Domain names for dummies: How to buy a domain name

It was back in 1985 when the first domain name was registered and since then the Internet has seen an exponential growth of active domain names.

Verisign’s report notes that in 2018 (Q3) the domain industry experienced a 3.5 percent annual growth , netting in over 340 million registered domains, and will continue to grow.

Given the importance of a digital presence in today’s technologically inclined society, it makes sense for a brand, whether it’s a large conglomerate or a one-man digital agency, to own domain names.

Whether we like it or not, it is necessary to have a domain that is registered to your brand.

If you don’t have one yet, or just need a small guide on domain names, then continue reading. We share the information on how to buy and register a new domain for beginners!

 Table of Contents

  • What is a domain name
  • Tips on choosing a domain name
  • Free domain name generators
  • How much does a new domain name cost?
  • How to Buy a New Domain Name (Step by Step)
  • Best place to buy a new domain
  • How to buy an existing domain from its owner

 FTC Disclosure

WHSR receives referral fees from some of the companies mentioned in this article. It takes a lot of work and money to create useful content like this – your support is greatly appreciated.

What is a domain name?

When you want to start a website, you must have a domain name. But how much is that domain name?

It is basically a series of recognizable words that redirect the user to your server IP when they are written in the browser.

You see, when a site is created, it often comes with a unique address called Domain Name Servers (DNS) that often looks like this:


It’s really hard to memorize and write. This is why a unique domain name becomes easier for users to remember and write.

For more technical details on domain names, please read Jerry’s guide .

domain Name Suggestion

Your domain name is your identity. That’s how people find you, the name clients transfer to others.

Of course, there is nothing more important.

Give your business a step in the right direction to choose the perfect domain name – here are some tips on how to find cool domain names.

  • Keep it short and easy to remember (our domain “Web Hosting Secret Revealed” is a bad example!)
  • Avoid brand names
  • Get a .com or .net whenever possible
  • Don’t be afraid to make a word or use a compound word (think – FaceBook, YouTube, Google, LinkedIn)
  • Print it and read it repeatedly before you buy (example – be careful if your company name is “Dickson Web”)
  • Keywords relevant *

* Note! You don’t need a keyword in your domain name to rank well on Google these days. But it’s a good idea to have your domain name theme around your keyword because it gives first-time visitors an immediate idea of ​​what your site is about.

Best domain name generators

Naming a site can be quite difficult, especially if you are new to the entire site and branding. And if you’re like me, you can spend hours brainstorming for a name just to end up with a list of crazy ones.

Here are some domain name generators that will help you brainstorm domain name ideas.

* Click on the image to preview the following domain tools.


Domainr will add a unique element of creativity to your domain name by suggesting alternative extensions. Visit:


Wordoid users may generate random names or enter a keyword to be used as root. Visit:

3- Name Station

The name station generates random names with and without a keyword. Visit:

Dot-4-o-up transformer

Dot-o-mats is a simple tool that combines two words to create new names. Visit:

5-Lean Domain Search

Lean Domain Search is an easy to use search engine to find free domain names. The tool helps users find domain names by linking search phrases to other keywords that are usually found in domain names. The tool is acquired by Automattic (the company behind in 2013. Visit:

6- Shopify company name generator

Shopyy’s business name generator helps you generate company names and control domain name availability. Start by choosing a keyword that you want your domain to include, and you get hundreds of suggestions. Visit: Shopify company name generator .

How much does it cost for a new domain name?

A domain registration and renewal cost depends very much on its extension (so-called TLD). In this example with NameCheap, a .com domain costs $ 10.98 / year and is renewed at the same price. On the other hand, a .store domain costs $ 4.99 / year to register but $ 48.88 / year to renew.

So before you start and get yourself a brand new domain name, I’m sure there is a pretty big question that you want to ask. And that is:

How much does a domain name cost me?

The answer? It depends on.

