What is a domain name, and how can I buy one?

Step-by-step guide to buying a domain name  

Domain names,
like .wales and .cymru, help you secure your very own part of the internet through professional website and email addresses. Registering your new website address can be a little daunting, so we’re going to share an easy step-by-step guide to buying a domain. First, let’s take a look at what domain names actually are.

What is a domain name?  

You’ll likely come across and use domains every day. For example, when you type “google.co.uk” or “gov.wales” into your internet browser. Domain names are the string of characters which are used to identify websites online. For example, our domain name is “ourhomeonline.wales”.  

There are two main parts to a domain name. The second-level domain (which is often just called the domain) is the part which comes before the dot and is often where you’ll find the name of a business. For us, that’s “ourhomeonline”. Then there’s the top-level domain (the TLD), or the generic top-level domain (gTLD) or the extension, which is the part that comes after the dot. So, for us that’s “.wales”.  

Diagram based on webfactory.co.uk

Domain names can also be used for email addresses, for example you could have an email address for your support team like “[email protected]”. Registering an email address using a custom domain is more professional than using a free email address.  

Now we’ve explored what domain names are, let’s take a quick look at some of the benefits of registering one for your business. 

What are the benefits of owning a domain name?  

Owning your own domain has many benefits for your business:  

  • Professional – having a consistent domain name for your website and email addresses can make your business appear more professional.  
  • Consistent branding – having your own domain, and consistency across your website and email addresses, makes for a stronger brand image.  
  • It’s your part of the internet – you’ll only have your business name in your website and email addresses, not other website builder names or brands.  

Find out more and discover the benefits to having .wales and .cymru specific domains.

Four steps to buying a domain name  

Let’s look at the four main steps to registering your own domain name. 

1. Choose your domain

The first step is deciding on a name for your domain. If you’re looking to register a domain name for your business, it’s a good idea to use your business name or something very similar. If you’re searching for a domain for something else, perhaps a personal project, choose something which reflects what you’ll be using your website for.  

If you need some help with ideas, take a look at these tips on how to choose the perfect .wales and .cymru domain name.  

2. Search for your domain  

Where you look for your domain depends on the extension you want to use. If you’re a Welsh business with Welsh and UK customers, you might want to think about using a domain name ending in .wales and .cymru.  

You can search for available .wales and .cymru domain names using the handy search box below or using our domain search tool.  

3. Choose your registrar  

You won’t fully own your domain name, essentially, you’ll be ‘renting’ it from a registrar, and you’ll need to keep ‘renting’ it by renewing it. Although it’s possible for you to use the same domain forever, you’ll need to ensure you continue to renew it to keep using it, else it could become available for someone else to register.  

Registrars are online retailers from whom you buy your domain from, and there are plenty to choose from. If you’re using our domain search tool to find your domain name, you’ll be able to look through a list of possible registrars. It’s important that you take some time to do some research here, looking at the different options and what each registrar offers.  

At this stage, you might be thinking “how much does a domain name cost?”. There’s no one answer here, the price you pay depends on different factors, from the registrar you choose to how long you want to register the domain name for.  

4. Register your domain name  

Once you’ve chosen the right registrar and package for you, you’ll be able to buy your domain name through their website. Often, this is also where you’ll be able to access your domain and account settings once you’ve brought your domain name.  

After you register your domain, you can then connect it to your website either through your hosting platform or content management system (CMS) and your new website will be ready to go live!  

Often registrars will let you know when your domain name is up for renewal, but it can be handy to pop a note in your own calendar too to make sure you can keep using your domain for as long as you want to.  

Ready to start searching for your domain? Head over to our domain search tool to find your ideal .wales or .cymru domain.  

For more advice on choosing your domain, take a look at our tips for choosing the perfect .wales and .cymru domain name.  

Originally posted on the UK Domain.

In need of some inspiration? Take a look at some of our case studies and their experiences with .wales and .cymru domains.

Coffi Dre
National Botanic Garden of Wales
National Botanic Garden of Wales
Happy Yoga Wales

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