Buy a Domain Name

How to Buy a Domain Name and Build A Website

Building a website has become mandatory for any business nowdays. It is necessary to reach more customers online and market your brand to them. None of this can happen unless you buy a domain name for your website.

The domain name can be anything you like with the only requirement being that another site does not use it. This is essentially the name of your site, and it needs to be short, easy to remember, and reflect your business.

Since this is a requirement for any website, the process has become streamlined over the years, so there’s nothing too complicated. As long as you are using WordPress, you’ll be able to build a quality site with minimal effort.

Today, I will outline the process of buying a domain and starting a WordPress website.

What Is a Domain Name?

A domain name is a series of characters (letters or numbers) that links to a numeric IP address. To access a website, the user must input the domain name into their browser’s URL field.

In fact, many mistake the domain name and the URL to be the same thing, but they are very much different.

Consider a simple search on Google for Dogs. The domain name is, but the URL is much longer and contains the search term and other bits of information.

The easiest way to think of this is that the URL leads to a specific page on that domain name. Each domain name must be unique, which is why once a name is taken, that’s it. The only option to get it is to purchase it from the current owner.

Costs of Registering a Doman Name

Every day, over 250,000 new websites are started, which means 250,000 domain names are purchased. Naturally, this has become a common transaction, and the costs of doing so are quite low in most cases.

So, how much does it cost to buy a domain name? Well, in most cases, it is inexpensive and can range between $20 and $40 to register a new domain name. It depends on the extension you choose (.com, .net, .org, and so on).

Naturally, the “.com” extension is the most useful and slightly more expensive than less traditional options. Part of that is also because of how popular .coms are overall.

These prices are only true for registering a new domain, which is what most people do anyway. However, you have probably heard that domain names can go for millions, and that is true.

For example, consider Amazon. If you ever make a typo when spelling Amazon, say you enter “” you will still be taken to Amazon. That’s because they have bought many of the common typos you may enter and have them all redirected to the correct domain.

Companies will do large buyouts of similar names as a way to make sure users find their site and lower the potential of scammers owning the names.

If you do try to buy domain names, be aware that they can go for thousands, it depends on the name.

How to Buy a Website Domain Name

There are several ways to purchase a domain name. The first would be through your web host company, and many will include a domain name when you sign up. The second is to buy one through a domain name registrar.

The third method is buying an existing domain name directly from another person.

The first two methods are the most common options, thus they have been streamlined so that anyone can do it. The third is far more involved and only recommended to established brands that need a specific name.

Method 1: Obtain A Domain Name with GreenGeeks

The first and easiest method is to go through your web hosting company. Naturally, we will be showing the process through our own web hosting services here at GreenGeeks. Currently, your domain name is free when you sign up with us.

It is also worth noting that you can purchase multiple domain names from your web host.

Step 1: Sign Up for GreenGeeks Hosting

Before you can get your free domain name, or purchase one from GreenGeeks, you need to sign up.

The easiest way to do this is to go to our homepage and click on the “Get Started Now” button.


This will bring you to our plans where you can select the one you are interested in. No matter which plan you choose, you are entitled to a free domain for the first year. So, pick what suits you best.

Choose Plan

Step 2: Choose Your Free Domain Name

The first process of signing up in GreenGeeks is to choose your domain name. You can create a new domain name, or in the case you already have one from a different registrar (see Method 2), you can use your existing domain.

Note: Transferring a domain is also free when signing up with GreenGeeks.

Domain Name GreenGeeks

When creating a domain name, remember to keep it short, easy to remember, and that it reflects your business. After this, continue with the rest of the account creation, which just includes entering your personal data.

Step 3: Purchase Additional Domain Names

If you plan on creating multiple sites, you are going to need multiple domain names. You can buy as many domain names from GreenGeeks as you need. Each one has an additional fee, but the process is very quick and easy.

Start by logging into your GreenGeeks account.

Log In

On the left-side menu, click on the Domains option.


On the top-right, click on the “Register A Domain” button.

Register Domain

Enter the domain name you want to register and click the “Domain Lookup” button to see if the name is available for registration. The system will run through and automatically check for you.

Domain Lookup

If the domain is not available, you will get a message in red telling you it is taken. If the domain name is available, you will see how much that domain will cost you for the year.

