Where to buy a domain name in 2023? The complete guide

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In today’s world, how to buy a domain name is much more than just defining a web address. It’s the gateway 🚪 to your online presence, whether you’re a business, a blog, or even an online shop

Nevertheless, how do you choose the right domain name, where do you acquire it, and above all, how do you make sure it suits your long-term needs? 🤔

Don’t worry, we’re here to answer all these questions!

Well, let’s find out together how to turn a simple idea into an effective online address. 😇

Domain name: the definition

Let’s get straight to the heart of the matter 🗡️. A domain name is a string of alphanumeric characters (what a complex word…) used to represent a specific address on the Internet. It is used to uniquely identify an online resource, such as a website, an e-mail address or a server

Ok, here we go with a little storytelling, I know you love it. 👀

When you’re sailing the Internet boat, every website you visit has a unique address associated with it, also known as an IP (Internet Protocol) address. These IP addresses are essential to allow computers to communicate with each other on the network

However, these addresses are complex and not very memorable for us human beings (something like 192.168.23.54.35) 🧠

This is where our knight in shining armour, the domain name, comes in. Instead of memorising a combination of numbers and dots, we use domain names like ‘Google.com’, ‘Wikipedia.org’ or ‘Waalaxy.com’

What is a domain name purchase?

Very simply, buying a domain name allows you to acquire the right to use a specific web address on the Internet.

It’s a bit like copyrighting music.

It involves :

  • 🔵 Selecting a relevant name.
  • 🟣 Checking its availability.
  • 🔵 Choosing a registrar.
  • 🟣 Paying annual fees to maintain ownership.

What is the structure of a domain name?

Now that you’ve understood what a domain name is, let’s find out together, how it’s structured. 😇

Generally speaking, a domain name is structured into three main parts :

  1. Sub-domain (not compulsory) ➡️ this part is optional and, can be used to create your web address to a particular service on a website. For example, in “blog.waalaxy.com”, “blog” is the sub-domain.
  2. Domain name ➡️ this is the heart 🖤 of the domain name, it is unique for each website. For example, in “www.waalaxy.com”, “Waalaxy” is the domain name.
  3. Domain extension ➡️ indicates the type or category of website. For example, we have “.com”, “.fr” and many others that we’ll see later in this article! 😌

What could be better than a pretty illustration to illustrate what we’re talking about? ✨

Oh, you’ve noticed that a new part of the domain name has appeared, the protocol. But what is it? 🤔

This is generally an access scheme and indicates how the web browser should interact with the web server in order to obtain the web page or the various data required.

How to choose a lifetime domain name in 6 steps?

Well, it’s all very well understanding what a domain name was, but I think you’re wondering how to choose one to suit your business?

Well, we’re here to answer that question, and we’re going to do it right now 😇.

1) Choosing a website domain name

The first step is choosing a name! Well yes, it’s essential to choose a domain name that is both memorable and relevant to your website. 🛜

Our little tip :

  • ❌ Avoid special characters.
  • ❌ Forget excessive numbers.
  • ❌ Banish symbols.

Why? Because they can make the domain name difficult to remember and type. Think about your future users, we have 1,000 and one things to think about in everyday life, so make it simple for us to remember your website. 🦋

It’s simple, consider a long-term strategy. How? 🤔

Consider how your website will evolve and whether the current domain name will still be appropriate. To do this, avoid choosing a name that is too restrictive and could limit your options in the future

For example, if you’re a fast-food shop that initially only sells pizzas, avoid the domain name “onlypizza.com” 🍕 when you may be offering kebabs in a year’s time

One thing to remember is that flexibility is important when you’re thinking about expanding your site or business, or e-commerce. 🌏

2) Choose the right domain extension

Here, we’re not talking about an extension pack for a new outfit on your favourite game (I’d have liked that, but hey, that’s not what this article is about… 🎮), but well and truly the Top-Level Domain (TLD for those in the know 😏).

Point of culture: domain extensions indicate the nature of your website.

For example “.com” is used for commercial sites, while “.org” is commonly associated with non-profit organisations. 🫶🏼

So, select a domain extension that best reflects the nature of your website.

There are also extensions specific to certain regions, such as “.fr” for France or “.uk” for the United Kingdom. Don’t hesitate to choose according to your target audience 🎯 and your objective.

Here, for your eyes only 👀, is a list of some of the most common and popular extensions :

  • .net: originally intended for Internet service providers, it is now more general.
  • .du: reserved for teaching and educational institutions.
  • .store: dedicated to online shops and e-commerce sites.
  • .info: used for websites containing general information.
  • .tv: used for websites related to television and entertainment.
  • .io: popular with technology companies and start-ups.
  • .co: an alternative to .com for businesses and start-ups.
  • .gov: dedicated to US government agencies.
  • .photography: ideal for photography websites.
  • .app: mobile applications and online services.
  • .blog: ideal for blogs and content sites.

Hey, what do we think of this staircase list? Is it validated? 😅

3) Check availability

There’s more to come. Before you commit to the purchase, you need to check its availability. 📆

To do this, don’t hesitate to use the domain name search tools provided by registrars to check whether it is available.

Note that, if it is taken, you need to consider alternatives, and for that, be creative while taking care to remain faithful to your domain name strategy seen previously. ⬆️

4) Registering your domain name

This time, the quick step is to register your domain name. Yes, once you’ve found an available and appropriate name (congratulations 🎉 ).

