A domain is your "dot com" name...your website address. To get a domain name, you have to register it for a year (or longer) at an authorized company called a registrar.
Domains can end in a number of extensions (.com, .net, .org, .gov, .tv, and many more). Each extension is called a TLD (top-level domain) and different organizations are responsible for different TLDs. If you can register for the TLD (some TLDs have restrictions, like .gov), then you can use it for your website. Most companies prefer using .com because it is easily recognizable as a website address.
Finding A Domain Name
Finding available domains (domains that are unregistered) used to be a slow, time consuming process. We recommend using Instant Domain Search to quickly find available domain names. As you start typing in the search box, it will immediately tell you if the .com, .net, and .org are available. There are a few overlaps where it will tell you that a domain is available when it is not, but overall it is a great system.
Registering A Domain Name
Registering a domain used to be controlled by one company so prices were high. The system was opened up to other companies and pricing became competitive (there are still a few companies who try to charge too much for domain registration because of their name recognition and because customers don't know any better). If you are paying more than $10 a year, then you are paying too much.
Although you don't want to pay much more than $10 a year (over time these prices are going back up because of pricing rules), you do want to make sure that you are choosing a reputable company who provides excellent customer support. It can be very frustrating to have a problem with your domain and not have anyway to resolve the issue because you chose the cheapest registrar you could find.
TowerQ recommends using NameCheap for domain registration, but feel free to use any registrar that you prefer. Once you find a domain you want to use at Instant Domain Search you can then go to the home page of NameCheap and enter that domain in the search box at the top of their page to begin the registration process. If you need help, don't hesitate to contact us.
Setup Name Servers
The whole system used to register domain names and make them work is often referred to as DNS (domain name system). The system is kind of like a massive phonebook. It keeps a list of every domain and knows where to direct users when a domain name is typed into a web browser. In order for this system to point to the right place, you have to tell your registrar who is responsible for your domain. This is accomplished by changing your domain's name servers.
You typically point your domain name servers to your host. If you chose to use TowerQ, then TowerQ will be your host and you will need to point your domain name servers to TowerQ's domain name servers:
Here is a step-by-step video that shows how to change the name servers on NameCheap: Demo: Changing DNS for your domain
If you are using another registrar and need help changing your name servers, feel free to contact us. Please keep in mind that DNS changes can take from 24 to 48 hours before they are complete.
If you already have a website, you have either registered your domain yourself or the company/person who built your website registered your domain for you. If someone else registered your domain, then you will need to contact them to learn how to change the name servers for your domain.
If you have any questions or run into any problems, don't hesitate to let us know. We will do our very best to walk you through step-by-step. Once you have a domain name, you are ready to setup an account.