Home Technology How Can I Purchase a Domain Name?

How Can I Purchase a Domain Name?

by Radhe Gupta
Untitled 3

When building a website, the domain name purchase is one of the steps that often confuses beginners. 

From differentiating many similar terms and making sense of domain suffixes to choosing the best registrar and calculating domain purchase costs, the whole process can seem very technical.

Throughout this article, we’ll guide you through the easy steps of purchasing a domain name. We’ll also help you understand the concept of a domain extension and calculate the budget you will need. Let’s get started. 

Understanding Different Domain Extension Types

Domain extension, or Top-Level Domain (TLD), is a combination of letters that follow a website address. For example, .com is the domain extension of dailywatchreports.com. The statistics reveal that .com is the most used extension, with more than half of websites worldwide using it.

If your desired domain isn’t available with .com, don’t fret. There are 1,498 valid domain extensions to date and they fall into four categories:

  • Generic Top-Level Domains. Those that belong to this group are among the most recognizable. Some of the examples of gTLDs include .com, .net, .org, and .biz.
  • Sponsored Top-Level Domains. Refers to domain names that have sponsors from specific organizations or communities. For instance, the .mil extension is sponsored by the US’s DoD Network Information Center and used for military entities. Other examples include .asia and .edu.
  • Country Code Top-Level Domains. These extensions are country-specific, as they utilize the country code. For example, .uk is for the United Kingdom and .sg is for Singapore. This type of domain implies national legitimacy. However, using it for a business website may be tricky as it minimizes the room for global growth. 
  • New Top-Level Domains. All extensions that were launched and registered after January 2014. These new TLDs are excellent as they can help reflect a website’s niche. For example, eCommerce websites may use the .store extension, while web applications may take advantage of .app.

How Much Does a Domain Name Cost?

Source: Unsplash

Getting a domain name isn’t a one-time purchase, as all domain registrars use a subscription system. To retain their ownership, domain name owners need to renew their domains when the subscription period finishes. 

Domain name registrars are entities that allow users to buy and register domain names on their behalf. Some of the best registrars include Domain.com, NameSilo, and Network Solutions.

Domain names cost between $1 and thousands of dollars/year, depending on their availability, extension, and registrar. 

Some popular TLDs, like .com and .net, belong in the costlier group. The former often costs $9/year, and the latter is around $12/year. Meanwhile, those that cost thousands of dollars are classed as premium domains.

A study also found that the .com extension’s cost is roughly estimated to increase by 70% within the next ten years. Here are five reasons why this TLD might become so expensive:

  • It evokes professionality.
  • People expect every business to have it.
  • The extension appeals to a global audience.
  • The USA doesn’t have a popular ccTLD.
  • It’s becoming more and more scarce. 

If .com gets too pricey, opting for the new TLD might be the best option. Apart from saving some room for business expansion, nTLDs help guarantee higher domain name memorability. As these TLDs haven’t been around for long, short and catchy names may still be available.

Some registrars often put nTLDs on sale with crazy discounts. For example, the .store extension can cost $1.90/year, and .shop can be found for only $1.80/year

In addition, some registrars offer a multi-year registration option. Subscribing to this helps retain your domain ownership without having to worry about having your domain expire. 

How to Purchase a Domain Name

Once you’ve decided on a name and calculated your budget accordingly, you’re ready to buy. In this section, we’ll break down the steps to purchasing and registering a domain name. 

1. Choose a Trusted Domain Registrar

Domain names are sold by registrars. A good rule of thumb for purchasing a domain is to buy it from an ICANN-accredited registrar. 

The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers is a non-profit entity that organizes and maintains the internet’s databases, including domain names. Only registrars that pass ICANN’s accreditation program will be certified as legitimate.

