Editor in Chief
Domain Name Registration
Registering a domain name in 2019

Would you like to establish an online presence for yourself and/or your business?

In 2019 it’s absolutely essential that you do. Whether you’re looking to solidify your brand, make your business more credible, or get more customers and exposure – having a website is the key.

The first step towards creating a game-changing website is to register a domain name.

How Important is the Domain Name?

  1. It’s your “first impression”. Your URL is the first thing your visitors will see. A good domain name can make a positive and lasting impression while a bad domain name can send visitors running.
  2. It affects SEO. While exact match domains (EMDs) are no longer a necessity, keywords in your domain name can still help your SEO ranking.
  3. It defines your brand. Your domain name is a branding opportunity. The right domain name can increase brand recognition.

Hopefully, you’ve already taken the first step in choosing your domain name. If you haven’t yet, check out this post before you read any further: How to Choose a Domain Name

Do you have a domain name in mind? Great!

Follow the rest of this post and you’ll have everything you need to register that domain name and build your online presence successfully.

Full disclosure: I earn a commission if you end up purchasing any of the domain (and web hosting) services through referral links in this guide. This helps me to keep WebsiteSetup up and running and up-to-date. Thanks for your support.

How do you register a domain name? There are 4 options:

1. Register a Domain Name with Domain.com

Step 1: Go to Domain.com and type your chosen domain name.

Domain.com search for a domain name


Step 2: When you see that your domain name is available, it is automatically added to your shopping cart.Domain.com is the domain available


Step 3: Under your chosen domain, they offer Domain Privacy, this costs $8.99 per year. If you’re not interested, you can simply un-check the box.

Domain privacy protection


Step 4: Select for how long do you wish to register it for and click “Continue”.

Domain.com shopping cart

You can select the term (i.e., the number of years) to register your domain.

I recommend doing it for at least two years, so you won’t have to worry about renewing after the first year.

The term length is your choice. If you’re absolutely committed to making your website work over the long term, perhaps you should even select the 5-year term.

Either way – once you’ve selected your term, hit the “Proceed to Billing” button. Then enter your payment details and just like that, your domain name will officially be registered.

Domain.com Features and Prices Rundown

  • .com extension – $9.99/year (renews at $13.99/year)
  • .org extension – $14.99/year
  • .net extension – $12.99/year (renews at $15.99/year)
  • WHOIS Privacy – $8.99/year
  • Google G Suite – $6.00/mo
  • Web Hosting – $1.99/mo (renews at $3.75/mo)
  • SSL Certificate – $3.33/mo
  • SiteLock security – $2.08/mo

2. Get a Free Domain using Bluehost or HostGator

One neat trick that I recommend people to use is to get a web hosting and domain together. To make your website work, you’re going to need both of them.

This will also help you save some time and money, a web host often providers provides a FREE domain.

Bluehost.com: Currently offers FREE domain name, hosting is $2.75/mo
HostGator.com: Currently domain costs $12.95/year, hosting is $2.99/mo

So just go ahead and don’t worry about migrating your domain name with your web host.

Do you already have a web hosting and just need a domain name? Use Domain.com,  GoDaddy or NameCheap (both very reputable domain registrars)

3. Register a Domain Name on GoDaddy

Step 1: Go to GoDaddy.com and type your chosen domain name.

GoDaddy search for a domain name


Step 2: When you see that your domain name is available, select the $2.99 option. Then, select “Continue to Cart” on the top right.

GoDaddy is the domain available


Step 3: On the next screen, you can select if you want domain privacy protection. If you’re not worried about people knowing who owns the domain, then simply select “No Thanks”.

GoDaddy domain privacy protection


Step 4: Select the term and proceed to checkout.

GoDaddy shopping cart

Select for how long you want the domain to be registered, keep in mind the most cost-efficient term is currently for two years, this gives you an overall 41% discount. 

Either way – once you’ve selected your term, hit the “Proceed to Checkout” button. Once you’ve selected a suitable term, you’re going to have to create an account, followed by entering your payment details. And that’s it, your domain is registered with you.

GoDaddy Features and Prices Rundown

  • .com extension – $2.99/year (renews at $17.99/year)
  • .org extension – $11.99/year (renews at $20.99/year)
  • .net extension – $13.99/year (renews at $19.99/year)
  • WHOIS Privacy – $9.99/year
  • Email – $1.99/year (renews at $4.99/year)
  • Website Builder & Hosting – Free first month (renews at $5.99/mo)
  • SSL Certificate – Included with hosting

4. Register a Domain on NameCheap

Step 1: Go to NameCheap.com and insert your chosen domain name.

NameCheap search for a domain name


Step 2: If your domain name is available, click the add to cart button and then “View Cart” button to proceed.

NameCheap is the domain available


Step 3: WhoIs privacy protection is included for free, and the best news is that it’s free forever.

