Chapter 3. Buying a Domain Name

In This Chapter

  • Researching available domain names

  • Registering and purchasing a domain name

  • Registering a name privately

  • Buying multiple domain names

Buying a domain name, which is both inexpensive and easy, can have a surprising number of pitfalls. It's hard to learn about the pitfalls without going through the process — and making some mistakes — a few times. Having done this, we can share our experiences with you.

The key things we recommend are

  • Avoiding mistakes during the sign-up process.

  • Registering only names you need.

  • Locking up "your" name — the one that seems ideal to you — with a domain name registrar.

  • Guarding against spam, identity theft, and fraud.

In this chapter, we first describe where to register, depending on who's going to host your site; then we take you through the domain-name purchasing process. Next, we address the major possible pitfalls and show you how to avoid them.

Why Are Some Domain Names Unavailable?

It's a lot of fun to check different domain names and dream of what you might do if you find a good one.

Many of the domain names you might want are already tied up, for several possible reasons, including

  • Legitimate use for a "real" Web site: This is the obvious one. Someone has registered the domain name for legitimate uses and has already or is about to put up a Web site behind the domain name.

  • Domain name speculation: Someone has registered the domain name hoping to sell it at a profit. If a speculator has your domain name, you may ...

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