Created 10/28/2018 at 04:58PM

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Registering a domain is probably one of the most important decisions you’ll need to make when starting a new website, it’s where your new service, store, or blog is going to live and you need to make it count. An improper or confusing domain name is going to make it difficult for people to access it or for search engines to index it, so you’re going to have to do some searching to see what’s available and how much you’re willing to spend for that perfect home for your website.

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For registering and managing domains I like to use GoDaddy, because it’s straightforward and easy to use, and depending on how fast you can type in your credit card information, you can have your domain pointing to your server’s IP almost instantly.

Step 1: Find the best domain

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On the GoDaddy homepage you should see something like the image above. Go ahead and type the domain that you’ve decided on.

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More often than not your domain will be taken, try to make your domain as unique as possible and maybe settle on one of the suggestions they give you. This is very important because if your domain is too similar to another website people may mistake the domains, and if it’s too odd then it won’t be recognizable or search engine friendly. You need to strike a balance between unique and recognizable and make sure it applies to your site’s brand.

Step 2: Buy the domain

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Once you’ve picked the best possible name for your website you need to check out. Click continue to cart and the rest of the process is pretty self explanatory. Be sure to select that you want privacy protection (they give you reasons why you should pay extra for this) and select whether or not you need a custom email address to go along with your domain. This is how people get emails like “owner@theirbussiness.com”. Now just click sign up and pay for your domain. Again it’s very self explanatory, but if someone needs help, feel free to email me if you’re confused about some of the options. You likely won’t need anything unless you want to shell out some extra money for SEO.

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Step 3: Point the domain to your server

Once your domain is purchased click your name in the top right of the screen and click “visit my account”.

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Now click DNS for the domain you’d like to point to your server.

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Now you’ll see a bunch of things, ignore them all and hit the pencil button next to type “A” and change the value to the IP address of your server.

Congratulations!

You’ve now completed the process of finding, buying, and registering a domain. And from now on whenever you buy a new domain you’ll be able to manage them all through your GoDaddy account! The process is strange if you’ve never done it but it’s very simple. It may take a few minutes before your domain actually starts pointing to your server, that’s because the DNS servers need to update so that others can start using it. It should be good to go in about 10 minutes. I hope you find this guide helpful, if you have a friend who needs help setting up a domain name be sure to send them my way!