08 Oct 08 2:56 am
Where can I buy a domain name?
Finding domain names
If you're brainstorming for domain names, a good tool is http://www.nameboy.com
. You can enter two words and NameBoy will generate a whole bunch of synonymous domain names, and show you their availability. A word of warning, though: Sometimes NameBoy gets it wrong and tells you a domain is available when it's not. So once you've got a few options, take them a domain register
, plug them in there to check whether they're available. Registering a domain name
You generally have two options when registering your domain name.
(1) You can buy your domain name through your web host
. A lot of hosting providers will offer special discounts on domain names, or they might even offer you a free domain "for life". Buying your domain through the same company as you get your hosting can simplify things considerably if it's your first time, since the company will hook everything together for you.
Take care, though, because some hosting companies will register a domain name in their own name. This means that if you ever try to leave your hosting provider, they might make it very difficult for you to get your domain name released as well. They could, essentially, hold your domain name to ransom. Companies that offer a "free domain for life" will typically offer this "lifetime" domain name only as long as you stay with them for your hosting.
(2) You can also buy your domain name and hosting separately
. This is a good option if you want to be sure you have control over your domain names. This requires a bit more fiddling, since you'll need to point your domain at your hosting manually, so if you're new to this it's a good idea to choose a domain name seller who offers good customer service!
One that we use, and that we highly recommend, is our own domain registrar
. Regardless of whether you have your hosting with them or not, they offer extremely good customer service for their domains, and an easy-to-use administration panel. And, if you ask, they'll be able to explain the whole process to you.
If you have any technical questions about setting up your hosting, registering domain names or pointing your domain name to your hosting, generally the first place you should look is in the help pages for your chosen providers. Because the exact process differs from provider to provider, it's a little hard to provide exact instruction here on the forum. Plus your hosting provider and your domain name registrar will get asked these questions all the time, so they're bound to have an FAQ in there somewhere!