how do I buy a domain name?

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Buying a domain name: how do I go about it?

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

What is a domain name?

A domain name is important when creating a website (blog, web shop, etc.). Like an address, a domain name allows you to consult the content of a website. It is 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. where the website is hosted (server). As an IP address is made up of several numbers, it is easier to search for a website using domain names than typing in a whole series of numbers.

To transform these IP addresses into domain names, there is "the domain name system"(DNS): when you type in the domain name of the site, you are in fact redirected to its IP address.

Domain names: how do they work?

As mentioned above, domain names are in fact 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 relating to the sector of activity (.org, .net, .info...) or even as a domain name extension, the sponsored TLDs (.best).

How do I buy domain names?

To buy domain names, all you need to do is visit the website of a web host. You need to make sure that the domain name does not infringe intellectual property rights or personality rights, that it does not offend 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 appropriate to your business sector or target audience.

To read Guide to creating an e-mail address

Steps to follow when buying domain names with hosting

To create or buy domain names, you can register them with a domain registrar (virtually all web hosts are), then register them with a web host, by following 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 the extension), the registrar selected, and whether or not a subscription is required. The price can range from €10 to €15 a year, but depending on the options, it can exceed €5,000 a year. The domain name is purchased from a web host.

Domain name registration by a hosting provider

You have just bought your domain name, and now you need to register it. Registration is carried out by a registrar. The hosting company, such as Hostinger or PlanetHoster, must be accredited by ICANN (worldwide) or AFNIC (in France): these bodies are responsible for coordinating digital spaces on the Net. Some hosts, 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 will need to check that you are the owner of your domain name, either by consulting the whois (a service for finding all the information on a domain name) or by a verification e-mail sent by the hosting provider. Ownership of a domain name has a limited duration (1 to 10 years), depending on the extension.

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