Disclosure: Hosting Canada is community-supported. We may earn a commission when you make a purchase through one of our links. Learn more.

How To Buy a Domain Name


Gary Stevens —

Last updated:

Congratulations on setting up your new online business! 🎉🎉🥳

Launching a new business can being exciting (and daunting), but there are a few things you’ll need to tackle up front before the fun starts…

First and foremost, your new online business will need a good domain name.

It’s hard to overstate the importance of a domain name… it can literally make or break your business (as one Toronto-based startup found out the hard way).

A domain name for your website is important for your audience and search engines, too. Thus, it is crucial to choose a domain name that reflects your brand, is memorable, and that will stick around years from now.

If you’re wondering how to buy a domain name quickly and affordably, you’re in the right place. It’s a simple, painless and straightforward process if you know the best domain registrars to choose from, and how to use them.

Ready to get your new domain name? Awesome, then let’s get started.

🛑 WATCH OUT: Before You Buy a Domain…


1. Do your own research (DYOR)

Before you start searching for a domain name, always do a bit of homework in advance.

By “doing your homework” we mean you need to have a thorough idea about what your readers – and/or customers – actually want. You should also study your niche to understand the popular keywords and search terms used by your target audience.

Look at similar businesses’ websites and check your competitors’ domain names. Browse to find out when a particular domain name was last sold, and who the web hosting providers are or were. The best Canadian web hosts and registrars treat their customers (and their customers’ domains) well, and avoid “shady” practices common amongst low quality, budget web hosts in certain countries.

2. Easy-to-Type and remember domains

Keep it simple and easy. Always remember to choose a domain name that can be easily spelt by the audience. Don’t follow the fads and trends of the day and choose a domain name that is easy-breezy.

It is best to avoid odd spellings and other characters too. Spellings that confuse the audience can land them onto the wrong pages, and you may even lose customers. A short name that speaks about your business and is easy to be spread by word of mouth is indeed the best suited.

3. Go with .com

Do you know a whopping 48% of the domain names have the .com extension?

Yes, it is still the best extension that your domain name can have in 2020 and beyond. Not only is it the easiest to remember, but everyone is familiar with it.

In case the .com extension is taken, you can go with the other popular TLDs like “.net”, “.org”, etc. Brainstorm some extensions on your own. (But we recommend avoiding weird extensions like .pizza.)

4. Beware of hidden fees

Price plays a huge role while deciding to purchase the domain name. The market is full of domain registrars who will try to lure you into buying from them. But the key is to be vigilant and not get fooled into buying one that appears cheap but has tons of hidden fees and expensive upsells (looking at you, GoDaddy).

Some registrars may sell you a domain name at a cheap price in the name of promotional offers. However, there will be a lot of add on costs in the name of renewal fees, contract fees, expensive rebills and more. So, before you take any decision do your research well.

5. Look for transparency

Always remember to go with registrars who maintain an optimal level of transparency in their business. You must know all the prices, services, and other important details upfront.

For instance, you should be aware of the renewal charges, transfer fees, and cancellation amount. If any registrar refuses to share such important aspects, something is not right about him. It is best not to enter into any deal with him.

6. Choose a brandable name

Branding is one of the most important parameters for the success of any business venture. Having a brandable domain name for your business gives it a unique identification. What is it? And why is it required?

A brandable domain name has no specific meaning. It is unique and can be easily pronounced and memorized. For instance, Google is not a word and has no meaning, yet it is so famous and easy to remember. If you’re not sure how to choose a brandable domain name, check out any one of these domain name generators — they’re great at helping you choose a name for your website (and pretty fun to use, too).

7. Make sure the name is not trademarked and used

None of us want to end up in a legal suit at the very beginning of the business. While selecting the domain name make sure that it is not trademarked. You also need to check social media sites to see if the name you choose is already in use.

Using the same name on your domain and social networks is an ideal thing. It will help the audience to become familiar with the name and find you across the web.

8. Protect your privacy

Privacy is the biggest concern when it comes to buying a domain name. While buying a domain name look for registrars who offer you protection free of cost or at a minimal price. Since domain names are public record on the WHOIS and RDAP directories, it is best to keep your personal information private.

It is upon you to choose to keep your ownership and contact details private. Stay alert and don’t fall trap to the registrars who charge premium amounts for protecting your privacy. For privacy protection, look no further than Namecheap; they offer free WHOIS privacy protection by default. Thanks to Namecheap for being “model citizens” of the registrar industry when it comes to protecting their customers’ information.

9. Think Long term

Everything decision taken for your business, whether small or big, should be from a long term prospective. Similarly, your domain name is your investment and it ought to be a long term thing.

Do not go with a name that will need to be changed or scrapped in the near future. Instead, choose a name that can represent your business and brand for years to come. Take your niche into consideration and choose a name that will define your business services even if you decide to expand in the near future.

Importance of domain name:


  • Builds your brand – Domain names help to increase awareness about your business and your brand. A perfect domain name makes it easier for the audience to know your services. The power of word of mouth will help to spread awareness about your brand among the masses.
  • A domain name adds credibility to your business – A domain name leaves a good impression on the audience. A domain name will instil the trust of your target audience into your business and services. Your business will appear more professional and trustworthy. If you are not willing to spend that extra penny to register a domain name, why would the audience trust your products and services?
  • Attracts walk-in business – Picking a domain name that matches the nature of your business can attract a lot of walk-in business online. For instance, if you are dealing with beauty products a domain name like lookbeautiful.com will instantly grab the attention of those searching for beauty products.
  • Establish your business as Tech-savvy – In an era of the digital revolution, having a domain name will establish your business as a forward-thinking one. It will build your reputation as a tech-savvy brand. People trust businesses that have an online presence more than those without an online presence.
  • Search Engine Ranking – A well-developed website with quality content and a good domain name will increase the search engine ranking. Your domain name will be more recognizable on search engines like Google. This, in turn, will increase your customer base and bring you more business.

How To Buy a Domain Name (Exact Steps)


Now that you know how to choose a domain name, let us take you through the steps involved in buying a domain name.

Once you’ve chosen a domain name, you now have to buy it for your business. Here’s how to do that:

1. Choose a domain name

Pick the name you want your business to have. It should appropriately define your services, and if possible, be memorable and a bit catchy.

nameboy domain name generator

Use a domain name generator like Nameboy to help you come up with a good name for your domain.

2. Find a domain registrar

The first step is to find a registrar to register your domain name. As mentioned, I suggest Namecheap.

namecheap search

3. Domain availability

Once you choose a name, you need to check if it is available. Aim for a well known and trusted TLD extension like .com, .net, or .org.

check availability

Keep in mind, the domain with your desired extension may not be available.

If that’s the case, aim for the “next best” available extension. Once you’ve found one, simply pay for the domain and complete the transaction.

4. Domain Registration

Once you make the payment, you’ll need  to complete the registration.

domain registration

Fill in any necessary contact information as required by your registrar. Remember, if you have WHOIS privacy, your personal information will remain private. .

5. Verification

The last and the final step in buying a domain name is to verify the ownership details that you have provided. Once verified, you’re all set.

Congratulations!

Your online business now has a shiny new domain name.

Ready to buy your domain?

To wrap things up, domain names play a crucial role in representing, establishing, and promoting your business on the internet.

A domain name gives an identity to your business and helps to take it a long way.

Beyond branding, a good domain name should help your business generate traffic to your website and attract customers.

We hope this article helps you to select – and buy – the most appropriate domain name for your business.

If you are confused about selecting a domain name for your business, or have questions about different registrars, just shoot us a message on our contact page and we’ll walk you through the process step by step.