Before deciding on a registrar, reviewing several options is a good idea. Doing so will help you get the best service for the best price. Here’s a checklist to help with your research:

  • Watch out for hidden fees. Pricing is among the most vital things to check when buying a domain. This is because some registrars have higher prices than others, which may result in a stretched budget if you go with the wrong one.
  • Look over the required registration period. Typically, a domain subscription expires in a year. However, some registrars may ask for a higher registration period, like two or even five years minimum. 
  • Review the domain transfer policy. Make sure the domain is movable to another registrar in case that’s needed. On top of that, beware of any transfer fees.
  • See the domain expiration policy. This varies from one registrar to another. Some offer a more extended grace period; some skip it. Thus, looking into numerous domain registrars can ensure you go with the best policy that is the most convenient for you. 
  • Check the user experience. Reading customer’s reviews helps gain more insight into what’s good and bad about a specific registrar. Thus, it can help ease your decision-making process.

2. Check Domain Availability

There were 366.3 million domains registered in 2020. This statistic shows how many new websites were launched and how many domain names were taken.

When purchasing a domain name, checking whether it is free to claim is a must. If someone else has registered your preferred name, you need to go with a different option.

One of the easiest ways to do that is by running a search on a domain name checker. Typically, a domain registrar offers this service to smoothen the purchase process. Thus, once you’ve chosen a provider, go to its domain checker tool to conduct the search.

The tool will need users to type in their desired domain name onto the search bar, including the extension. Once inputted, it will present information about a domain’s availability. If it’s taken, it’ll give obtainable domain name suggestions to choose from. 

3. Choose and Purchase Your Domain Name

A domain name is an essential branding element for a business. The perfect name helps build a business’s brand and makes it easier to remember. If your chosen name is available, all you need to do is click the Add to Cart button on the domain name checker.

However, sometimes things can go unplanned. If the domain is taken, take a look at some handy tips below to help you brainstorm some new options:

  • Make it representative. An excellent domain name carries a company’s identity, reflects its industry, and mirrors its target audience. Taking advantage of niche keywords is among the best ways to make your domain name descriptive.
  • Save room for growth. A business can expand or pivot. To prepare for such a situation, you may want to avoid a name that’s too specific. For example, ccTLDs can hinder your business when going global as they are country-specific.
  • Keep it short and simple. 6-15 characters is the recommended length for a domain name. Also, avoid using numerals and special characters as they can result in spelling confusion.
  • Remember .com’s power. The .com extension comes with a lot of benefits, so taking advantage of this TLD might be the way to go.
  • Optimize for voice search. A study reveals that voice assistant users may triple to eight billion by 2023. That is why business owners ought to be careful of how their domain name is pronounced.

Once you’ve got the perfect name, it’s time to process the purchase. In general, you only need to follow your registrar’s purchasing guidelines, which usually only involve contact and billing information.

The checkout process is where you choose your domain registration period. The one-year period may be the best option to test-drive the registrar. If you’re happy with its service, you can easily renew it for a longer period when it’s due.

4. Complete the Registration Process

Once you’ve finished the payment process, here are some of the things you need to take care of:

  1. Fill in the domain registration form on its control panel to be sent to WHOIS.
  2. Wait for the registration process to complete.
  3. Verify your ownership through the registered email address. 

Typically, the whole activation process may take up from 24 to 48 hours. When done, it’s time to focus on your website development, drive traffic to it, and generate a positive return on investment. 


Getting a domain name is a vital step when building a website. While there seem to be many unfamiliar terms related to domain name purchase, this article covered the basics to help you get an idea.

A domain extension or a TLD refers to the last part of a domain name, such as .com and .store. There are lots of different options available. You simply have to choose one that’ll work best for you. 

Let’s have a recap on how to purchase a domain name:

  • Choose a trusted domain registrar. Make sure you buy your domain from an ICANN accredited registrar. On top of that, don’t forget to check the pricing, required registration period, expiration policy, transfer policy, and user experience.
  • Check domain availability. You cannot claim someone else’s domain name. Therefore, you will need to find a domain name that is not taken yet.
  • Choose and purchase your domain. When choosing a domain, you should make it short, quick to spell, and easy to remember.
  • Complete the registration. This stage is about registering contact information to WHOIS and verifying domain ownership. 

As you’ve learned, the domain purchasing process is quite simple. If you’ve already come up with a unique and brandable name, don’t waste your time and get that perfect name before anyone else. Good luck!

Related Posts

Leave a Comment