From Ana Rincon
1. First, make sure your domain name has not been registered by someone else by doing a "whois" search. Most domain registration sites maintain a whois database, but I generally use VeriSign.com .
2. Enter the domain name you want to check into the online form. Do not enter "www."
3. Some "whois" search forms make you enter a code contained in an on-screen graphic. This is to prevent overuse of the system by automated systems. If you are asked for the code, enter it.
4. The results of the whois search will tell you if anyone already owns the name. If the name is taken, you will have to select another one. If it is unregistered, you can proceed.
5. Select a Domain Name Registrar. This is the company that will manage the domain registration for you. I have put together a list of low cost registrars. You can find others at ICANN.
6. Enter your desired Domain Name on your Registrar's web site.
7. Select the number of years you want to pay for. Paying for more than one year in advance may save you a little money.
8. Enter your contact information. There are four types of contacts: the registrant or owner, technical, billing, and administrative. You may use the same name for all if you wish.
9. If your registrar offers you the option, select a private or public registration. A private registration costs more, but will protect your identity and may cut down on the amount of SPAM you receive.
10. Point your new domain to a Web server or "park" the domain. If you have not yet built a Web site, you should park the name with the registrar. If you have built a site, you must tell the registrar on which Web server the site is located. This information is provided by your Web host.
11. At this point, you are probably done! It may take up to 4 to 8 hours for .com and .net domains to become active and about 24-48 hours for other domain extensions.