This seems to be a contradiction, considering we do register Domain Names, but this is my honest and professional opinion having dealt with all manner of hosting and domain companies in my 15 years on the web.
This way when you or if you do decide to switch hosting companies (not from us, hopefully your happy with us) it is simply a matter migrating your website and changing your DNS (domain name server) settings and you can wash your hands of your bad hosting company.
The first step is to find a domain name registrar..
That being said, I would highly recommend that you register with www.namecheap.com as they don’t hold your domain names hostage if you try to switch registrar companies (not that you would want to) as Namecheap.com provides excellent customer services and well they’re…cheap.
Go to www.namecheap.com website
Here you will see the main page giving details of their services.
You will see the "Register Your Domain" box, just enter the name you want to register and click the search button.
For this tutorial we will be registering "wn8testsite.com" .
Searching The Domain Name
The search mat take a minute it's searching all DNS records to see if your domain name is already taken.
Once the results are returned if your domain name is available you will it in the list with a tick against it.
You will also see the other optional domain extensions that are available to buy if required.
This is a very good idea to secure the most popular extensions for your domain like .com, .co.uk, .net etc...
Choose the domain extensions you want to purchase then scroll down and click the "Add To Cart" button.
To the right of the screen you will also see the Suggestions column.
This gives a number of suggested alternatives if your desired domain name is taken.
If there is an alternative name you like just click and add it to your cart.
Your Shopping Cart Items
Next you will see the cart with your purchases in it.
You will see there is an ICANN fee of 18 cents (about 10p) plus WhoisGuard free for the first year.
If there are also any offers from Namecheap you can also add them to your cart here.
Click the "CHECKOUT" button to continue on.
Create Your Account
The next step is pretty straight forward you are creating your namecheap account to manage your domains.
Enter the usual details that you would with any account creation.
If possible don't use a Hotmail email account the next screen will explain why.
Don't forget to keep a record of the Username and Password, write it down so you don't forget
Personal Details Page
This is where you fill out the rest of your personal or business details which will be linked to the domain name.
As stated in the last step read the bottom detail regarding Hotmail accounts.
If possible use another account. If you haven't got one you could open a Google GMail account for free and use that.
Fill in these details carefully and make sure they are correct they will also be used in the next screen.
Registrant Contact Information
You’ll then be presented with four different Registrar Contact Information fields to fill out.
The first one is for the main registrant or owner of the domain.
The second is for an administrative contact.
The third is for a Technical Contact.
The fourth is for a Billing Contact.
This is in case you are a large company and delegate certain functions to certain people.
However, if you’re a small business you’ll be assuming all of these roles and can enter the same information for all contact information.
You'll notice that all the details you entered in the last screen have been entered for you.
Click the "Save and Continue" button
Domain Options Screen (1)
The next screen deals with the options for your new domain name.
The first option is to enable or disable “whois guard".
Who is guard will protect your domain name registration details from the public.
This can be good as it can stop you from getting unwanted emails.
Namecheap offers if for free for the first year but afterwards you will have to pay for it.
Scroll down the page a little futher.
Domain Options Screen (2)
The next option is for Name Server settings.
These are what you will have to get from your Web Hosting Company.
You will have received this information from the hosting company when you signed up for hosting.
They (or us) will have provided you with the custom name servers. and the IP addresses of those servers.
If you haven’t secured hosting yet, simply use Namecheaps custom name servers until you get your own hosting (hopefully with us but the choice is yours as always).
(Unless you’re using your domain name to cloak an affiliate link you don’t need to worry about URL Forwarding Settings)
All these options we are setting here are chagable once we have our domain name and account set up with Namecheap.
Happy so far? Click the "save and Continue" button.
The Hard Bit
This is the hard bit where you have to part with your money.
- Funds: If you already have an account and have money in it you can just click this option to pay.
- Credit Card: Alternatively you can pay with a credit card
- Paypal: Or use Paypal secure payment option if you have a paypal account.
Choose your payment method and pay for your product.
Finally you will see the invoice for your purchase(s).
And that is it!
You are the proud owner of your own domain name and you control all details regarding where your domain name now points to.
Your Account Settings
After you receive the invoice page you can now go to the top right and you will see "My Account".
You are still logged into your new account you have set up so take this opportunity to take a look around your new domain control panel and the different functions you have to control your new domain name.
If you need any help with buying a domain name please don't hesitate to contact us and we will be happy to help you set up an account.
Note: Since writing this article Namecheap have re-designed the frontend of thier website, but the proccess is still the same.