ll improve your brand’s SEO potential. While Google doesn’t determine website ranking based on a domain name alone, a good one can positively affect your site’s SEO (search engine optimization). A strong domain will invite more people to click on your website from a search engine results page (SERP), increasing your authority.


How to register a domain name


  1. Choose a domain registrar

  2. Find the perfect domain name

  3. Check its availability

  4. Select your domain extension

  5. Purchase your domain


01. Choose a domain registrar


A registrar is a company that reserves and manages domain names. While the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) manages all domains worldwide, a registrar deals with them on your behalf.


Wix.com is a registrar and also a web-hosting service, meaning you can not only purchase a unique domain but also create your site on the same platform. With the purchase of a premium plan, you get a free domain name for a year.

Alternative registrars include businesses like GoDaddy, Domain.com and NameCheap.



choose your domain name


02. Select your domain


There are many factors to consider when choosing a domain name for your site. First, select a name that reflects your brand’s tone and messaging. Stick to a name that is short and catchy, so that people will be able to remember it easily such as nbc.com.

To improve your SEO efforts, you can incorporate an associated keyword into your brand’s domain name.


For example, an illustrator named Talia Cohen may opt for taliacohenillustration.com, or an animal rescue organization called Whiskers might go for whiskersrescue.com. Once you’re ready, create a shortlist of potential names. If you don’t have a brand name yet, use a business name generator to broaden your brainstorming efforts.





03. Check the availability of your domain name


It’s possible that existing companies may already own your preferred domain names. Try out an unlimited number of options for free on a domain name search platform. If your desired name is unavailable, the tool will come up with additional ideas. Play around with alternatives until you find the perfect one.



check the availability of your dpmain


04. Select your domain extension


Also known as top-level domains (TLD), domain extensions quickly identify certain website elements such as purpose, owner or geographic location. There are five official types of TLDs, with generic top-level domains (gTLD) accounting for the majority of the 366 million registered domains worldwide. The most popular gTLD choices are .org, .com and .net, making them the easiest to recall. You can check out ICANN’s complete list of domain extensions here.


Another good tip to consider if your domain name is already taken is to try it out with a different extension — likelihoods are you’ll find an available option. However, keep in mind that an extension like .org is better used for nonprofit organizations, while .com usually represents for-profit companies.



select your dpmain extension


05. Purchase your domain


Once you’ve selected a domain name for your site, claim it before someone else does. Here’s how to register a domain name with Wix:


  1. Head over to the domain registrar.

  2. Type in your preferred domain name and click Search.

  3. If your name is available, click Get It to proceed. If not, browse the additional ideas that Wix offers you, or type another option into the search bar.

  4. Once you’ve found a domain name that suits your site’s needs, click Get It.

  5. Next, decide whether you’d like to register for one, two or three years. The longer your registration period, the more money you save each year. Once you’ve chosen, click Continue and continue to checkout.

  6. Connect the domain name to your site and share it with your desired audience, be it friend and family or an internet niche.

How to buy a domain name


While you can buy a domain name for your website, here are a couple of ways to get it for free:


  • Register a free subdomain. A subdomain is a prefix on a domain name that connects independently functioning sites. Certain hosting platforms and site builders offer users a fully-functioning website for free with a customized subdomain. For example, when you create a Wix website you can publish it for free under the following URL structure: username.wixsite.com/siteaddress.

  • Take advantage of free web hosting. Several hosting sites offer a free customized domain registration with purchase, enabling you to professional online presence without the domain name costs.

Cost to buy a domain name


While you can get a domain for free, you may want to purchase one instead. A free domain will contain a designated prefix of the registrar, which is best if you’re establishing an online presence or only temporarily need a website.

If you want your website to professionally stand out and grow with your brand, however, then invest in a domain name.


With Wix, the cost of a domain name depends on several factors, including:


  • The plan you purchase

  • Domain extension

  • Local currency

  • Local VAT laws


However, all Wix premium plans come with a domain for one year, which cost between $14 and $39 a month. After a year, you can renew your domain for anywhere between $13.95 and $15.95 a year.


You can also purchase a domain that already exists from another person or business. This is why having a desirable domain name can be good for your bottom line — if you ever want to sell it, you can make significant money. For example, in 2001 hotels.com was sold for $11 million. In a 2012 interview with BBC Today, hotels.com CEO, David Roche explained that at the time, this was considered a “crazy sum of money.” He then added, “Now we look back and think, what a bargain.”



cost to buy a domain name


By Talia Cohen

Small Business Expert and Marketing Blogger


By Judit Ruiz Ricart

Blog Content Expert

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