Building and launching a website isn’t always an inexpensive undertaking. Most people don’t know just how many moving parts are involved in getting a site up and running from start to finish. The laundry list of items you need in place runs the gamut from paying for web development, finding a trusted hosting provider and brainstorming and registering a domain name. The costs associated with your website depends entirely on how big it is from jump street.
If you’re looking for a good domain registrar your best bet is to register your domain with the same hosting provider you use for your website. The best domain registrars offer web hosting so you can have a one-stop-shop for all your hosting needs. In this guide, we’ll outline the ins and outs of domain registration and how to find cheap domains online. Let’s get started.
What is a domain and why are they important?
Simply put, a domain is a name that identifies a website and allows you to gain access. In reality, the internet runs on numbers. Every single device, be it a computer or mobile device, and the website has a unique set of numbers attached called an IP address.
An IP address is the internet protocol address and is used by devices to access a website’s server to download data and deliver the website to your screen.
Imagine having to remember IP addresses like this one 156.892.42.1 for every website you want to access. It would get complicated really quick. So, domain names were created to help people access websites without having to store numbers.
Domain names are registered to IP addresses. Therefore, when a visitor types a domain name or URL into the browser’s address bar, the domain name system server is scanned by the computer and serves up the website to your screen.
Instead of having to remember random strings of numbers for all of your favorite websites, a domain name keeps things simple, and are cooler to remember and allows for more creativity.
What are Domain Extensions?
A domain extension is called a top-level domain or TLD and are the letters that come after a domain in your URL. For example, www.google.com, Google is the domain name and .com is the TLD extension.
Domain extensions serve different purposes. Chiefly, they are used to identify the website’s mission or geographical location. For example, “.com” is for commercial websites while “.gov” is reserved for government-related websites. These extensions are registered and created by ICANN or the International Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers and they are tasked with creating new unique TLDs there are over 1,000 TLDs to choose from now.
The domain extensions are important because they are what you are paying for. You can register any domain name you want as long as it isn’t already registered or infringes on someone’s rights. However, there are only so many domain extensions that you can use. Generally, the popularity of the extension is what controls registration and renewal costs.
Web Hosting vs. Domain Names
Newbies tend to confuse hosting and domains as being the same thing. They are two different things but both play a vital role in any website being live on the internet
Your hosting solution is where your website is stored and your domain directs users to your site. Consider it in terms of real estate. Your street address is the domain and your house are the hosting solution where your website lives.
While all hosting providers tend to offer domain registrar services not all domain registrars offer hosting. While you don’t need to have your domain at the same place as your web hosting it does have its benefits if you use one company for all.
Keeping your hosting and domain services with the same company ensures that you are billed from the same company and it keeps everything neat and organized.
How much does a domain cost?
When you are first starting with your website you’re probably in the neighborhood for a cheap domain names, and sometimes you can get lucky and find them as low as $.99 domains. Many factors come in to play where the cost of a domain is concerned but the main factor is the popularity of the TLD, for example, .com domains tend to be really popular and sometimes pricey.
A cheap domain will cost you around $15.00 annually. However, sometimes, if you’re lucky you can find a cheap domain as low as $0.99 in your first year. A lot of domain registrars and hosting companies have very attractive introductory fees for first-time domain holders. After your first year, you will have to renew your domain to keep it active and your website online.
You can expect to pay between $10 to $20 for cheap domains. Good registrars and hosting providers have package deals and allow you to register a domain for a couple of years at once—this option helps you save money and you don’t forget to pay your renewal fees.
Bear in mind that these prices reflect cheap domains, however, if the domain is popular you may have to invest a few more coins if you want it bad enough.
Ready to Buy the cheapest domain names?
Here’s what to look for in a Domain Registrar!
Our advice is to purchase your domain from your trusted hosting provider. It’s just easier having your domain and your hosting all in one spot. But here’s what to look out for.
1. Proper accreditation and a solid reputation: are they registered with ICANN? There are a lot of scammers out there so be sure that your domain registrar is accredited to sell domains. This is why going with your trusted host is the best bet to ensure this.
2. Great Customer Support: You want a registrar that has support 24/7/365.
3. Optional add-on features: for example, like domain privacy to hide your information.
While you want to choose a domain that is memorable, short and speaks to your business’ brand you also need to have the backing of a reputable domain registrar or hosting provider who can offer you the cheapest domain names or a valuable investment into your business. Contact your hosting provider today and get started on a memorable domain for your business.