How to Register a Domain Name
Registering a domain name is a very simple process. Let's assume you want to register a domain name like the following: www.michaelsmith.com. This page will take you step by step through the domain registration process.
Step 1: Go to the domain registrar site.
There are many domain registrars but not every one is a reputed registrar. Some of them are just resellers while others are temporary businesses. I recommend you to find a good registrar even if that means paying a few dollars more because then your personal site or small business has a domain name that is in safe hands. Domain names can cost anywhere from 6$ to 35$ or more. Netfirms is one such registrar that is reputed and they offer domain names for quite cheap (.com/.net/.org for $7.99). Plus, they give you domain privacy for free for which a lot of domain registrars charge around $10. This guide will take you to the process of registering a domain name with netfirms. You'll have to follow similar steps if you chose some other registrar.
Step 2: Search for the domain name you want.
If you go to netfirms website, you'll see that they have a domain search box at the top that has "www." already filled. Type in the domain name you want there and press the 'Go' button. Since we wanted to register www.michaelsmith.com, type "michaelsmith.com" in the search box and press the Go button.
If no one else has already registered the domain you are searching for, then the next page would tell you that the domain name is available. If it not (which means someone has already registered it), then it would show you a bunch of alternatives which can look like the following:
www.michael-smith.com (Note the hyphen between michael and smith)
If you find one of the alternatives good enough, then you can check the box against the domain name you want and click on 'Continue'. If you don't like any of the alternatives and want to search for a new and different domain name, then uncheck any checked domain names and you can type in your new domain name into the search box and click 'Search'. You can keep repeating this step till you find a domain name that you like.
Step 3: Review your order
Once you find the domain name you like in Step 2 and click on 'Continue' you'll be shown the next page where you'll be shown some extra product options like web hosting. You can skip buying web hosting as of now. Click on 'No Thanks' and continue. The next screen will show you the domain name you registered with them. It is important not to be in a hurry here. Check the domain name you have ordered. Make sure there are no spelling mistakes in the domain name you just ordered. Instead of www.michaelsmith.com there is a good chance you typed www.michaelsmiht.com in a hurry. Make sure no such mistakes are made.
Step 4: Fill your contact details
In the same page as in Step 3 (for netfirms), scroll down and fill your contact details accurately. Type in a password. Make sure the password is something that others cannot easily guess and at the same time you can remember well.
Step 5: Make the payment
You can pay for the domain name by using a credit card. If you are a minor and don't have one, then ask your parents to do it for you. Click on "Complete Order". You will be shown your 'admin interface' from where you can manage the domain you just registered.
You are done!