How Do I Purchase a Domain Name?

By Sabah Karimi

  • Overview

    If you're building a personal website, blog or online business and want a professional URL, you will need to purchase your own domain name. Domain names must be registered through an approved domain registrar, but you will need to conduct a secure domain-name search with the Internet's Network Information Center (InterNIC) to determine if the domain is available.
    • Step 1

      Conduct a WhoIS search to check availability. Enter your selected domain name and extension into the InterNIC WhoIS lookup search box (see Resources). The results will show if someone else has registered this domain name, when the domain was registered and when it will expire.
    • Step 2

      Begin the domain-purchasing process. Visit your choice of registrars to reserve your chosen domain. Today's leading domain-name registration services include,, and Enter your domain name in the appropriate box and select "Check" to begin the domain-registration process.

    • Step 3

      Select your domain-name package. Some registrars offer hosting services as part of the domain purchase, while others will allow you to purchase the domain and your choice of extension, along with other extensions. Decide what types of domain you want to register, and if you want to purchase hosting along with your domain services.
    • Step 4

      Confirm your registration. Make sure the domain name is accurate, then complete the registration process. You will need to provide personal information such as your name, address and billing address, and accept the registrar's terms of agreement before proceeding with the transaction.
    • Step 5

      Pay for your domain purchase. Registrars may accept credit-card or PayPal payments to complete the registration process. After submitting your payment information, you will receive a confirmation of the transaction, with login information to manage your domain.
    • Skill: Easy
    • Ingredients:
    • Credit card
    • Tip: Many domain registrars offer free domain name checks directly on their website
    • Tip: Purchasing multiple domain names (bulk domain registration) may help you save money on domain registrations.
    • Tip: Domains may be purchased as 1-year, 2-year or multiple-year registration packages; multiple-year registrations are typically lower in cost.
    • Warning:
    • Don't check domain names on registrars that do not use a secure website. If you are entering information on an unsecured website, your data may be seen by a third party, and someone my "steal" your domain-name idea before you have a chance to register it yourself
    • Domain names must be renewed before the expiration date to avoid losing the domain completely.

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