Unfortunately, there are many factors that can determine the price of a domain name. Some of these reasons may be:

  • The extension of the domain name (example: .com, .shop., .Me)
  • If the domain name is purchased from ( different registrars different offer prices )
  • The length of the term or other additions you may want (example: adding domain information, going for multi-year terms etc.)

While it is difficult to specifically limit how much a domain name can cost, you can generally expect to pay anywhere between $ 2 to $ 20 per year, depending on any discounts or special offers offered by the platform.

A good rule of thumb is that newer domain extensions (.global, .design., .Cheap) can be a bit more expensive than the normal domain extensions (.com, .net), as they have just been released on the market recently.

 Domain Saving Tips

Tip # 1 – NameCheap runs special deals every month. Check out their promo page before purchasing a new domain .

Tip # 2 – To attract new customers, some web hosting companies provide free domains to their first time customer. If you start a website for the first time, you can save money by hosting these web hosts. Recommended web hosting with free domain deals: InMotion Hosting (free 1 year, renew at $ 14.95 / year) and Hosts (free 1 year, renew at $ 8.95 / year).

How to buy a new domain name from the registrar?

Getting your own domain down in two ways:

  1. Purchase and register a brand new domain, or
  2. Buy one that is currently owned by someone else.

There are advantages and disadvantages in both directions but ultimately it is up to you if you prefer to pay for expensive but well-known addresses (domains that are active) or cheaper but less known (brand new domains).

One thing you need to think about is how to name your domain.

As mentioned earlier – A really good domain name can be the deciding factor that makes or breaks your brand, so choose one wisely.

1. Check the domain availability

Now that you’ve decided on a really cool domain name, it’s time to check whether the domain name you want is available or not.

Check if a domain name is simple enough. You can do a simple search with one of the domain registrars. or use Whois search engines to check if your domain name is available or has been taken.

If the domain name you want is not available, try to see if different extensions are available instead.

Hover - register a domain name.
You can check if a domain name is available with Hovra .

2. Register your domain name with a domain registrar

The domain name you have chosen is perfect and you have verified that it is available, now is the time to actually register the domain name yourself.

Register a domain
Register the domain if it is available.

Useful Tips : Add privacy to your domain name

When you register a domain name, all your contact details and ownership details will be described in WHOIS.

This means that details such as your email address, home address, telephone number, etc. will be made available to the public.

If you do not want your private information out in the open, you can choose to register your domain eyes privately so that your contact information is protected from the public.

The cost of using a privacy registration service may vary, but generally it varies from $ 10 to $ 15 per year.

Best place to buy a domain

You can register the domain if it is available. But how do you do it exactly?

The best way is to go to a domain registrar service sites. A domain registrar allows you to register your domain name either through annual contracts or a long-term contract.

Domain RegistrarsPricingWHOIS Privacy
.com. Net
123 Reg£ 11.99£ 11.99£ 4.99 / year$ 9.99 / year$ 10.99 / year
Gandi€ 12.54 / year€ 16.50 / year
Run dad$ 12.17 / year$ 12.17 / year$ 7.99 / year
hover$ 12.99 / year$ 15.49 / yearFree
Name cheap$ 10.69 / year$ 12.88 / yearFree
network Solutions$ 34.99 / year$ 32.99 / year$ 9.99 / year

Domain registration sites charge you a small fee that usually ranges between $ 10 – $ 15 per year. However, domain names that are high in demand will cost more in the original purchase.

The expensive domains can reach up to thousands of dollars but after that, the renewal fee is quite nominal ($ 10 – $ 15 per year).

Updates: Cloudflare as domain name registrar

Cloudflare has introduced its own domain name registration services that have zero marking fees and offers wholesale prices for top-level domains such as .com, .net, .io, etc. Currently, the service is limited to existing Cloudflare customers and must register for its early access page to be invited. on the program.

Useful Tips: Purchase a domain name through site builders

Is it possible to buy a domain name directly from a site builder or host company?


A number of site builders offer the opportunity to purchase a domain immediately after you create a website on their platform.

Some of the best site builders today, such as Wix or Weebly , will give you a free custom domain name for one year if you sign up for their annual plans.