Click on the “Go to Next Step” button.

Go to Next Step

You already have a hosting account with GreenGeeks, so no additional information is needed at this point. Simply click the “Go To The Next Step” button and provide payment information.

Finally, click on the “Purchase Domain” button.

Purchase Domain

That’s it; you’re now the owner of a new domain name registered with GreenGeeks. You can buy as many as you want with this method.

Optional Step: Purchase Domain Protection

There is one more thing you should consider purchasing alongside your domain name, Domain Name Protection.

Once you purchase a domain name, that information becomes public data. If you do not want your personal information associated with that domain name, Domain Name Protection services can shield your information.

Note: The name of this service varies depending on the domain registrar. In the case of GreenGeeks, it is ID Protect.

They essentially replace your information with fake details to protect your identity. So instead of seeing your name, they will see “John Smith” or “Jane Doe”, but it depends on the service. Some will just say redacted.

The GDPR law that passed in the EU forced all registrars to include basic levels of this service, so no matter where you got your domain name from, you will have an option for this.

Price-wise, it varies from platform to platform, but at GreenGeeks, it costs $9.95 per year for our ID Protect services.

Method 2: Buying From Another Registrar

Your web host is not the only option to purchase a domain from. You can use a domain name purchased from a registrar with any web hosting company. In fact, it is incredibly common to do so, as it can give you better pricing options.

Another benefit is that some registrars will offer Top Level Domain extensions that your web host does not support. And currently, there are over 3,400 extensions to choose from. However, some will have specific requirements, such as .org.

Naturally, the exact steps you’ll need to take depend on that registrar, but it is pretty much identical to the GreenGeeks method.

For example, one of the most popular options is GoDaddy. In this case, you would search for the domain name you want.

Search for the domain name.

This will turn up a search result. If the domain is free, you will see the price you can purchase it for and just need to sign up. If it is taken, GoDaddy actually offers brokerage services where they can help you purchase it from that owner.

That said, it is not guaranteed, and for a more in-depth look at purchasing a domain name from another person, see Method 3.

That’s all there is to it. You’ll just need to sign up and purchase the domain name from the registrar. Then you’ll just need it to point to your web server. The registrar or web hosting company will be able to help you with this process.

In reality, it’s not uncommon for someone to buy a domain from GoDaddy but use GreenGeeks web hosting as it is often cheaper and easier to manage in some cases.

Method 3: Buy A Website Domain Name Directly

In the event that your domain name is already in use, or at the very least, purchased, you really only have two options. The first is to pick a different name, and the second is to approach the owner of that domain and make an offer to purchase it.

Many individuals will buy up domain names with the sole intention of selling them off, for this reason, it costs a lot of money to buy a domain name in this manner, as you are completely dependent on what the seller offers.

This is not an exact science, so I will just go over the general steps, as it ultimately comes down to your interaction with the owner.

Step 1: Find Out Who Owns the Domain Name

Naturally, the first thing you need to determine is who actually owns the domain name you want. While this sounds like a simple task, it is not always the case, luckily, many tools will provide this information.

One such tool is WhoIS Lookup. Here, you can enter the domain and the platform will pull up all of the publicly available information. If it is owned by an individual, you can get their email address, or if it is owned by a registrar, you will get their contact information.

It is also worth pointing out that this site offers a Brokerage service. This will act as the middleman and contact the owner on your behalf to make an offer. It can help reduce stress, and make it seem more professional.

Step 2: Research the Domain Name

If the domain is already owned, well, do a little research and confirm if it is actually being used. If a website for that domain exists and is being updated regularly, the chances that the domain name is for sale are very low.

However, if there is no website for that domain, or the website has not been updated in a long time, you might have a chance to buy it. It can also help you at the negotiating table. Obviously, a very active domain name will have a high price tag.

If it is unused, then the person probably buys the domains exclusively to sell them.

Step 3: Contact Them and Make an Offer

Now it’s the fun part, you must contact the owner with your offer. While you do want to keep the price down, the initial message is the most important. The offer must be enticing enough for them to actually respond.

For instance, if you received an email stating someone wanted to buy a domain name for $5, would you respond? Probably not, and neither would anyone else. The offer you make must be fair and should be open to negotiation.

