How do I register a new domain or web address of my own?
What is a domain? And how do I register a new domain or web address of my own? These days, it is relatively simple to begin to manage your own web address (or domain). You can then manage your own email accounts and even your own website. Shared online host providers allow the layman to have their own online account to register and host a .com; .co.za or any other domain address, and from there open new email accounts, and finally host a website.
The pros of managing your account include low cost hosting without the mark up of a tech assistant or web developer. You are also billed directly to your primary email. And the expertise of the online host provider’s support team are at just the touch of the ‘send mail’ button.
A domain is a www.example.com; or www.example.co.za; or an example.com. As you already know, .com is an example of an international domain. It stands for ‘commercial’. It is most commonly registered for, but not restricted to, commercial business online. A .co.za is designated for web addresses to be used within South Africa. You can read more on web address suffixes here. Remember, international visitors are not likely to be aware of South Africa’s web address suffix .co.za. Therefore if your business is likely to attract international visitors it would be advisable to register a .com.
How do I register a new domain? Follow the below steps for a simple guide to registering your own domain:
Search to see if your domain is available
- Visit the host service provider site. We recommend either Afrihost or Hetzner.
- From the Home page, go to ‘Domains’ and then. ‘Search for a new domain name’ or ‘Domain Search’. Type in the domain you wish to register – example.com or example.co.za. It is not necessary to type in the www. The service providers show a list of the available domain suffixes and their relative pricing. The price shown is per annum. Think of the host provider as the landlord. You are paying a yearly rental fee to rent the domain from them. You will be billed on registration, and then prompted in a year’s time as to whether or not you wish to renew your rental. Most host providers, on prompting you will renew your annual rental by default unless you advise them you wish to relinquish ownership of your domain.
- If your domain is available, the host provider will let you know, or they will inform you that your chosen domain is already registered with someone else, and you need to choose another one. Keep searching variations of the domain you wish, with alternate domain suffixes until the domain shows as available.
How do I register a new domain?
- Once you have found the domain you wish to register, follow the prompts to ‘Sign up’ or ‘Open a new account’ and register the domain.
- To open a new account, you will need to fill in your personal details, provide a working email address, and provide billing details for an active account.
- Should you wish to simply register this domain for use for emails or a website at a later stage, you DO NOT need to pay a monthly hosting fee on the domain. You will only be required to pay the annual registration fee, and can decline any prompts to add hosting to the package you are purchasing. At a later stage, once you are ready to register emails and upload a new website, you can then upgrade your package to include monthly hosting fees for your emails and website.
What is monthly hosting? And do I need it?
Think of monthly hosting as the utilities bill. You need to pay for having certain services at your ‘domain’. You are paying a monthly fee to your host provider (landlord) to manage your email addresses and/or show a website at your domain.
Look out for our follow up tutorial. We will cover how to open new email accounts under your new web address, and how to host these emails on your new account.