Get your own domain name

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In today’s lesson, I’ll show you how to register your very own website address.

Why a website address?

Just like you have a unique phone number where people can contact you, your website will need a unique address where your visitors (and Google) can find you. There’s a limited amount of online addresses (called domain names) available, and since anyone can register these names at any time, it’s best to go ahead and get yours straight away (before someone else does).

There are many online services to help you register a domain. One of my favourite South African providers is Domain Cheap. They provide great support and, as the name in simple language says: they provide domains and they are cheap.

You can use the following tool to quickly see if your desired name is still available.

[domains_wpress]

If you’re exclusively targeting visitors from one country (like South Africa), you should consider getting a country-specific domain name (.co.za). They are cheap (R50/year at the time of writing), plentiful and immediately show your visitors where you are from. If you are seeking a wider audience, you should consider getting a .com domain. 

Step one: visit their website

Easy enough.

Step two: choose your name & extension

In this tutorial, I’ll create a website for Tom Waits, so I’ll choose tomwaits.co.za.
You might have to get creative with your domain name to find one that is still available.

register

 

Step three: select registration duration

It’s best to just pay for a domain on a year-by-year basis (and with some domains the only option).

available

 

Step four: add nameservers

Like your phone number goes to a your phone, a domain name simply points to a server – a computer – somewhere. We’ll get into these details later. For now, just set up your nameservers as below and update your cart.

Nameserver 1: dns.site5.com
Nameserver 2: dns2.site5.com

nameservers
Note that you don’t need to add more nameservers and that you shouldn’t add hosting to this order. We’re just interested in getting your domain for now.

Step five: review order and pay

Make sure that you enter all your (valid) details on the checkout page. You’ll have to agree to their terms and then you can click on the Complete Order button.

agree

Complete payment in whichever way you prefer.

Step six: there is no step six!

You should receive a success message (and receive confirmation in your email inbox). You are now the proud owner of your very own domain name!

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About me

Werner van Rooyen

Formerly Business Development and Marketing at Luno (where we went from eight nerds in a tiny office to hundreds of people spread over three continents) and before that Marketing at PayFast. Currently a full-time nomad, learning, running long distances and doing research, mostly in Mexico.