If you can reach an agreement, congrats, you just bought your dream domain name.

How Long Before the Domain Name is Online?

It really depends on the domain registrar you choose. In most cases, a domain name will go live within 24 to 48 hours of the registration. This waiting time is known as propagation time because the DNS (Domain Name System) needs to propagate worldwide.

This ensures that everyone knows that you own the domain name and that it points to the correct location for your site. The Registrar will typically provide the time estimate when you make the purchase.

In many cases, though, this entire process could take as little as ten minutes.

How to Build a Website with the Domain Name

Choosing a web host and domain name is really just the first step in building a website. Next, you need to decide what kind of website you want to build, what you will use to build it, and actually put it together.

Luckily, over the years, building a website has become significantly easier. In the past, you would need to be an expert in languages like HTML to build pages. Today, that’s simply not the case.

There are so many amazing CMS and website-building platforms that you can choose from that simplify the process. In many cases, you won’t even need to write a single line of code to build a website.

With that said, it is worth pointing out that knowing the basics of coding can go a long way in optimizing your site’s performance.

In either case, we are going to cover the basic steps you’ll need to take when it comes to creating a website.

Step 1: Pick A Web Host

Now, if you bought your domain name through your web host, this step should already be done, but if not, let me explain the important role that a web hosting company plays for your website.

The web hosting company is responsible for renting out and managing a web server. It directly affects the performance of your website, thus not only is it the first step, but it is also the most important.

The good news for customers is that the web hosting industry is extremely competitive. This has driven the price down and improved the quality of the service considerably, but even with this in mind, not all web hosts are equal.

The quality of the servers, the level of support you can expect, the impact on the environment, and many other factors can vary wildly between web hosts.

That’s why at GreenGeeks we strive to ensure our customers get the best prices for the best experience.

Step 2: Choose A CMS to Build With

A Content Management System (CMS) is the platform you use to build a website. There are a ton to choose from, but this is actually the easiest choice you will have to make because WordPress is the best CMS to build with.

It’s highly flexible, requires no coding knowledge, and it’s one of the easiest platforms to use for any skill level. This is all thanks to the platform’s large library of plugins and themes.

A plugin is a small software package that adds a specific feature or set of features to your website. For instance, you can install a security plugin to add a firewall or DDoS protection to your website. Whereas a theme determines the appearance of your website.

Themes are highly customizable and even come with special features that separate them from one another.

With both themes and plugins, you can build any type of website imaginable.

It’s worth pointing out that some plugins will actually give you more design options for your theme, or even allow you to build your own designs.

A great example of this would be a page builder like Elementor.

Step 3: Choose A Website Archetype

There are many types of websites that you can build, and this is the part where you need to select which one to build. For instance, you can build a blog, an eCommerce site, a social network, or something else.

Odds are at this stage you have a pretty clear idea of what you want to make, so what this really boils down to is picking out the best theme and plugins that can help you build that site.

For example, let’s talk about an eCommerce site as an example.

When it comes to eCommerce on WordPress, the WooCommerce plugin is a must-have. In fact, it accounts for nearly a quarter of all eCommerce on the internet. It allows you to add products, keep inventory, accept payments, and much more.

Something else almost all eCommerce platforms have in common is some form of newsletter subscription. This allows you to send out advertisements to alert customers about deals you may be offering. There are plenty of plugins that can help with this.

Of course, there is also the design element. When it comes to themes, it really depends on what you plan to sell. For example, if you sold sports memorabilia, you wouldn’t want a theme that is more tailored to wedding venues.

You can find plugins and themes for free by exploring the plugin and theme directories respectively.

It is also worth pointing out that both of these have premium options that you can buy for more features and support.

Step 4: Add Site Content

Picking out your theme and plugins is like building the framework for your website, but you now need to take the time and fill it with content. Again, it really depends on what kind of site you are building.

In our eCommerce example, that would be adding your products to WooCommerce. This would include all of the relevant information like, what the item is, an image of the item, product description, availability, and so on.

Or let’s say you were building a blog. You would want to ensure there is a healthy amount of content available for visitors who find your site. Thus, you would want several posts on your site, and potentially a few extra that are ready to be published.

