In running a web design firm I find myself explaining some things so many times to our clients and then I thought “Why not just set up a page on the blog explaining in detail how to do it and then just send them the link?” Then I think “Why didn’t I do this sooner?”
Thus, here is the first in what will probably be a number of upcoming tutorials that will explain in painful, step by step detail, exactly how to do things, such as register a domain name the right way. I will include screenshots and explanations that are so detailed that hopefully it will be impossible for you to get confused.
I recommend that before going through the steps of this how-to that you open a new browser window and read the instructions in one window while following the instructions in the other.
And thus it begins. How to register a domain name or url for your website.
1. Choose a registrar. I like GoDaddy. They’re cheap, reliable, reputable, have good customer service, their system is relatively easy to use, they have all the features I’ve ever found necessary, and most importantly I’ve never had the problems with them that I’ve had with lots of other registrars. Sure, I know you can find a domain somewhere else for a dollar less than at GoDaddy, but trust me, the extra dollar per year is worth it. Don’t make a mistake, choose GoDaddy.
Go to GoDaddy (click the link) to get started.
2. Enter your domain name. Don’t get distracted by all the other stuff they put throughout the website. You just want a domain with no frills. Click “go” when you’ve entered in your domain.
3. Continue. Assuming your domain name is available, you’ll then see this screen below. I happened to register utahcheapwebhostingpackage.com for the purposes of this demonstration, and also because I’m going to play around with setting up an affiliate site.
The key on this page is to ignore everything and just click on the “continue” button at the bottom. They’re just trying to get you to buy stuff you don’t need. Ignore them, you just want a domain.
4. Continue. Wait, didn’t we just do this step? Yes, but we’re going to do it again. Ignore everything, including the big green button that looks so inviting, and click on the obscure link that says “Continue to checkout” under the big button. Careful, don’t move your mouse while you’re clicking or you might accidentally end up purchasing a few extra domains.
5. Create an account or login. No tricks on this page. If you already have a GoDaddy account, as I do, then login. Otherwise, fill out the form to create a new account. Then click on the orange “continue” button.
6. Choose the length of the registration. I generally register my domains for at least three years because of search engine optimization considerations. Many cybersquatters register domains for a year at a time, not wanting to make such a large investment as to register a domain for 5-10 years because the cost really builds up when you’re registering thousands of domains. Google and search engines don’t want to index websites belonging to cybersquatters, so they rank websites that are registered for longer periods of time higher in their search results. Plus you get a discount for registering for a longer period of time, and I’ve seen too many people somehow forget to renew their domain and have it taken by a cybersquatter who wants $5,000 to sell it back them. Just choose 3 years or more and you’ll be safer. 5-10 years is not bad either.
Don’t change anything else, just skip down to the bottom after choosing the length of your registration. Choose “quick checkout” so that you don’t have to see yet more advertising, and then click “continue.”
7. Enter promo code, check agreement boxes, and checkout. You don’t have a promo code? There are a ton out there on websites. Here’s one that I use currently that has been working for a long time, although I don’t guarantee it will work for you as it may have expired by the time you read this – “goox3004at”. That will save you a little bit. Enter that where it asks for the promo code, click on “apply code,” then check the two agreement boxes down below and then click on “checkout now.”
8. Enter your billing info and pay up. No tricks on this page. Put in your billing info, enter your credit card info, and then click on “checkout now.”
9. Prove you’re a human being. Enter the six-digit code you see to confirm that you’re a human being and not a computer program trying to access their system. It’s kind of like a signature. Then click on “verify code.”
10. You’re done. Print your receipt if you want and login to your account if you need to configure the settings for your domain, which you almost undoubtably will.
I will be writing several more related how-to lists and will link them from this page once they’re done. They will include:
How to Set Up a Web Hosting Account
How to Configure My Domain Settings for my Web Host
How to Get My Website on my Web Host