Set Up a Domain Name for Your WordPress Website
The first steps toward installing and setting up a WordPress website are making a decision about a domain name and then purchasing the registration of that name through a domain registrar. A domain name is the unique web address (no two domain names can be the same) that you type in a web browser's address bar to visit a website — for example, wordpress.org and google.com.
Own or rent your domain name?
When you buy a domain name, you don't really own it. Rather, you purchase the right to use that domain name for the period of time specified in your order. You can register a domain name for one to ten years. Be aware, however, that if you don't renew the domain name when your registration period ends, you lose it — and most often, you lose it right away to someone who preys on abandoned or expired domain names.
Domain name extensions
When registering a domain name, consider the extension that you want. The .com, .net, .org, .info, .tv (for video), .fm (for audio), .co, or .biz extension that you see tagged on to the end of any domain name is the top-level domain (TLD) extension. A top-level domain is the main domain name of a website, whereas a second level is a subdomain, or subdirectory, within the main domain.
For example the main, top-level domain for Wiley Publishing is wiley.com; whereas Wiley Publishing’s Online Library is located on a second-level domain: onlinelibrary.wiley.com. When you register your domain name, you also choose the extension you want for your domain (as long as it's available, that is).
A word to the wise here: Just because you register your domain as a .com doesn’t mean that someone else doesn’t, or can’t, own the very same domain name with a .net. So if you register MyDogHasFleas.com and it becomes a hugely popular site among readers with dogs that have fleas, someone else can come along and register MyDogHasFleas.net — and run a similar site in the hope of riding the coattails of your website’s popularity and readership.
You can register your domain name with all available extensions if you want to avert this problem.
Cost of a domain name
Registering a domain costs you anywhere from $10 to $30 per year, depending on what service you use for a registrar and what options (such as privacy options and search-engine submission services) you apply to your domain name during the registration process.
After you pay the initial domain registration fee, you will need to pay another fee when the renewal date comes up again in a year, or two, or five — however many years you choose to register your domain name for. (The length of time you register your domain is up to you, but if it’s a domain you’re planning to use for a long time, most registrars will give you a slight discount on the price if you register it for more than one year.)
Most registrars let you sign up for the Auto Renew service to automatically renew your domain name and bill the charges to the credit card you have set up on that account. The registrar sends you a reminder a few months in advance telling you it’s time to renew. If you don’t have Auto Renew set up, you need to log in to your registrar account before it expires and manually renew your domain name.