NameCheap domain privacy protection


Step 4: Select the length of the term that best suits your needs and click “Confirm Order”

NameCheap shopping cart

After you’re signed up and entered your payment details your domain name will be officially registered to you.

NameCheap Features and Prices Rundown

  • .com extension – $8.88/year (renews at $10.88/year)
  • .org extension – $12.98/year
  • .net extension – $12.98/year
  • WHOIS Privacy – FREE
  • Google G Suite – $6.00/mo
  • Email – Free for 2-months (renews at $3.88/year)
  • Web Hosting – $1.28/mo (renews at $2.88/mo)
  • SSL Certificate – $3.88/year

Common Questions About Domain Name Registration

1. What are Domain Name Extensions?

Domain name extensions are categories of internet domain names.

When choosing your domain name, there are several extensions you can choose from:

  • .com
  • .net
  • .org
  • .info

But you can be sure of one thing: “.com” is still by far the best domain name extension.

According to research from Domain State, 73% of domains have the “.com” extension, second is “.net” and third is “.org”.

“.com” is the most familiar and easiest to remember. My advice is to go with “.com” – it’s the safest bet. If your chosen domain name is already taken by a “.com”, you’d be better off choosing a new domain name instead of a new domain name extension.

2. What are Most Popular Domain Name Registrars?

Domain name registrars are organizations that manage the reservation of internet domain names. You’ll need to use one of these registrars to register your domain name.

Here are some of the top domain name registrars on the web:

Now that I’ve covered some of these common questions, let’s talk about how to actually register your domain name.

3. How to Change Domain Name Servers?

Domain name servers (DNS) are the internet’s equivalent of a phonebook.

To change your nameserver, you must log in to the domain name registrar with whom you registered your domain.

From there, the process will vary based on your registrar. But here are the basic steps:

  1. Find the DNS manager within your registrar.
  2. Locate the DNS that you’d like to change.
  3. There will typically be some sort of option like, “Use custom nameservers”. Click that option.
  4. Enter your desired new nameserver.

Lastly: Don’t Forget Renewing!

Depending on the length of your domain name term, you’ll have to renew your domain name in a year, two years, or longer.

It’s crucial that you remember to do so – otherwise, your domain name will go offline. And if you won’t catch on within a few weeks, your domain name will go back up for sale and somebody else can buy it – not good for you.

Make a note to renew your domain before it ends. Perhaps a Google calendar reminder or a reminder from your smartphone. Whatever the case, make sure you don’t forget.

For some domain name registrars (like the ones we mentioned above), you can set it to renew your domain at the end of its term automatically. This is the safest option – just make sure that you keep your payment information up to date (this can be easy to forget).


If you don’t have a website yet, then 2019 is the best time to get started. And the first step to creating your website is to register your domain name.

With this simple guide, you can register your domain name quickly and easily. Before you know it, you’ll have your own little piece of the web.

If you need a website, read this step-by-step guide here.

Want to ask a question or leave a comment?

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    • Avatar

      Not really, unless as part of a hosting package. However, depending on the domain, you can get them for really cheap if you try different registrars.

  1. Avatar

    Hi there,
    Can you please guide me how can I build a website first in wordpress without buying a domain and hosting. I want to create a website first and once ready to publish I wish to buy domain so that I use the domain period efficiently. And of course I will buy hosting too. But before buying any domain or hosting I want to be ready with my website in wordpress.
    Waiting for your valuable guidance.
    Thank you

    • Avatar

      Hey Vijay, that is actually a very smart way of approaching it. Though you might want to buy your domain first if you think there is a chance someone else might want it. Aside from that, what you want to do is build a local development environment. That means, simulating a server on your local computer so you can build your website there. Good options for WordPress and other PHP-based CMS include XAMPP and Local by Flywheel. Good luck!

  2. Avatar

    I’d like to suggest not encouraging people to use a shady, anti-consumer company like Go Daddy. There are plenty of domain name registries that are much better, like namecheap.com and siteground.com.

  3. Avatar

    Hi Nick

    Thanks for your article. This is a great read. However I am still not sure about what all add-ons I should have for my website. For example, If I take web hosting from WordPress they offer some add-ons related to security etc which is bit costly, so I want to make sure that I am only paying for essential add-ons and not the unnecessary stuff. Can you help in this regard?

    • WebsiteSetup Editorial
      WebsiteSetup Editorial

      Hi Vikas, Domain Privacy Protection is generally a good one to have. Others are highly optional, especially if you’re going to use wordpress.org, which has a decent amount of free plugins that can help with backups, security, SEO and more anyway.

  4. Avatar

    Hi Nick

    Great thx for your post. I have my free host from wix, Recently, I would like to connect it to a domain name I wish. As what you mentioned, name and hosting are two services. If there is any possibility to connect the content I build from the host (wix) to the domain name(e.g godaddy) I wish?

  5. Avatar

    Hi! I would like to like to create a business email address using a business domain. I do not require a website. Is there a way I can do this for free?

