UPDATE: I can no longer recommend HostGator or Bluehost – read this blog post to see who I recommend.
Your domain name is incredibly important. It can help with branding, and show people what they can expect when they visit your site.
Today, I’m going to show you how to register your own domain name with Namecheap. The process is really simple and affordable.
Registering with Namecheap
First, go to Namecheap.
Once you arrive, you’ll need to enter a domain name into the search box. This name should be related to your product, services or brand.
If you don’t have a market/niche picked out yet, read How to Choose a Popular Niche to get some ideas.
If you aren’t sure if the niche you pick would be suitable for business, read A Beginner’s Guide to Keyword Research in order to learn to research about it.
Once you decide what domain name you want, you can type it into the search box and click “Search.”
At this point, you’ll be redirected to a new page with search results. Your first choice will appear on the top, and other suggestions will appear below. Additionally, you’ll see a list of premium domains and suggestions on the right hand side. You can select from any of these options.
Since domain names are in such high demand, your first choice may be taken. Don’t let that discourage you, though. Look through the other suggestions and try to find one you like. If you don’t like any of the suggestions, search for a new name.
Once you find a domain name you want, you’ll need to place a check box in front of it. Then, you’ll select “Add to Cart.”
Next, you’ll need to decide how many years you want to register the domain name for. If you choose one year, you will have to pay again in a year. If you choose two years, you’ll have to pay again in two years, and so on.
Once you choose the amount of time you want to register for, you’ll need to decide if you want additional features.
First, you can choose if you want to add web hosting for this domain. While you certainly can, I recommend using Bluehost or HostGator. Both offer affordable plans with lots of features, so I’d go with one of those.
Then, you can choose if you want WhoisGuard. WhoisGuard will protect you from spam. Basically, the company puts their information in place of yours on the WhoIs directory. Then, if someone wants to contact you via the directory, they’ll have to contact you through WhoisGuard. WhoisGuard will weed out spam messages so you’ll only receive important emails. This is a great service and it’s offered for free with Namecheap, so you should definitely take advantage of it.
Next, you have to choose if you want to add Positive SLL. An SSL certificate encrypts the information on a website. This protects people’s personal information. For instance, if someone makes a purchase on a site that has SSL, his information will be encrypted, so hackers cannot access it.
Additionally, Facebook has new SSL requirements in place, so you can only link a site to a Facebook account if the site has an SSL certificate. Thus, it’s a good idea to add an SSL certificate to your site. Right now, Namecheap is offering SSL for $1.99 a year, which is a fantastic price. You should jump on it before the price goes up.
Finally, you’ll need to decide if you want to get one year of OX personal email. The first year is free, but I’d still pass this deal up. Most hosts offer free email addresses with their hosting plans. Thus, you can just sign up for your email account or accounts when you sign up for your hosting account.
After you add the options you want, you can click the “Checkout” button.
Then, you’ll need to create an account. After you fill out the account information, click “Create Account.”
Once you do that, you’ll be taken to another form. Input your information and click “Save and Continue.”
You’ll be redirected to a new page that has all of your registration information. Make sure everything is correct and then click “Save and Continue.”
Next, you’ll have to choose your name server settings. I used custom name servers, and I found the DNS (name server info) in a Welcome Email from Bluehost or HostGator.
Then, you’ll need to choose your URL forwarding settings. Again, you can just use Namecheap’s default settings.
The same is the case with your email forwarding settings. You can leave them as they are and click “Save and Continue.”
Finally, you can pay for the domain name. At this point, you own the name. Now, you can go to Bluehost or HostGator and sign up for hosting.
While there are a lot of steps involved in registering a domain name, it’s a really simple process that will only take a few minutes. Stop by Namecheap and get the process started. Then, you can have your own domain name for your business.