How to Register a Domain Name

Step-by-Step guide to registering a domain name with GoDaddy or Namecheap

If you are looking to establish your online presence for either yourself or for your business, you will need to purchase a domain name.

Finding and obtaining a great domain name is critical in 2019. There is so much competition, ensuring that your brand and website look credible is essential to gaining more customers and traffic.

For this reason, I have created a detailed guide to registering a domain name, as well as some important next steps to ensure you don’t forget to renew, and details on how to keep your domain safe.

How to Choose a Domain Name

Choosing a good domain name is hard.

It is so easy to get carried away with a generic, long, keyword-laden name, or even one that contains obscure words, numbers, and even hyphens.

Or, you might choose a domain containing existing trademarks and risk future legal action being taken against you.

Don’t worry, though.

I have written this detailed guide listing all the things you should consider when registering your own domain:

It also includes links to some great domain name generators to help you come up with some ideas, and check whether the domain name is available.

How to Register a Domain Name

There are many domain registrars to choose from, but two of the most popular are GoDaddy and Namecheap:

GoDaddy Domain Registration
GoDaddy. Source: Screenshot.
GoDaddy Domain Registration
Namecheap. Source: Screenshot.

I personally prefer Namecheap for domain name registration. The interface is very intuitive (as you will see in a moment), and the domain renewal prices for Namecheap ($10.69 for .com) are a little cheaper than GoDaddy ($14.99 for .com).

Namecheap is my personal favorite domain name registrar and one that I have used for many years. Like GoDaddy, it is also one of the most popular domain name registrars around, selling a wide range of domain name extensions

GoDaddy is the most popular registrar hosting over 16 million domains. They are extremely focused on small business, so have plenty of useful products and services such as SEO tools, email, website builders, hosting, and much more.

If you are just getting started and need a cheap domain, GoDaddy a great deal on .com domains with the first year at just $0.99.

My step-by-step guides below incorporate using one of these exclusive domain coupons:

There are of course other popular registrars such as name.com or namesilo.com, among many others. I can personally vouch for both of the above ICANN accredited registrars.

If you are also looking for web hosting, you may want to consider a host that offers a free domain as part of the package. Transferring a domain is relatively easy, so you can always move it to another registrar later.

In addition, some registrars offer additional features such as private registration or premium DNS.

Right. Let’s get to it.

Register with GoDaddy

How to Register your domain name with GoDaddy

Next Steps

You can see full instructions on how to point your GoDaddy domain at SiteGround later in this guide (click here to jump straight there). These instructions can be adapted to any hosting provider.

Register with Namecheap

How to Register your Domain Name with Namecheap

Next Steps

You can see full instructions on how to point your Namecheap domain at SiteGround’s domain name servers later in this guide (click here to jump straight there). These instructions to configure the DNS server can be adapted to any hosting provider.

How to Change your Nameservers

Now you have registered your domain name; the next step is to point it at your hosting account so you can view your web pages by visiting your domain.

If you have not yet purchased your web hosting, you will need to do this first.

I have included instructions below for two of the most popular registrars, but the principles can be applied to others too.

Change your GoDaddy nameservers

How to Configure your GoDaddy name servers

Next Steps

  • Configure auto-renewal

You can see full instructions on how to set GoDaddy to automatically renew your domain later in this guide (click here to jump straight there).

Change your Namecheap nameservers

How to Configure your Namecheap nameservers

Next Steps

  • Configure auto-renewal

You can see full instructions on how to set Namecheap to automatically renew your domain name registration later in this guide (click here to jump straight there).

Set Up Auto-Renewal

Your domain is your brand. If you lose it, it will turn out to be a very expensive, and potentially a business killing mistake.

It is absolutely essential that you do not forget to renew it.

Many domain registrars have the ability for you to auto-renew your domain, but of course, you must ensure you keep a valid funding method (such as a debit \ credit card, or even PayPal) configured.

It is also advisable to ensure you can receive all notification emails, and that they do not get stuck in the spam folder.

Configure auto-renewal at GoDaddy

How to Configure auto-renewal at GoDaddy

Configure auto-renewal at Namecheap

How to Configure auto-renewal at Namecheap
Jonathan Griffin. Editor @ The Webmaster

Editor, SEO Consultant, & Developer.

Jonathan Griffin is The Webmaster's Editor & CEO, managing day-to-day editorial operations across all our publications. Jonathan writes about Development, Hosting, and SEO topics for The Webmaster and The Search Review with more than nine years of experience. Jonathan also manages his own SEO consultancy, offering SEO developer services. He is an expert on site-structure, strategy, Schema, AMP, and technical SEO. You can find Jonathan on Twitter as @thewebmastercom.

Read more about Jonathan Griffin on our About Page.