However, the renewal fee may differ depending on the platform itself with Wix offering $ 14.95 a year to renew while Weebly is slightly more expensive at $ 19.95 per year.

Although it may be a bit pricier compared to registering a domain itself, the advantage of buying a custom domain name through a site builder is that you can easily connect your site to the domain name with a little to no hassle.

How to buy an existing domain name from its owner?

What happens if you want to buy a domain that is already active instead?

You can choose to purchase active domains and transfer ownership through services such as a domain name bar.

What is a domain name escrow?

A domain name basically fills an independent third-party agent that helps to sell domain name purchases on the internet. These sites offer a safe way for buyers to buy domain names from sellers who want to release their domain name.

There are a number of domain name deposition services available, but here are some that you can check out: , Sedo and BuyDomains .

Here’s how to buy domains using Escrow

Let’s say you found a domain name and both you and the seller have decided on the amount. The condominium becomes: How do you safely pay the money and make sure the owner transfers the domain ownership to you?

That’s where escrow comes in. You can use escrow services to make sure the transaction goes smoothly. How do you actually do that? Here’s how:

  1. Set up a blocking transaction between you and the seller
    Register an account in an escrow service location and determine the terms of the transaction between you and the seller, including domain name and sales price.
  2. Make your payment to the blocking company
    Once you have decided on the amount, you make your payment (via wire, credit card or other method) to the escrow company.
  3. Domain name is then transferred from the seller to you
    When the shipping company receives and verifies the payment, they instruct the seller to transfer the domain name to you.
  4. Confirm that you have received the domain name ownership
    You must confirm with the escrow company that the ownership of the domain name has been transferred to you. Use WHOIS or WHSR Web Host Spy to check whether the owner profile has been updated or not.
  5. The seller receives the money from the escrow service website The
    lock company will verify that the domain name has been transferred and they will then give the money to the seller, less their fee. (You can decide in advance which party pays the fee or has it shared in the middle.)

Here’s how to determine the value of an annihilated domain name

When looking for a first-name domain name, usually found in after-sales services, private sellers, and auction houses, you notice that their value can range from a few dollars to as high as six or seven digits.

This may not be the best place to get a domain name if you have just started.

How an existing domain gets the prize can be determined by a number of factors such as length, language, trends and demographics. There is no single method that can give you a perfect price. However, there are ways to give you a ballpark appreciation of a domain name and it requires some research from your side.

1-Use of new domain sales

A good rule of thumb to understand how domains are valued is by looking at the latest sales. A look at the latest sales can give you an idea of ​​what kind of domains are bought and how much.

DNJournal posts a domain sales report that they regularly update and in it, lists the domain names that have recently been sold from several premium domain services. When you look through, pay attention to the domain’s keywords, length and other related factors to get an idea of ​​how a domain name is valued.

Domain sales report published on DN Journal (May 2018)
Screenshot of DN Journal domain sales report.

It is important to note that the report only includes a small number of domain names, so it is not exactly the most comprehensive list.

2-Use Online Domain Valuation Tools

The other way to determine a domain’s value is through a domain assessment service or an online rating tool. On these websites you can enter a specific domain name and give you a suggestion about it.

Some of the places you can check are Estibot , WebsiteOutlook and URL assessment .

These sites determine the value of a domain using SEO related factors such as search rankings, keywords, Alexa rank, monthly searches, number of searches, and cost per click.

One thing to note is that different websites can give you different estimates. A good plan would be to use multiple sources and compare them to give you a better estimate of a domain name value.

Again, there are no final prices to buy a domain name and you can expect them to fluctuate quite often. If you want a general idea of ​​domain name prices, you can go to sites like Afternic or Buy domains to get a feel for the cost.

Sit on a domain and start working

Now you should have enough information to be able to register a custom domain name for your brand or company itself.

Whether it is through website builders or domain registrar sites, it should be the first to own a domain name before you go live. When you have it down, it’s time to focus on building your site .

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