Complete Guide on How to Buy a Domain Name and Enable Website Domain Privacy
Complete Guide on How to Buy a Domain Name and Enable Website Domain Privacy
- August 26, 2022
- Posted by: StatusFocus
The 2023 Complete Beginner's Guide for Businesses and Content Creators
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The first step of starting a website is to pick a name that resonates with your business and register it as a domain name. Naming a website is no small task. It can impact the success of digital marketing efforts. The name is the first impression your potential customers will have of your business when they find it through search engines like Google. It should also draw relevance to the website’s subject matter and the content.
How to Choose a Domain Name
An impactful name should be impressionable and boost brand awareness. Having a relevant domain name helps visitors better identify and relate to the business and the products or services being promoted.
If you need help choosing a domain name for your website, check out our lesson on Brainstorm Names for a Website Domain.
What is a Domain Name?
In short, a domain name is the website address that people type into the internet browser URL bar to visit a website. If the website is your home, then the domain name is the street address to locate your home. The majority of websites start with www. which represents the World Wide Web, followed by the website name, and end with .com. In our case, our website domain is www.statusfocus.com.
How Does an IP Address Associate with a Domain Name?
When your internet browser searches for a domain name, the browser is locating the IP (Internet Protocol) address where the domain name is hosted, which will take you to the website. Domain names are used to point to the IP address associated with a specific website.
Since an IP address is a string of numeric numbers, it is inconvenient for people to remember. So domain names are in place to refer to these IP addresses. Therefore, people can easily find the website they are looking for.
Components of a Domain Name
A domain name is arranged by hierarchy from right to left. It consists of the following components (right to the left).
3 Components of a Website Domain Name
- A top-level domain name (.com, .net, .co) separated by a “.” (period.)
- A mid-level domain name (usually the website's name.)
- A sub-domain prefix "www." which stands for the World Wide Web.
Top 3 Essential Steps Before Buying a Domain Name
#1. Read the Fine Print before Buying a Domain Name
Make sure you understand what the domain registration service includes before proceeding. For example, is domain privacy protection included in the service, which is a critical privacy component of a website.
#2. Do the Math and Know the Cost to Register a Domain Name
Avoid unexpected cost by investigate the following questions before locking yourself in with a domain service provider. If you have concerns, best to discuss policies with the provider’s customer service and understand what they entail before committing.
Important Questions to Consider Before Buying a Domain Name
- What is the total cost of owning a domain after one year, three years, or five years?
- Does the price fit into your budget?
- Are there add-on costs involved?
- In case you are not happy with the service, can you cancel and get a refund?
- What if you want to transfer your domain to another service provider? Will you be charged for the domain transfer service?
#3. Know What is Whois.icann.org and How it Impacts Your Website Privacy
Whois.icann.org is an entity that keeps records of domain owners’ identities and contact information. Owners provide this information to independent registrars (domain registration service providers such as Google Domains) who must earn the ICANN accreditation in order to provide such service.
Top 3 Important Facts about WHOIS that Impact Your Domain
Fact 1: WHOIS Requires Domain Owners to Upkeep Accuracy of Domain Information
WHOIS requires domain owners to keep their information accurate and up to date with the registrars as part of their responsibilities of owning a domain. If false information is provided on purpose, the owners risk having their domains suspended.
Fact 2: Domain Information on WHOIS is Public Record
Domain information on WHOIS is considered public records. WHOIS allows anyone to search for a domain and gain access to the owner’s contact information, including phone numbers, addresses, emails, and other contact information.
Fact 3: WHOIS Reveals the Purchase and Expiration Dates of a Website Domain
WHOIS reveals the date someone purchased a particular domain and the date it expires. This means if you accidentally forget to renew your domain registration, it will become available for anyone to purchase.
A little creepy, right? So is there something you can do to protect your privacy? Yes, this leads us to the next point. We will talk about how to protect personal information when you register a domain name.
How to Make Sensitive Information Private When Buying a Domain Name
Most legitimate domain and web hosting providers give registrants the option to purchase additional domain privacy protection. This option allows you to hide personal or company information such as names, phone numbers, addresses, and emails.
Your personal information will be hidden from WHOIS and other domain owner lookup websites when the domain privacy option is selected.
How to Enable Domain Privacy Option?
Adding domain privacy should be easy to do with most registrars or domain service providers. Usually, you will be prompted before checkout to include domain privacy as an add-on in your package when making the initial purchase. Some service providers like Google Domains include privacy protection for free. If your existing domain does not have privacy protection, you can always add it through your service provider.
Test Out the Quality of the Domain Provider's Customer Service
Ensure the registrar or domain service provider you are signing up with has a solid reputation and a responsive customer service team. Many of the domain and hosting service providers today promise 24/7 customer support. But how good is the 24/7 support? Consider testing out the customer service quality, experience, and speed by submitting a ticket before purchasing.
Having someone available around the clock is always a good sign. However, if the support team cannot efficiently resolve your problems, it defeats the purpose. There is a whole list of things that can potentially go wrong when you buy a domain name.
Top 3 Essential Questions to Consider When Testing the Quality of a Domain Service Provider's Customer Support
- Can you get instant access to your domain after buying a domain name?
- Can you get help pointing the domain’s name server to the web hosting provider?
- What is the average turn-around time to respond to a support ticket?
A good registrar should answer all of your questions and provide prompt technical support to help you troubleshoot issues as they arise. So look into the complete list of services offered before making a final decision.
Get Ready to Buy a Domain Name and Start a Website
Now you are finally ready to register for a domain name. Be sure to use a trustworthy domain service provider as discussed above. We recommend Google Domains for its top-notch service, speed, security, and customer support.
How to Register a Domain Name with Google Domains
We recommend Google Domains for its top-notch service, speed, security, and customer support.
Google DomainBest for Domain Name
Reliable domain name registrar powered by Google.
Provide a range of tools to make life easier: domain sharing, fast multi-domain registration, DNS export, etc.
Come with Google's reliability, security, and top performance to scale any business online.
Save time with integrations with other Google tools and trusted partners.
- Choose from more than 300 domain endings. From .com to .photography to .cafe.
- Get 24/7 Google support from real humans.
- Domains start at $9 per year, which is a cost-effective option.
- Include email forwarding, privacy protection, one-click DNSSEC, Google 2-Step Verification, and more.
- Experience speed and security using DNS servers that run on Google’s infrastructure with 24/7 support.
- Provide domain name registrar only.
- Do not include managed web hosting service.
How to Buy a Domain Name with Google Domains in 3 Steps to Start Your Website
Register your domain name with Google Domains.
Check the availability of the domain name you wish to buy.
You should receive one of the two following results:
- Domain is available for purchase.
- Domain has already been registered.
Domain is available for purchase.
Domain has already been registered.
When you find the domain name you are happy with and it is available, proceed to checkout.
Google Domains Offer Free Privacy Protection When You Buy a Domain Name
The added benefit of Google Domains is that privacy protection is free when you buy a domain name. Google Domains privacy protection guards your personal information against websites like WHOIS. This service usually costs extra from other domain registrars.
Congratulations on Buying a Domain Name!
You own the domain name of your new website.
Next Steps to Set Up a Website After Buying a Domain Name
We will walk you through how to choose the best web hosting provider, set up domain with hosting, and select the right content management system (CMS).
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