That way, you can release them on a schedule while you create more.

By the end of this step, your website should be complete.

Step 5: Marketing Your Website

With the website fully built and full of content, it’s time to start marketing it to the world. After all, your website will not be returning your investment without a healthy supply of visitors. Luckily, there are a lot of ways to go about it.

For starters, and probably the most obvious path, social media. You can build a profile page on all social media websites at no extra charge to you. This allows you to reach a large audience and build your influence.

You can take it a step further by cashing in on the free advertisement tokens that these platforms offer.

That said, eventually, you are going to pay for dedicated advertising.

Another way is to participate in open forums like Reddit or answer questions on Quora. However, make sure you avoid just putting a link to your website. Have it flow organically into your answer or list it as a source.

The communities of these websites can easily pick out spam and downvote you to oblivion.

Domain Name FAQs

We get a fair number of questions regarding domain registration. “Hi, I bought a domain, now what?” That’s a reasonable question!

Here are some of the common domain name questions, and more importantly, the answers to those questions. This should help clear some things up when it comes to buying domain names.

How Long Should a Domain Name Be?

A domain name is recommended to be 17 characters long and to only include three terms. Anything longer becomes difficult to type into a browser, and even worse, difficult to advertise. Keep it short and concise.

What’s the Best Domain Name Extension?

The best domain extension to use is “.com” because of the public perception behind it. Everyone automatically assumes every website ends in “.com” thus not having it can be counterintuitive.

Do Different Domain Extensions Affect Your Website’s SEO?

No. Domain extensions can be thought of as purely cosmetic as far as SEO goes. That said, it is worth pointing out that websites that do not use “.com” can oftentimes seem shady, thus some users avoid them. Fun fact, most scam sites do not use “.com”.

Should I Ever Change My Domain Name?

In 99% of cases, the answer is a hard no. The other 1% only typically falls under a situation where the website has been given an overhaul, thus, a name change is to better match the new look. This is only common for startup companies, and not established sites.

What are Nameservers?

Nameservers associate your domain name with your web host. It is essentially the location where your site files are stored. If you purchase your domain through your web host, the nameservers should be set up for you by the web host.

Should You Buy Multiple Variations of Your Website Domain Name?

For most sites, the answer is no. The only businesses that do this are major corporations because it lowers the risk of scammers using similar website names to trick their consumers. For example, and both point to

Is It Worth It to Buy Website Domain Names to Sell?

Yes and no. It is possible to get lucky and purchase a domain name that can fetch thousands of dollars, or in very rare cases millions. However, it is also possible to buy domain names that never sell, which end up losing you money. The latter is far more common.

Should I Buy a Website Domain Name at an Auction?

If your domain name is owned by another person, you won’t have a choice in the matter. The only way to purchase that domain name is by contacting them directly to purchase it, or through an auction if they conduct one.

Why is a Good Domain Name Important?

A good domain name helps with brand recognition. The ultimate goal is to create a household name, and that is much easier when you have a strong business and domain name that match. It is part of the foundation that your site is built on.

Get Your Domain and Website Today!

As you can see, purchasing a domain and building your website has gotten easier over the years. Both processes have been streamlined to ensure that anyone can do it, which is why building a site has never been easier.

That is because a website has become a mandatory part of any business plan. No matter what kind of business it is, you should have a website. Doing so helps you reach more customers and builds your online presence.

With all of that said, I do need to stress that running a successful site is a full-time job and requires a lot of effort. Even if the process is easier, there is still a learning curve, and it can take some time before things come together.

It all begins by picking a great web hosting company, so be sure to sign up with GreenGeeks today to get started.

How easy did you find it to start a website? Was your domain name available for purchase?

2 thoughts on “How to Buy a Domain Name and Build A Website”

  1. I appreciate how this essay emphasises how much time we spend on choosing domain names. I want to create a website for my company but do not want to go through the domain name selection and purchase procedure. I want to engage a domain name broker to ensure that everything goes well.

    1. That is surely an option. But you’ll wind up paying A LOT more in the long run. If you think the expense is worth the trouble, then a brokerage platform might be what you need. Personally, I’d rather use the money I’d save on domain names by adding other tools to improve the SEO, readability, or marketing of the blog.

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