WordPress Tutorial #1
I recommend Namecheap.com as a domain name registrar. Here I’ll step you through instructions for registering your domain with them.
If you choose a different registrar, follow their instructions. They’ll need the same basic information as Namecheap, though, so you can organize what you need ahead of time.
Here’s the screen you see when you first navigate to Namecheap’s website.
#1. Check to make sure your domain name is available
First we’re going to see if our preferred domain name is available. Here’s what you first see when you go to Namecheap.com.
Next, type in the domain name you want to check.
I’ve typed in “wpbuildingblocks” in the space above. They automatically fill in the “www” at the beginning and the “.com” at the end.
If you don’t want a .com — maybe your site is for a nonprofit so you want .org — click the box for a dropdown list of available top-level domains and choose the one you want.
As you see, we get a message that wpbuildingblocks.com is not available. Let’s try something else.
Let’s search for is MrEdTalkingHorse.com.
Fortunately, this one’s available.
Notice that “MrEdTalkingHorse is also available for .net, .org, .info, .biz and other extensions. If you want to make sure nobody grabs up your business name online, you should register the name with all the most popular extensions.
Many businesses also reserve some of the more common negative variations of their business name — “MrEdTalkingHorseSucks.com,” MrEdTalkingHorseScam.com” and so on. This can help down the road if a disgruntled customer, vendor or ex-employee wants to say nasty things about you online.
#2. Add to Shopping Cart
Click the “Add to Cart” button (#1).
Now you see that the domain was successfully added to the shopping cart.
Namecheap automatically gives you a year or “WhoisGuard” free when you register a domain name with them.
They also offer you a hosting plan and a few other goodies. We’re going to ignore those for right now. (In fact, even though it might seem easier, I don’t recommend hosting with your registrar.)
If you want to register the name with a .net, .biz or other extension, click the dropdown box (#2) and select the one you want, then click “Add to Cart” again.
#3 Create Your Account
At this point you need to create an account. Just fill in your preferred:
- password (twice)
- first name
- last name
If you want their newsletter, leave the checkbox alone, otherwise just deselect it. Then click the big red “Create Account” button.
#4 Complete your Registrant Information
Notice along the top of the screen your username now shows up (I’ve blocked mine out here, but yours will appear in the area I’ve circled in red).
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 stuff like renewing the registration.
The Technical Contact could be the business owner, or the head of the IT or Marketing department.
And the Billing Contact, obviously, is the person who handles accounts receivable for the company.
Chances are, if you’re here learning how to build your online house with WordPress, you’ll put your name in all four slots.
To save time, you can copy the registrant information automatically.
When you’re finished with all the registrant information, click the “Save and Continue” button, then the big orange “Continue” button on the right.
Just a Couple More Decisions. . .
Select the appropriate button if you want Namecheap to automatically renew your domain. (If you let it lapse, it can cost you a lot of money to get it back, and you risk losing it altogether.)
I recommend enabling WhoisGuard. It can cut down on the amount of spam email you’re likely to get.
I recommend leaving the remaining settings alone. You can always go back and make changes later if you need to.
Time to Check Out!
Double check for accuracy, then select your payment method. Follow the on-screen prompts for entering your credit card or PayPal information.
When that’s done, you’ll see a Namecheap confirmation screen, and you’ll also receive an email containing important information. File it in a safe place for future reference.
Once you’ve received your email, go ahead and log out of Namecheap.
Congratulations! You’ve just completed the first, important step in establishing your WordPress website!
Now you need to sign up for web hosting. Click here to find out more.
Do you have a question about Domain Name Registration? Use the form below.