A domain name gives a website its own unique address on a web that’s filled with millions of other websites. It usually represents both the web address of your website and the name of your company.
Domain names are fairly easy to get. You just need the services of a domain name registrar who can sell you the available domain name of your choice. Popular registrars are GoDaddy and Moniker.
Can You Purchase and Register a Domain Name for Free?
Unfortunately, you can’t register for a domain name for free. Why?
The Internet has something called the Domain Name Service (DNS) – you can think of it as a center of all domain names on the web. It is designed to recognize the most common extensions such as .com, .org, .edu, and others, along with two-letter national domains such as .us, .uk, and .tv.
When a person chooses to go to a certain website, their Internet Service Provider consults with these DNS servers before taking your destination.
The only way to get listed in a DNS is to have a domain name registrar register you in the DNS. Domain name registrars participate in the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) – a list of accredited domain name registrars who can sell domain names.
Participating in ICANN requires expensive financial investments – this is the reason why domain name registrars need to charge you for it.
However, some web hosting companies do provide “free” domain names, on the condition that you pay to host your website with them. It’s not completely free, but this kind of package could be a good deal for you.
2 Ways to Purchasing a Domain Name
One way to purchase a domain name is by going through a domain name registrar. A registrar such as GoDaddy has a search tool on its landing page that you can use to see if the domain name you want is available.
If the name you want is already taken, the domain name registrar may give you a list of alternative domain name choices.
Simply add the domain names you’d like to purchase. Once you’ve checked out and paid for your domain name, you’re now free to use it on your website.
Another way to purchase a domain name is through WordPress, if you’re already hosting a website with them on a free WordPress account.
The Store section on your WordPress account allows you to buy a domain for your WordPress website.
WordPress works similarly as other domain name registrars. Once you’ve entered the domain name you’d like, it looks to see if your choice is still available. When you’ve settled on a domain name, it is mapped to your existing WordPress website. Your regular visitors can now access your website by your new domain or your previous wordpress.com address.