Namecheap is my favorite domain name registrar and I’ll tell you why.
First of all, Namecheap’s core business is domain registry services. That’s their specialty.
Second, Namecheap is straightforward. Check my tagline: simple and straightforward. I have used other registrars, but many of them offer so many upsells that it leaves the user confused, or broke. They buy things they don’t need, or have elsewhere.
There are a few steps to follow, no matter which registrar you choose, but let’s go take a look at Namecheap.
Step 1. Go to NameCheap.com and insert your chosen domain name.
You first want to decide on a name that represents your business. Once you have selected a name, check to see if it’s available.
Step 2. Type in the name you are thinking of using.
If your domain name it NOT available, you will be notified. In the image below, I typed in “solowebsolutions.com”. You will notice there is a big X next to the name, indicating that it is not available. You could try to purchase it by clicking on the Make offer button.
Or you could choose a variation of your preferred name. If you would like one of those available names, click the Add to Cart button and proceed.
Step 3. If your preferred domain name is available, click the Add to Cart button and then “View Cart” button to proceed.
You will notice that you are able to select from 1 year to 10 years. Sometimes it’s cheaper to buy multiple years, so check for that. It’s really an insignificant amount of money, though, so I wouldn’t let it play too much of a role in your decision. You may want to buy 10 years so you don’t have to think about it for awhile. Or you may want to pay for one year in case you want to leave your options open. Or maybe you just don’t have the cash flow right now. You choose.
Be sure the auto-renew button is on. I’ve known too many businesses you neglected to renew their domain name and someone else bought it (typically to someone who then turns around and tries to charge 100’s of dollars for it, but that’s a story for another day).
You may be offered some other things to purchase, but honestly, I would stick with just the domain name for now (and WhoisGuard, since it’s free forever). You can always go back and buy more if you decide to.
Step 4. Create your account
If you already have an account, sign in. If not, you will need to create an account. Fill out your preferred Username, Password, First Name, Last Name, and Email Address.
You will be directed to a screen where you can review your order, select your payment method, and complete your order. You can back out all the way up to “Confirm Your Order”.
Step 5. Complete your Registrant Information
Now follow the prompts to complete your registrant information.
The Registrant Contact information is important.
You have space for four contacts — they can all be the same, or each one can be different.
The Registrant should be the business owner or his/her agent. It’s the person with the authority to make decisions about the business.
The Administrative Contact is the person you want to handle the day-to-day things like renewing the registration.
The Technical Contact could be the business owner, or the head of the IT or Marketing department. (If I develop your site, it makes life a whole lot easier if I need to contact your registrar.)
The Billing Contact is the person who handles accounts receivable for the company.
Please Note: While the names can all be the same, I highly recommend that one of them be your web developer. Here’s why. I had a client who changed her credit card and her email (deleting the old), so when it came time to renew, they weren’t able to get in touch with her and she lost her domain name. Had I, as her web developer, been listed, they could have contacted me and the nightmare that followed could have been averted.
When you’re finished with all the registrant information, click the “Save and Continue” button, then go ahead and check out.
Step 5. Click on the Confirm Order button when you’re ready to check out.
Double check for accuracy, then select your payment method. Follow the prompts for entering your credit card or PayPal information.
Once you select the Confirm Order button, your order will be completed. You should see a Namecheap confirmation screen, and receive an email with important information. Keep it in a safe place for future reference.
At this point, you will be ready to move onto hosting.