Quick Read – What is domain name registration?

Domain name registration is the practice of registering a domain name for use on the Internet, over a given period of time.

Domains are typically registered for 1, 2 or 3 years at a time, and although registrations can be renewed indefinitely, you cannot purchase or register a domain name forever.

If you wish to operate a website, email mailbox, or any other web service from a specific domain name address, then you need to register that domain name. If you want to control the domain and any sub-domains then you will want to register the domain name for yourself.

However if you simply want to use a service such as email provided by a 3rd party such as Google Gmail, then you won’t need to register anything in this case. Instead, your chosen provider will provide you with a subdomain or an email on their primary domain (e.g. ‘yourname@gmail.com’, or ‘yourname@yahoo.com’).

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Domain name registration grants the registrant a recognised identity on the Internet, however in certain cases and jurisdictions, your contact details will be made publically available on an online registry service. These registration details might include your name and address, however these can all be obfuscated and withheld from the public domain if you elect to register by proxy (often a paid add-on of domain registration sites).

Costs and Options

At a base level, most common domain names only cost in the region £5-10/yr, or even less for the first year if your chosen provider is offering a multi-year promotion.

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Domain names quickly command higher starting prices if you are considering one of the newer TLDs (top-level-domains) such as .Sport, or .Adult. Specific country level TLDs can also be more expensive than others. Beyond those, some domain names are known to be in higher demand than others because of their inclusion of keywords.

These domain names are referred to as ‘Premium’ domain names, and will typically be listed with significant mark-ups or in ‘auction-only’ sales on domain registration sites.

Where to register your domain names

When it comes to registering new domain names, our recommended domain name registrars are:

  • Namecheap
  • Siteground
  • GoDaddy