how do I buy a domain name?

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How to buy a domain name

You're about to start a blog, an online store or even a website, and so you need to purchase a domain name first. But what are domain names, and how do you go about buying one?

What is a domain name?

A domain name is important when creating a website (blog, web store...). Like an address, a domain name is used to consult the content of a website. It's the name that Internet users will type into their search bar.

Basically, websites have an IP address. This address acts like a GPS for the website, indicating its location, i.e. the website's hosting (server). Since an IP address is made up of several digits, it's easier to search for a website using domain names, rather than typing in a whole series of numbers.

In order to transform these IP addresses into domain names, there is "the domain name system"(DNS): when you type in the site's domain name, you're actually redirected to its IP address.

Domain names: how do they work?

As mentioned above, domain names are actually online website addresses. They are composed as follows:

  • A prefix: www.
  • The chosen name (sequence of characters)
  • An extension (top-level domain) such as a country (.fr for France), a "generic" extension concerning the sector of activity (.org, .net, .info...) or even as a domain name extension, the sponsored TLDs (.best).

How can I buy domain names?

To buy a domain name, all you need to do is visit the website of a web hosting company. You need to make sure that the domain name does not infringe on intellectual property rights, personality rights, public morality or public order, and that it cannot be confused with a public body. The domain name must be easy to remember and relevant. The extension must be adapted to your business sector or target market.

To read Guide to creating an e-mail address

How to buy domain names with hosting

To create or purchase a domain name, you can register it with a domain registrar (virtually all hosting providers are domain registrars), then register it with a hosting provider, using the procedure below.

Check the availability of a domain name.

You can check this by simply typing your domain name into the search bar, or by checking with an available domain checker.

Buying a domain name

The price of a domain name will depend on a number of factors, including privacy protection options, the domain chosen (with extension), the registrar selected, with or without subscription... The price can range from €10 to €15 per year, but depending on the options, it can exceed €5,000 per year. The domain name is purchased from a web host.

Domain name registration by a hosting provider

You've just bought your domain name, now it's time to register it. Registration is carried out by a registrar. Hosters like Hostinger or PlanetHoster must be accredited by ICANN (worldwide) or AFNIC (in France): these organizations are responsible for coordinating digital spaces on the Net. Some hosting companies, such as Hostinger, offer a domain name free of charge for one year. A hosting provider will also guarantee protection for the domain name.

Checking ownership of your domain name

You'll need to check that you are the owner of your domain name, either by consulting the whois (a service that allows you to find all the information on a domain name) or by a verification e-mail sent by the hosting company. Ownership of a domain name has a limited duration (1 to 10 years), depending on the extension.

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