[HOW TO] Register a domain name

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Creating a website for a business these days takes all but 30 minutes and zero bucks from your pocket, thanks to a plethora of blog-style resources that allow you to do so.

But what if you want your own domain name that doesn’t piggyback on another site but don’t know where to start? Well, let htxt.africa take you through what to do.

Step 1: Choose a Registrar

You want to start off by finding a registrar website that lets you register a domain name in South Africa. Three good sites we suggest using are Register Domain, Web Africa or Domains. They’re easy to navigate through and tell you everything you need to know about registering a domain.

For consistency purposes, we’ll use Register Domain as our reference website throughout this article; the other two websites should more or less work the same way.

Step 2: Check if your domain name is available

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In the registration site’s top homepage section, you should see a search bar where you have to type in your desired domain name, just to make sure no one else has already snapped it up before you.

If the name has been taken, don’t despair yet, there are other top level domains (TLD) other than .com, like .joburg, .durban etc. for you to explore, and you might find that your desired domain name is still available under one of these instead.

In the case that your domain name isn’t available no matter the TLD, well just like with social media user names and email addresses, you’ll have to get a bit creative and come up with something else. Once you have one that isn’t taken, then you can proceed.

Step 3: Know what you’re getting

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Now that you have chosen a domain name that’s available, you should read up on what you’ll be getting when you register on the site.

With Register Domain, you’ll get domain parking, which allows you to host your name and not have it go live for a certain period until you’re ready to launch, the ability to see when your website is down in and outside South Africa, social media tracking to see when your domain name is mentioned in any posts and more.

You also have the option of having the registrar host your website, which means store all of its files on its servers and manage its traffic. Other sites should also offer more or less the same things.

You can choose to either lease your domain on a year-to-year basis, meaning you’ll have it registered for one year from the time you’ve registered until you have to renew your lease, or extend it to five years.

In terms of cost, prices start from as little as R75 to register a .co.za domain name on a one year lease, and increase according to the extra services you may want to bolt on.

Step 4: Check all the right boxes and check out

Before completing your registration, make sure you’ve read all the terms and conditions through and that you’ve ordered what you want and none of what you don’t.

If you’re happy that everything is in order, proceed to checkout and select the payment option you’ll be using.

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And that’s it, you’re done!

Once everything is set up, it’s time to start a far trickier task, actually designing and building your site. We may feature a How To on how to go about that in the near future, so stay tuned.

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