How to Register a Domain Name Using GoDaddy Registrar
What is a Domain Registrar?
A domain registrar is a website that allows you to register a domain name. Domain names are the user-friendly addresses you type in the URL bar whenever you visit a website (i.e. Google.com, Yahoo.com, ICanHazCheeseburger.com).
Domain registrars have been around for a while. Up until 1999, Network Solutions Inc. was the only domain registrar.
After 1999, the online community started to get flooded with more and more domain registrars.
The Wikipedia Definition
"Registration of a domain name establishes a set of name server records in the DNS servers of the parent domain, indicating the IP addresses of DNS servers that are authoritative for the domain." - Wikipedia
What Are Name Servers?
Name servers tell your domain name where the files associated with your website are located.
A set of 2 name servers are typically given to you after signing up for website hosting. These 2 computer "addresses" will then be assigned a domain name within your domain name control panel.
Domain Name Extensions
How to Register a Domain Name
Now that you're familiar with what a domain registrar is, let's get started by registering your first domain name.
To start, let's head on over to GoDaddy.com. You should keep this article open while you register your new domain name in case you get stuck or have questions.
Searching For a Domain Name
Registering a domain name is first come, first serve. It's like renting an apartment; if the first one you search for isn't available, you'll need to find another one.
Let's say you're interested in registering the domain name "SewingByGina.com". You do a quick search but see that someone has already registered that domain name. While this can be frustrating (especially since this is your business), there are a few things you can do about it.
1) Domain Back Order - You can pay a fee to ensure you get this domain if it becomes available. However, there is no guarantee the current registrant will stop paying for this domain.
2) Domain Buy Service - GoDaddy will contact the current owner on your behalf. If they're willing to sell you the domain, you'll get it. This service is $69.99 per domain + commission.
3) Contact the Owner Yourself - Using Whois.com (and assuming the owner doesn't have privacy enabled) you can see contact information about the current registrant. You can try contacting them to see if they'd be willing to sell you the domain.
4) Different Domain Extension - SewingByGina.net or SewingByGina.org, etc...
5) New Domain Name - GinaLovesSewing.com or GinaCanSew.com.
Registering An Available Domain Name
Assuming you've done a search and found an available domain name, you're ready to register it.
Click the "+Select" button and then continue to your cart. You can also search (and select) other domain names if you have more than 1 you'd like to register.
CART - Check Out Options
As you begin to check out, you will be bombarded with a few different options.
1) Business Registration - $9.98/domain - This option claims to give you more views and website hits. I don't personally recommend adding this option, unless you are interested in getting a little more exposure to your new website.
2) Website Builder + Hosting OR Hosting - $6.99/mo + $4.49/mo - Skip this. In the long run, you will thank me for saving you from adding this feature. I highly recommend ONLY registering your domain with GoDaddy. GoDaddy has amazing domain registering features but their website hosting, how shall I put this...is horrible!
I have had many clients who chose to get website hosting from GoDaddy and not one of them liked it. Features are hard to find and it's really hard to customize your website. If you don't care about ease-of-use, then by all means, get the website builder + hosting feature.
3) Add Email to Your Domain - $3.99/mo - Skip this. You can always add free email accounts to your domain depending on which website hosting package you buy.
Creating a GoDaddy Account
After clicking to continue, you now have to sign up for a new GoDaddy (free) account or log into an existing account.
At the final check out page, you'll have the option of adding the number of years you want to register the domain. If this is a new domain, for a new website, and you're not sure how long you plan on keeping the domain, I personally recommend only registering for 1 year. This will give you a great estimate on how dedicated you are to using this domain name.
You will also have the last-minute option of adding your same domain name (but different extensions) to your plan. Unless you're 100% sure you're going to put 100% effort into your website, I don't recommend adding other domain names. Just check out with 1 for now. Most likely, if after 1 month and you want to buy more domain names, those will all still be available.
GoDaddy Promo Codes
Use code "sas5order" to get $5 off your order of $30 or more.
Use code "sas15order" to get $15 off your order of $75 or more.
Use code "sas199hos1" to get $1.99/mo economy hosting.
After adding promo codes and making sure your name, address, credit card information, and everything else is correct, you are ready to register your domain name(s).
If you've followed the steps exactly, you should be the new proud owner of your first domain name!