A detailed guide to domain registration

A detailed guide to domain registration

The advent and success of the Internet changed business strategies dramatically. Instead of having an offline presence to attract consumers, businesses now directly reach out to their audience in a much more creative and cost-effective way. To do so, however, they require a central location on the network, a place with every minute detail about their service, history, motivation, pricing, and testimonials among other things.

Such a place is known as a website. A website includes multiple web pages that contain intricate information a company aims to share with its consumers. Building a website is key for any business or even an individual to succeed online. The first step towards fulfilling it begins with domain name registration.

What is a domain name?

Similar to how a house has an address, a website is recognized by its domain name. If people wish to visit the website, they would need to type the name in the URL. For instance, domainname.com and excellent.com are a few examples of domain names.

The idea behind their invention was to remove complexity. Computers, on the internet, communicate with each other through an IP address. A normal one reads something like 216.3. 128.12. Using the same concept for websites would prove difficult as these strings of numbers are quite long to remember.

Domain names, meanwhile, are much simpler and easier to remember. Given their equivalence to an address, they are usually named after the kind of service the business or individual aims to provide. Domain name choices have marketing and branding implications as well, adding further significance for businesses.

What is domain name registration?

After having settled on a name befitting the service, the name is reserved on the Internet for a certain period, usually one year. Post that, renewals can be made but there is no way to purchase a domain name forever. Domain name registration adds credibility to the website and makes it publicly available.

These can be bought from any valid Domain Name Registrar (DNR), companies responsible for selling domain names. They are accredited by the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), a non-profit organization responsible for managing domain names.

After having made the payment to the registrar, the name is handed over to the company or individual that paid for it. However, owning an empty website doesn’t do much. Web pages are the main source of information through which an audience can communicate. Therefore, web pages are uploaded on the website and this is called web hosting.

In simple terms, it is the real home of the website, the place where the website lives. It is also called a server, a real computer housing a website and its pages. Through this service, individuals or organizations can post web pages on the Internet. Some domain name registrars provide web hosting in conjunction with domain names.

How to choose the right domain name registrar

Choosing the right domain name registrar saves money and your website in the long run. Purchasing from unlicensed registrars proves detrimental and can result in the website’s removal from the Internet. Therefore, the following points must be carefully considered while choosing a domain name registrar.

  • Check their reviews

Many companies offer this service and it’s easy to find customer reviews about them. Reading these thoroughly would give an idea about the validity the service registrar is offering. Also, it is just as important to go through the domain registrar’s website. Most of them are easy to use and are a strong indicator of their dependability.

  • Add-on pricing

While checking pricing, it is also important to understand whether there are any add-on services. This can significantly increase the budget and can be unticked if not needed at the time of payment. Additionally, it is always advisable to cross-check the original pricing and the final amount paid.

  • Hidden fees

As a marketing ploy, many registrars offer cheap domains at low costs. However, their renewal and other services may be expensive. This is why it is crucial to verify all these factors at the time of registration itself. Most registrars have a transparent policy with all their charges revealed in detail on their website.

Some great domain name registrars

Last year, there were close to 360 million registered domain names in total, marking a 5.1% increase compared to the year before. Their cost can spiral, with the most expensive domain names being sold at an enormous $345 million in 2007. Understandably, a host of companies sell domain names. They are:


One of the oldest and biggest domain name registrars in the world, GoDaddy manages more than 70 million domains for over 17 million customers worldwide.

Their domain name management system is efficient and their costs affordable, with a range of other services available as well. Add-ons and renewals may be slightly expensive and their costs, which seem appealing at first, have a lot of conditions. Nonetheless, GoDaddy’s services are reliable and dependent, covering everything your business needs.

Another experienced player, Domain.com provides great value for money. Besides its obvious domain name and web hosting services, the company also offers VPS hosting, Email, SSL certificates, and more.

For a .com website, the Vancouver-based business charges just under $10 per year while a .net website costs about $12.99. Add-on services like privacy-protection and malware-protection aren’t mandatory but can be added for just under $7.


Based in Houston, HostGator is mainly a web-hosting provider; however, it also indulges in other services like cloud, reseller, and Windows hosting. Owned by Endurance International Group (EIG), HostGator serves a massive customer base and has developed a reputation for the efficiency of its Cloud Hosting service.

To register to a .com website with HostGator, you’ll need to pay about $12.95 per year. Their Hatching Cloud Plan offers at least one free domain and the other two plans offer free unlimited domains. Their domain management system is user friendly and their customer service polite.