Choose a trusted web host to carry out this operation. As we love you, we’re talking about 2 registrars further down this article so, bear with us a little longer ⏳

Otherwise, follow the steps provided by the registrar to finalise the purchase and make sure you provide correct and up-to-date contact information because, it is often used to contact you regarding the domain name. 📱

5) Keep track of your information (avoid domain name theft etc)

It is important to keep an accurate record of all information associated with your domain name, including :

  • Account IDs.
  • Passwords.
  • Renewal details.

Very importantly, avoid sharing this information with certain people or you run the risk of having your domain name stolen. 🥲

6) Buying an expired domain name: how to avoid it?

Last but not least, avoid domain name expiry, which can lead to the loss of your domain name. 😅

Don’t worry, we don’t want that to happen either. That’s why here are a few tips :

  • 🔵 Make sure you renew your domain name on time by setting up automatic reminders.
  • 🟣 Enable automatic renewal.
  • 🔵 Keep your payment information up to date to make the process easier.

Get your first customers this week

Take advantage of the power of Waalaxy to generate leads every day. Start prospecting for free, today.

waalaxy dashboard

Where to buy a domain name?

Well, now that you’ve got a good understanding of what a domain name is and more importantly, how to choose one, here’s a list of some popular registrars (hosting providers) where you can buy a domain name :

  • Namecheap.
  • Bluehost.
  • Google Domains.
  • HostGator.
  • Name.com.
  • Hover.
  • OVH

When you buy a domain name, some hosts offer additional services such as WHOIS confidentiality, DNS management or automatic renewal.

Now it’s time to play guessing games! Of the 7 registrars on offer, we’re going to introduce you to 2… Attention, drum roll and reveal just below. ⬇️

Google domain name

Since 7 September 2023, Squarespace has acquired all the domain registrations of Google Domains, as well as the various associated customer accounts. This means that customers and domains will be transferred over the coming months.

Nevertheless, here’s a step-by-step guide to choosing your domain name with Squarespace.

First of all, go to the Squarespace Domains site and enter your domain name in the search bar.

Here, it’s nearly midday and I was in the mood for a truffle pizza, so my domain name is none other than “miam.pizzatruffe”.

Great, it’s available, and what’s more, with the extension I wanted, perfect! 🍕

Now I select the one I want, it adds it to the basket and all I have to do is pay. 💸

Ovh domain name

No, we’re not talking about UFOs 🛸, we’re talking about OVH, more recently known as OVH Cloud ☁️.

A little history, OVH is a French company that initially practised server hosting, Internet access provider and finally, telecommunications operator for businesses. That’s a lot of hats! 🧢

So let’s get down to business 🐑 or rather, our tutorials.

First step, you need to go to the OVH Cloud site and type in your domain name in the search bar. 🔎

Next, a large list of different domain names and extensions will appear, take the one that suits you best, depending on your company and your activity.

That’s it, all you have to do now is pay and all you have to do is register your domain name! 💟

How much does a domain name cost?

Domain name prices can vary depending on the registrar chosen, the registration period ⏱️, current promotional offers and other factors.

However, there is a general estimate of average prices for domain extensions, which we’ll talk about next! ⬇️

Domain name prices can vary depending on the registrar you choose, the registration period, current promotional offers and other factors. However, here is a general estimate of average prices for the domain extensions you mentioned.

How do I look at prices?

We advise you to compare prices between several registrars to find the best deal for your needs.

In fact, each registrar may have slightly different prices and offer different additional services.

We have just given you two examples of how to look at prices. If you’ve forgotten, just scroll down 👆🏼

“.fr” domain name: price?

For “.fr”, in general, this can cost between €10 and €20 per year, depending on the registrar and the length of the registration. 👀

Buy a .com domain name

When it comes to “.com”, this is one of the most popular and is often offered at similar prices to “.fr”. You can buy one for around €10 to €15 per year. 😇

Buy a .net domain name

Last but not least, “.net”. Like “.com”, this one costs between €10 and €15 per year. 😃

How about a quick recap?

As you will have realised, buying a domain name is the first crucial step in establishing a successful online presence.

Here’s a quick recap of what we’ve covered: ⬇️

  • 🔲 Choosing your name.
  • 🔲 Considering a long-term strategy.
  • 🔲 Selecting an appropriate extension.
  • 🔲 Check availability before registering.
  • 🔲 Keep track of your information.
  • 🔲 Maintain the security of your domain name.

Don’t forget to research the different registrars and compare offers to find the best option for your needs.

If you follow these tips, you’ll be well equipped 🛡️ to make the best choice and, above all, to launch your website successfully and succeed in converting.

Frequently asked questions

Did you think we were going to leave you now? Well, no! We still have a few more resources to share with you. 🎁

Why buy a domain name?

Buying a domain name is essential, whether for individuals or businesses, and here are the reasons why :

  • Unique identification.
  • Brand consistency.
  • Ease of access.
  • Control.
  • Customisation.
  • Credibility.
  • Referencing.
  • Flexibility.
  • Brand protection.
  • Long-term investment.

How do I get rid of a domain name?

If you want to get rid of a domain name, you need to go through a deregistration or non-renewal process. Here are a few tips :

  • Do not renew.
  • Cancel early.
  • Transfer to another owner.
  • Sell on buying platforms.
  • Return to the public domain.
  • Deletion (not recommended because of legal or reputational problems).

And that’s it, that’s the end of this article, you now know how to buy a domain name. See you soon. 💟

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