What is a domain name? [How & where to buy one?]

Abhinav Girdhar
By Abhinav Girdhar | Last Updated on March 5th, 2023 1:21 pm | 3-min read
What is a domain name?

For business owners today, it is imperative that their brand has a strong online presence. The most basic and the most critical place to start is, creating a website. As a novice, it is only natural that you are overwhelmed by the barrage of information that is thrown your way. One of the first and most frequently used terms right at the start of the process, that would come your way is – domain name.

What is a domain name?

To put it simply, a domain name is the name of your website. This is the address where all the people on the internet would be able to access your website by typing into the address bar on a browser.

For example, the domain name of your beloved search engine Google is https://www.google.com. The domain name of Appy Pie is www.appypie.com.

A domain name is unique like a fingerprint and no two websites can share the same domain name.

(Above video is a part of a more elaborate course on Academy by Appy Pie. To access the complete course, please Click Here, or continue reading below.)

Now that we have answered your primary question – What is a domain name, it is time to move on to the next part of the blog.

What is a domain name?

Cost of buying a domain name

How much you need to spend on getting the domain name you want for your website depends on the kind of transaction you choose. For example, web hosting providers like SiteGround alternatives sometimes offer a free domain name or charge less than a dollar for the domain name as a part of their web hosting service contract. However, if you were to buy a domain name from domain name registrars the rates may be significantly higher.

(Above video is a part of a more elaborate course on Academy by Appy Pie. To access the complete course, please Click Here, or continue reading below.)

In case you are planning to buy an existing domain name, the cost depends on many factors, including search engine rankings or traffic statistics. Existing domain names can be bought either through a private transaction, through an auction, or on a domain marketplace and the prices can run up to hundreds or even thousands of dollars. In this case, the total costs go beyond the cost of the domain name and include fees for dedicated hosting or setting up/transferring the domain name to a new host.

How to buy a domain name?

Once you have the answer to the question – ‘what is a domain name’, it is time to figure out how to get a domain name that is perfect for your business, is representative of your services or products and is unique. You should definitely try to find a domain name that is catchy and easy to remember!

Here are the steps to buy a domain name:

  1. Choose a reliable domain registration site e.g. GoDaddy.com, Google Domains, Register.com, Squarespace and more.

  2. Go for a domain name that best suits the nature of your business.

  3. Check whether your chosen domain name is available for purchase.

  4. Pick the domain name you like the best from the available options.

  5. Decide the number of years you want to buy the domain name for.

  6. Pick any additional services you may want to go with the domain name like website design, hosting, additional email addresses, etc.

  7. Pay for the whole cart and you are done!

(Above video is a part of a more elaborate course on Academy by Appy Pie. To access the complete course, please Click Here, or continue reading below.)

How to buy a domain name – Top Tips

If you have just done a Google search on – ‘How to buy a domain name for cheap’, you must have seen multiple results show up where you can buy premium domains cheap. However, while you are trying to weigh in on all the lucrative offers available, it is important that you take a beat and go through the tips below so that you do not fall in grave trouble.

(Above video is a part of a more elaborate course on Academy by Appy Pie. To access the complete course, please Click Here, or continue reading below.)

  1. Avoid choosing the “almost-same” domain names
  2. It is natural to be tempted, when you see a similar domain name that doesn’t have the ‘.com’ at the end of it. Resist that temptation to go for a bizarre variation of the domain name you want, just because it is available. As a rule:

    • Avoid buying domain names with a hyphen.
    • Do not go for domain names that end in .org, .net, .biz and the likes.
    • Steer clear of domain names that have multiple variations of spellings and numbers.

  3. Go for an established registrar
  4. On your first Google search you must’ve come across hundreds of sites where you can buy your domain name from. Today, anyone can start domain registration and hosting business, but they would not be able to offer the kind of customer support that the bigger industry players can. Also, there is always a possibility of them shutting shop. Where would that leave you?

  5. Hold a brainstorming session before starting with the search
  6. Domain name generators are a great place to start even before you start searching for domain names. These online tools come up with multiple variations and give you a bunch of ideas to get started on.

    What is a domain name?

  7. Go for the 2-year time period
  8. It may seem like a huge commitment, but guess what commitment really pays! When you buy for 2 years in a go, you get a lower price, you save up on time and the hassle of the initial time period, and a BIG advantage is that Google rewards your commitment (SEO wise) with higher search rankings.

  9. Steer clear of generics
  10. There are companies that prefer generic domains with a single word like travel.com, cars.com and the likes. However, this concept is flawed because it plays your brand recognition really low. Clients prefer companies over generic industry names, and so does Google.

  11. Get into the details
  12. When you are looking for cheaper options, make sure that you check up on all the details. There are some who offer free private registration, while others charge for it as an extra. Hence, when you are comparing different registrars, make sure that you compare them right. Check for features and elements like:

    (Above video is a part of a more elaborate course on Academy by Appy Pie. To access the complete course, please Click Here, or continue reading below.)

    • Auto domain renewals.
    • Free domain parking.
    • Free domain forwarding.
    • Hosting options.
    • Renewal costs.


Choosing the right domain and registering it the right way is extremely important for your future in any industry. Hence, even if it is a lucrative offer, if you are not sure of the source, refrain from making the purchase.

The steps listed above will answer all your questions including:

  • What is a domain name?
  • How to buy a domain name?
  • How to find a good domain name?

Apart from this, the tips to buy premium domain names will help you get what you want without falling for misleading advertisements or breaking your bank!

Have you already bought your domain name? Appy Pie’s website builder lets you link your domain name to your website for free. Try it now!

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Abhinav Girdhar

Founder and CEO of Appy Pie

App Builder

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