Role of domain names

A domain name is the www address that you type into your browser’s (chrome, safari) address bar. The one starting with HTTP or https.

Each computer on the internet serving a website has a unique public identifying address called an IP address…

from which a website can be served. They are something in the form of numbers separated by dots.

For example 192.68.72.101

You can see what address your computer connects to for example google.com with a simple command if you know how to use the command prompt in windows or terminal for mac.

These IP addresses being numbers, it is not easy to remember them. It is much easier to remember google.com than a numeric IP.

That is role the domain names.

Domain registrar

An entity called a domain registrar holds the mapping of the domain name to machine IPs. They store this information in domain name servers.

Some popular domain registrars are

  • namecheap.com
  • godaddy.com
  • google.com
  • AWS route 53

For non techie people stick with namecheap or godaddy.

Registering with Namecheap

Here I will show you how to register a domain name using namecheap.

First decide what domain name you want for your website by using this article.

Use your name and stick with .com if you want a personal brand

A solid recommendation is that you use your name in some form if you want to build your personal brand. For example tim.bog, or seth.blog.

I would stick with .com because it is easier to remember but it really is up to you. Something memorable if your name is complicated. Like mine, Hashin Panakkaparambil. No one will remember that.

Go to the homepage and put in the domain name desired. Namecheap will tell you whether it is available or not.

How to register a domain name using namecheap

It will also give you a list of other recommended names.

It is as simple as adding the domain name to the cart and buying it, as you would buy something from Amazon.

registering a domain name

It will add the domain name to the basket, scroll down the screen and click, checkout.

Add Whois Guard

Make sure you enable the who is guard protection.

registering a domain name with namecheap

Because if you don’t your information such as email is publicly viewable on the whois database (whois.net) and you will get a lot of spam emails.

Scammers will even try to login to popular services like email using this information and guessing a password using brut force bots. It is better you buy it.

For some reason, at the time of this writing who is guard is given as free for ever. That is a good deal. Godaddy is probably charging for this.

If you enable auto-renew on this screen against these services, you will be charged after a year for automatically, otherwise you will have to manually make the payments. Namecheap will store your credit card information to do so.

Click confirm order on the right.

The next screen will ask you to create an account.

Enter your details, give a password and submit the form.

This will take you to the next page where you will see the order summary, and payment information.

Click checkout with paypal on the right side to pay with paypal or click other payment options if you wish to pay with a card.

Follow the onscreen instructions and finish the checkout process.

You have now officially bought a new domain name for your website.

Upcoming next week: Linking your domain name to the server that will serve your blog

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