How to register a domain

We think it makes sense to start by registering a name because the moment you have purchased a domain name registration, you “own” the web address that you want to use.

The “Domain Name System” (or DNS for short) is just a way to give websites memorable names.

The name of a site that you see in your browser’s address bar, like, is called a “domain name.” A domain name is just a way to make the location of a website (which is actually a bunch of numbers) memorable for humans. Computers don’t really care much about domain names, but we’ll get into that later on.

A domain can only point to one website, and so they are a finite resource. For that reason (among others), you need to pay some money to “register” a domain name so that you can point it to your website. This also attempts to make people behave themselves by recording who owns which domain.

Picking a “registrar”

The organization that sells you the right to use a domain name is called a “domain name registrar,” and there are tons of them out there. Not all registrars are created equal, though; they may differ on:

  1. Price

  2. Trust and authority

  3. Security

  4. Support

The fastest and easiest way to get a website up and running is to use a domain name registrar (they give you the exclusive right to use the name) who also hosts your DNS records (the technical setting that point the name to your actual website).

Domain name registration is typically billed annually, and most registrars include DNS hosting as part of that service. Most of them will also attempt to sell you lots of other things, like web hosting, email hosting, identity protection, and a variety of other services.

It’s up to you whether you want to use any of the add-on services offered by these companies, but you absolutely need a domain and the DNS service.

The registrars that we recommend are:

  1. Namecheap

  2. Hover