Whether you want to blog, put together a photography or web design portfolio, or promote your business, it’s always a good idea to register a domain name. A domain name shows your visitors that you’re serious about and committed to your presence on the internet. More importantly, a domain name won’t suddenly disappear, much like many free hosts of websites have been known to do.
If you want to register a domain name, the first step is to decide on your name. Depending on your purpose for having a website, you could simply register your first and last name – such as JohnSmith.com. Or, if you’re using a domain name for business purposes, register your business name – such as JohnSmithPhotography.com, or JSBusinessAssociates.com. Secondly, you’ll need to choose what extensions (known as .TLDs – that’s Top Level Domain) to register. You could just get the .com, which is the most common, but many domain owners may choose .net or .org instead – or even .co.au, or .co.uk. There are other .TLDs, too – here is a complete list of all .TLDs. When in doubt, grab the .com, .net, and .org variations of your domain name – this guarantees that your visitors will always find you, and that you won’t have impersonators, or people who simply register a .TLD variant in order to steal your traffic.
Finally, register your domain name! Pick your options, such as the .TLD variants explained above, enter in your WhoIs info (this is the publicly-available registration data that will be accessible by anyone who is interested in viewing it), set up your hosting options, and you’re good to go!