How to Register Your Domain Name - dummies

By David Karlins, Doug Sahlin

When building a website, you first must make sure that the coast is clear and the domain name you want is indeed available. Next, it’s time to register that domain name. When you register a domain name, make sure you register it for at least three years. You can sign up for as little as one year, or go up to ten years.

Committing for three years, though, gives your site more prominence with the search engines and also establishes you as a serious player. And most domain registration services offer a discount when you register a domain name for multiple years.

You will find web-hosting services that offer free domain registration. However, you may encounter difficulty down the road if you ever decide to move the site to a different host because the domain may be locked to the web hosting company you contracted with.

Check the fine print on your contract with any web-hosting service providing free domain name registration to make sure that it’s not impossible to transfer the domain to another server, or whether the service would charge an exorbitant fee to release the domain.