If you want to have your own domain name (e.g., http://www.yourname.com) for your weblog, you need to register accordingly with a domain registrar. Domain registration can be done on a yearly basis or you can pay in advance (2, 3, 5, 10 years, etc.). Once registered, you can associate your domain name with a hosting service or direct it to an existing site or weblog.
There are many companies offering different types of services and some web hosting companies even handle the registration process for you. Here's a list of ICANN-Accredited registrars .
The domain name registrars that I have used with my own weblogs/websites are as follows:
- Easy Name Service - http://eznameservice.com/ (Price: Mid-range to High)
It's not the cheapest domain name registrar around, but I find them quite reliable.I'm also pleased with their customer service.
- Go Daddy - http://www.godaddy.com/ (Price: Low / Cheap)
This is probably one of the cheapest domain name registrars you'll find. They're also reliable and they have good online documentation to help users with their accounts. However, getting "live help" (technical support) can be very difficult.
- Register.com - http://www.register.com/ (Price: High)
This company offers domain name registration and DNS services. They're a bit pricey compared to their competitors, but they're very reliable. And, they offer professional customer service. You can get cheaper domain name registration if you include other services like web hosting in your account.
- Dotster - http://www.dotster.com/ (Price: Mid-range)
The company is a reputable domain registrar. But, I wasn't really impressed with the services bundled with the domain name registration.
- Bravenet - http://www.bravenet.com/domains/register.php (Price: Mid-range)
The domain name comes free with a Pro Hosting package with this service. If not, one year registration costs US$ 14.95. I used the domain registration service with the hosting package for one year and was not happy with the service. Needless to say, I did not renew my domain registration with this company.
Out of these five domain name registrars I've tried over the years, I'm now only using Easy Name Service and Go Daddy.
Price Guide for typical domains like .com, .net, .org (per year):
- US$ 10.00 and below: Low Price / Cheap
- US$ 10.01 - US$ 19.00: Mid-range
- US$19.01 and above: High Price
Hot Tip: Be careful of domain registrars offering very low prices. You might still have to pay additional fees for basic services such as adding DNS nameservers, domain forwarding, etc. Make sure you know what you're paying for!