Even if your website design is finished, you won’t be able to publish the site if you don’t have a domain name. This is the virtual address of the website which is completely unique. In order to solve this issue, you have to go through the domain name registration process.

It’s good to know that website owners will never own the domain name they have selected, at least not completely. Basically, they are leasing the domain name for a year or a few years in advance. If you stop paying the fee, the domain name will get back on the market.

The good news is that the process of registration is very easy and you don’t need experience or special knowledge to finish this process. For starters, you have to select a domain registrar. In case you didn’t know, they represent the companies that are letting website owners reserve domain names. They are accredited by the official Internet authorities. If you use Google or any other popular search engine, you will find dozens of domain name registrars. Some of the most used include GoDaddy, NameCheap, and iPage.

It turns out that most of the web hosts are offering domain registration services too. But, there’s a catch. Many of these web hosts will not transfer the ownership of the domain name if you want to switch to another provider. That’s why it’s a good idea to read the fine print whenever you are looking for a web hosting solution and you want to register the domain name you have in mind with their help. HostGator and BlueHost are good web hosting companies that are not pulling tricks like this on their clients.

So, the process of domain name registration is quite easy. First of all, you have to pick a domain name. This name must be unique and you have to choose a domain extension like .com, .net, .org etc. At this point, you will also have a chance to buy domain privacy which is something that we highly recommend. This is a good way to protect yourself from spammers and scammers. While you are there, you can also mark the auto-renewal button which helps you extend the lease of the domain name without worrying about missing the renewal period. In any case, our advice is to lease the domain name you’ve selected for at least two years.