What is a Domain Name Registrar?

A domain name registrar is essentially a website that helps you choose and register the name of your next website. These sites let you register both personal and professional sites. You can choose a URL that lets you plan and share information about your family and family events, or you can create a site that helps you make money. Some sites offer tools that help you build and create that site from the ground up, but you may still need some help choosing the best one for your needs.

How Registrars Work

Popular registrar websites feature a simple search function that you can use when first starting out. You enter the name of the site you want in the box, the site then searches the web and comes back with information relating to that search. This tells you if someone else already registered that website or whether the domain name is currently available. If someone else already registered that name, the site will give you a list of alternative names. Once you select a name, you’ll have the chance to purchase that URL and begin building your site.

Buying a Domain Name

When it comes to buying a domain name, you have two options. The first option is a purchase that you make directly through a domain name registrar. These sites typically charge one price for the domain name itself and a second price to host that site. You can usually buy one year of hosting from one of these sites for $50 or less. Buying at auction is a second option. Many registrar sites now host auctions that feature sites owned by others. While some sites come fully fleshed out and ready to update, others come with just the domain name itself.

Transferring Your Domain

Registrars can also help you transfer your domain name. This is especially common among those who create free blogs on sites like WordPress or Blogger. As you build up more traffic and begin making money off the site, you may want to move it to its own domain. These sites will take care of moving the URL, redirecting visitors who type in the old URL and with the registering of your site too. Transfer scams, also known as domain scams, are scams that you might hear about online. These companies agree to register and transfer your site for a low fee but then take your money without doing what they promised.

Choosing a Site

Chad Perrin of Tech Republic recommends choosing a domain name registrar with a solid reputation and that you do your research before signing up. Some website owners had problems with domain squatting, which occurred when less reputable registrar companies purchased their recently expired sites and demanded a large payment to release those sites. Perrin also warns against signing up for free hosting sites, because these registrars generally offer less support. A free company may charge additional fees for transferring your domain name or making simple changes to your site.

Related Resource: Web Alias

The right domain name can help draw traffic and improve your search ranking, and registrar sites can help you select the perfect name. A domain name registrar is a site that lets you search for available names, purchase a domain and register that site online, and some of the top sites offer customer support and website building tools too.