ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel
  • »
  • Technology»
  • Internet & the Web

How to Get the Domain You Want for Your Website

Updated on May 10, 2008

You'd like to set up a website, and you have some creative ideas for a website address (URL), but you're not sure whether those URLs are available, or how to set them up.

Here's how to get a URL you like, with a few simple searches. I'll also explain the basics of domains, because we all tend to bandy about common technical terms, but it's nice to understand what they really mean.

What Exactly Is a URL?

"URL" stands for "Uniform Resource Locator." A URL (or ULI) has four parts:

  • The data transfer protocol (HTTP, FTP, etc.), as in http://...
  • The domain, as in ...wikipedia
  • The Top Level Domain (TLD), typically .com, .org, or .net
  • The path, as in .../directory/file.htm

Who Owns Web Domain Names?

In order to use a particular word or string as the domain in a web URL, you have to register that domain name. A domain might be completely available (no-one else has ever used it); previously in-use but now available; or currently registered to someone else, and not available until that person's registration expires.

Some domains are currently registered to someone, but that someone hasn't set up an actual website that uses that domain. In this case, you get some random-looking search portal, with a bunch of sponsored search links and business listings. (The first time I encountered one of these years ago, I was totally disoriented.)

To avoid the black hole of generic search portals, smart businesses register their primary domain name, plus a number of other close variations that people are likely to type into the URL. This way, users are re-directed to the businesses' actual site, and are that much more likely to buy something online!

How Do I Find and Acquire a Domain Name?

It's actually fairly simple; you just need to know where to look.

1. Find an available domain name. Use one of several online resources to find a domain name that is available. Here are some of the better domain name tools. If your first choice for a domain name is not available, these tools will provide a list of available domain names that are similar to your subject.

  • http://who.is/: Very simple to use.

    Click Domain Suggestions, and then search by domain name or keyword.

  • http://www.domaintools.com/: Fairly simple to use.

    Click Suggestions, and then enter your chosen domain name.

  • http://1and1.com/: Simple to use, but less flexible than other tools.

    Click Domains at the top of the page and then follow the domain search instructions.

  • http://www.godaddy.com/: More complex than the rest, but also provides more options.

    Enter your chosen domain name in the Start a domain search field at the top of the page.

You can use one online service to find a domain name, and another to register it. So, searching for a domain name doesn't commit you to anything!

2. Register your domain name. Use one of several online resources to register your domain. Some recommendations:

  • GoDaddy.com ($9.99 as of May 2008)
  • 1and1.com ($6.99 as of May 2008)

Don't be shy about shopping around for a good deal, and reading the fine print! Some registrars with a seemingly good deal will turn a deal into a hole in your wallet with miscellaneous fees.

Be sure you understand what type of hosting service you need to build the site you want. Will you need email? A database? Where will you build your website -- right on their server, by using their tools, or locally?

Note: After registering your domain name, you might not be able to navigate to it online right away. This is because it can take a few days for DNS servers to begin resolving the new domain name to a web address.

3. Find a web hosting provider. If the registrar you registered your domain name with does not provide hosting, you need to find a hosting provider. There are literally thousands of these. In many cases, a shared hosting provider (such as GoDaddy.com) is adequate, and offers the best value.

Most hosting providers also offer a package deal that provides web and email hosting. Be sure you understand the details before you buy. You can move your domain to a different hosting provider, but it costs time and money.

Many reputable hosting providers have web interfaces for building and maintaining your website. If your hosting provider does not have website-building tools, you need to transfer files to your hosting provider. (For example, you could download a free file transfer tool, such as FileZilla, to move files to the provider's server.)

After you've chosen a hosting provider, you're well on your way to having your website!

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: "https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr"

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)