How to buy a domain name…

Here’s some simple instructions on how to buy a domain name.

Firstly we rarely buy domain names on behalf of our customers when we’re doing web design. The reason for this is we much prefer that customers have full control and ownership of their own domains. We’ve seen too many web designers in the past register domain names under their own company details which leads to the person having the website developed not actually owning their own domain name! Normally that’s OK, but we’ve seen real examples of that go bad in the past (the developer refusing to hand the domain back to the customer for example).

  1. Head over to somewhere like and search for the domain name you want, in the box at the top right. This will show what different domain names are available (i.e., .uk, .com). For a UK company we currently recommend (but some companies might like to buy .com as well to protect themselves from other businesses passing themselves off as them)
  2. Add the relevant domain to the basket then checkout.
    Ignore all the offers for extras that they try to tempt you into (123-reg are particularly guilty of this, such as .uk, domain privacy, hosting) – we just want the domain name.
  3. Continue to the checkout and create an account – this is just your account with the company selling the domain name (we often need access to this, see below, so please be aware that we will probably want the user name and password that you use here)
  4. Then enter the ‘Registrant details’. These are the official details on who owns the domain name so make sure you get things right in here.
  5. You then move onto payment.

When that is all done the domain name will be quickly registered in your name.

To point the domain name at a website and make the website development live we usually ask for your account details, which allows us access to the domain management tools they provide when you buy the domain, so we can do technical stuff such as “reassigning the DNS server to the new host”.