What is a domain registrar, and why do you need one? It’s an internet business that registers a new domain name (website address) on your behalf. No WordPress site could have an online presence without one. This short article explains all you need to know about these services.
Every person or company who has a website went through the process of registering a domain. Choosing a name is the first step, and it can be frustrating. That’s because there’s a good chance someone already owns the name you want, but there are options. For the domain to work, it needs a Domain Name System (DNS) and web hosting, but that’s something for another guide.
Registry Vs. Registrar
Above the registrar is an entity called a registry. It’s responsible for maintaining a database of Top Level Domains or TLDs, e.g., .COM., .ORG., and .NET, etc. Registries ensure domains function well and connect efficiently across the World Wide Web. The registrar’s job is to register domain names on behalf of their customers via the registry.
How to Choose a Domain Registrar
There are many registrars to choose from. A dedicated service only deals in domain registration. Others sell extra services as well, like hosting and site-building. Whoever you go with, pick a reputable company, especially if you’re new to WordPress and website management.
Below are some of the long-established and trustworthy names in domain registration:
Not All Registrars Are Equal
Not all domain registrars are equal. The intense competition, though, means that most products are close in price. The thing to watch out for is the level of service. If there are issues with your new domain, you need to be confident that support is prompt and efficient. That’s why it’s advisable to stick with reputable companies (see above).
All registrars are ICANN-accredited, but that doesn’t guarantee the quality of after-sales support. There are plenty of independent reviews online to help newbies make well-informed decisions.
How to Registrar a Domain for WordPress
Registering a domain for WordPress is no different than any other site. The process is simple, but finding the domain name you want can be more of a challenge. Allow some time for this and try not to rush if you’re a newbie. After all, your domain name needs to make an impression on visitors. It should reflect the site’s theme, or brand, products and services if it’s a corporation.
There are only four easy steps to finding and registering a new domain with a registrar:
- Type a domain name into the registrar’s search box and hit enter
- If the domain name is available, click ‘Add to Cart’ without delay
- Select the payment plans and consider any addons offered
- Check out. You then receive a welcome email for the assigned domain
That’s about it with registrars. Most will try to get you to add extras before the final checkout. That could be web hosting, business cards, or whatever else they may have to offer. Continue to the Check Out if the extras don’t interest you, or add them to the shopping cart if they do.
Point to note: Domain renewal costs tend to be higher than first-time purchase costs. Make sure you’re happy with the registrar’s renewal fees before you check out.
When the Domain Name Is Unavailable
The ‘Already Taken’ message is as frustrating with domain searches as it is with new emails and usernames. You can see who owns a domain by using WHOIS lookup. Don’t worry too much if the name is unavailable. Today, there are many extensions to make securing a name much easier. The extension is the last part of your website address like .COM, .NET, .ORG, and so on.
Be Creative with Caution
There are currently over 1500 public TLDs that fall into only two categories, i.e., generic and country. Examples of some common generic domains are .COM. .NET, and .ORG. Three country-specific examples are .CO.UK, .NL, and .FR. Try to see if your preferred domain name is available with different extensions. The domain registrar will also provide some alternative suggestions.
Domain TLDs need to make sense, so avoid those that don’t. A personal blog about vintage guitars—for example—would look a bit daft if it had a food TLD: www.vintageguitars.food/. Try to avoid using numbers in the name too, unless you have to.
The Price of Domain Names?
There’s no set price for TLDs. Registrars charge a similar amount for domain names, but some do hold seasonal sales. Premium domains are taken but are up for sale by the owners. Most registrars have domain agents that can put in a bid for premium domains on your behalf. These domains fetch a high price, and there are also agency fees to consider.
For more on domain pricing, read: What Is a Domain Name and How Much Does One Cost?