    • Avatar
      Nick Schäferhoff Verified

      I don’t think there is a way to get it for free because you will always have to pay for the domain. Your best bet might be to get a cheap hosting plan that comes with a domain included. Pretty much all hosting providers offer email functionality with their plans. Gmail also offers custom domains with G Suite, starting at $6/month. However, hosting might still be cheaper.

  6. Avatar

    Hi! What does a webhost do and what would you need it? This is the first page I came across, so I’m currently looking up everything 🙂

  7. Avatar

    My wife and I are just starting an online business after an injury I had last year. My thought was that I could go back to work way before now. I do not have any experience and do not web hosting is or how it can help me. I realize that to have an online business I need to create a domain name but am not sure how web hosting fits in.
    Also, I keep hearing about SEO, what tips are there to optimize search engines?

    • WebsiteSetup Editorial
      WebsiteSetup Editorial

      Hi Michael,

      Basically the domain name is your unique address and web hosting is what puts your site on the internet for others to access – both are needed. Keep in mind that when you sign up for hosting you get a free domain name as well so there’s no need to buy it separately.

      SEO is a big topic, but for some basic optimization tips you can read this: https://websitesetup.org/increase-website-traffic/

  8. Avatar

    Thank you so much for this great information. Couple of questions you may have covered that I did not glean.
    1. We would like to sell products on line. Will the website be able to receive orders and payments from potential customers?
    2. Does this feature cost more and if so, how much. We are considering Bluehost.com.

  9. Avatar

    Hi. I currently have a website on a free website builder (wix). I want to buy my own custom domain, and be able to keep the actual pages I made on the website from wix (its a blog). How would I keep my website and shift it over, and how would I continue to add material (like blogs) if I am no longer on wix’s blog manager?

  10. Avatar

    Hi WebsiteSetup Editorial,

    Thank you for sharing! May I ask, for a domain I want, Godaddy asks a low rate for a fixed 2 years contract however Bluehost provides the domain for free if you choose them as a host, then which one would you recommend?

    • WebsiteSetup Editorial
      WebsiteSetup Editorial

      Hi, I’d say Bluehost since that first free domain name should save you more money in the long run and they’re a great web host anyway

      • Avatar

        Thank you so much for writing this article, suggesting questions or comments and actually proceeding with answering everyone with concise and extremely user friendly info. Originally, I had more questions but your responses and being accountable with your word keeps an article from 2017, up to date ( I hope but feel comfortable with the outcome); therefore I noticed that people are still referring to this article in late 2018 and my own questions are answered and remain to be technology intact in February of 2019.

        I had to say thank you because its rare that writers on the internet keep up with the progression of their work.
        And…that is noteworthy!

        • WebsiteSetup Editorial
          WebsiteSetup Editorial

          As long as there’s people interested in this stuff, I’ll be keeping it up-to-date 😉
          Thanks for the kinds words, Chang!

  11. Avatar

    Is your domain name portable if you change service providers? I’m starting a non-profit and I want to hold the name, but eventually I will fire someone to do the website development and want them to be able to use the platform they think they can work most effectively in. If I were to register with GoDaddy for services and get a free domain name… do I lose it if I switch to another web-hosting provider?

    • WebsiteSetup Editorial
      WebsiteSetup Editorial

      Yes, you can move your domain name from one web hosting provider (or registrant) to another. That shouldn’t be an issue :).

  12. Avatar

    Hi WebsiteSetup Editorial. Thank you for your website. this is really very helpful for a newbie like me who is planning to do online business. Can I use my name as my domain name ? Can I use same domain name on my other websites?

    • WebsiteSetup Editorial
      WebsiteSetup Editorial

      Hi Patricia,

      Yes, you can use your name as domain name. And you can create multiple pages/sites on one domain. Hope that helps.

  13. Avatar

    Thank you for the information. I wasn’t sure if buying a domain name is the same as registering a domain name. I’m assuming is simultaneous when you buy at one of those websites, like Namecheap. Correct me if I’m wrong.

    • Avatar

      “if buying a domain name is the same as registering a domain name.”
      Well, since you can only LEASE a Domain Name (or register one for a period of time) you are not BUYING (as is the sense, for instance, of BUYING a piece of land) a Domain Name.
      As well, the control you have over the Domain Name you register, may be compromised when you are getting a Package Deal (BigDaddy or Wix, etc.) If you decide to move your web to another hosting service, for instance, does the contract you signed with the HostService/Registrar may require you to pay for the privilege.
      Be careful, think AHEAD, read the fine print and ask questions as you will be entering a contractual agreement that was written by the stronger party and likely has you agreeing to arbitration should an issue arise.

  14. Avatar

    First off, thank you and I love you for your clarity.
    So,I’ve decided to actually create that website for my artwork. However I just realized that I already have a domain name registered with Network Solutions. I don’t have a hosting site or a WordPress design yet. How do I move forward?