A domain name needs to be purchased from a domain registrar.   A domain registrar is a company that handles the selecting of domain name and all the technical configuration to get the domain name available on the Internet.  You actually lease a domain name in 1 year increments.  But, you can keep the domain name as long as you continue to make payments.  Certain information about who purchased a domain name is made available in a public database as a WHOIS record.  Depending on your situation, you may not want this information public.

There are a number of domain registrars available but I recommend Hover.  Hover is a company that focuses just on selling domain names.  They don’t do upsells for other products like website hosting.  They include privacy of your WHOIS record in the price of the domain name.  Their prices are competitive though not the cheapest.  Hover makes it very easy to renew your domain name.

The process to purchase a domain name is first to find an available domain name.  If a domain name is already purchased, you can’t buy it.  The next step is to add the domain name to your cart on Hover and go through the checkout process.  You will need to create an account using an email address.  Once you have entered your payment and completed checkout, you will receive an email receipt.  You can then log into your Hover account and manage your domain name.

If you would like to learn how to buy a domain name on Hover, check out a companion article on Digital Marketing Extreme.