Before you buy a domain, you should learn all there is to know.
Simply put, a domain name is an identification label to show that you have ownership or control of an internet resource. A computer will recognize a website address based on behind the scenes binary IP addresses through domain name servers (DNS).
However, in order for them to be easily recognizable and memorable to the public, the numerically addressed internet resource is given a name.
What is easier to remember, http://188.8.131.52/ or http://google.com?
Your website domain name is therefore the address of your website, and you want it to be memorable. With millions of websites on the internet, domain registrars will ensure that no domain names are duplicated, and act as intermediaries between you and the DNS.
Remember, when you buy a domain name, you might be referred to as the owner, but rather than ownership, you are simply leasing it for a term, and have bought the exclusive rights over that domain for a period of time.
Most hosting companies or domain registrars will allow you to renew the name automatically at the end of this term, ensuring it does not appear back on the open market.
A domain registrar is a company which helps you buy a domain name. However, most hosting companies also offer this service, so you can choose a domain and a host at the same time.
Not only will your hosting company more than likely be able to teach you how to buy a domain name, it may also help you register.
They often include excellent offers such as cheap domain names or even a free website domain for the life of your website hosting.
If you are looking for new website hosting, but already have an established domain name you don’t want to change, most great website hosting companies will arrange to have the domain transferred for you. Look for a hosting company who can do this without causing downtime to your website.
Other features you will want to research before choosing a domain host include:
Subdomains - This is another page at your original domain. For example, your domain name could be myawesomewebsite.co.uk, and your online store may be found at the subdomain store.myawesomewebsite123.co.uk.
Parked domains - When a host offers you parked domains, this means you can choose other domains to register under your main website, which will automatically reroute to the parent site. For example, if your website is www.shopping.com, you can register www.shopping.co.uk as a parked domain so that a visitor will see the same as the .com website when they type .co.uk. Think of it as a website alias.
Add-on domains - This is a separate website, which you can control from the same control panel and hosting account, and visitors will not know are associated with the original domain registered.
Email addresses at your domain - A great professional extra touch is having email addresses at your domain. This means people can contact you directly through your website, for example email@example.com.