What is a domain registrar? Lets make this easy – a domain registrar helps you purchase and manage your own domain name.
A domain name is the address a website uses on the Internet. For example, ours is
If you want to make a website, you need a domain name, which means that you’ll need to interact with a domain registrar in some way.
Let’s get into more detail…
What is a domain registrar? In more detail
Like I mentioned before, you need to buy and register your domain name. You can buy one of these from a domain registrar. A domain registrar is a person or entity who helps you to buy and register a domain.
Helpfully, most registrars offer intuitive tools that help you search available names. On your part, you simply fill in the name of your choice and make payment.
In practice, domain names are not sold to you outright. You only get to lease the names for a period of time. Most domain registrars keep track of expiry dates and offer renewal services too.
How domain registrars work
Domain names are not something that can be bought off the shelf. There’s a top-level non profit authority for managing domain names – ICANN (Internet Corporation for Assigned Names).
ICANN oversees domain registration. The domain names are all entered in a central registry (domain registry), and needless to say, your domain name will have to find a place in it to be valid.
In fact, it’s the domain registry that actually manages and maintains domain names. The registry leaves the task of commercial sales of domain names to domain registrars.
In order to be a domain name registrar, you need accredition from ICANN. In turn, domain registrars can sell domain names to you directly, or through re-sellers. If you’re looking for proper service, it’s best to buy the domain names directly from the domain registrars.
To widen the choice of domain names, we use different domain extensions – for example
.org. Or country specific extensions such as
.au. You should know that not all domain registrars sell all extensions and this may limit your choice of domain registrars.
Lets do this with an example – Verisign maintains the registry for
.com domains. In case you want a
.com domain for your website, you’ll have to buy it from a domain registrar who deals with the
.com extensions. The registrar will inform Verisign to reserve the domain for you and pays a fee to Verisign on your behalf. The registrar includes this fee in the amount he collects from you.
Nowadays, domain registrars offer a number of add-on services like hosting or privacy or domain transfers. In fact, many of them are one-stop shops for domain name registration, website setup, hosting and managed hosting. If you wish, you can find out more about hosting here. In case you’re particular about WordPress hosting, this post will help you. It makes sense to get your domain name from your host, else you may have to pay a transfer fee for shifting the domain.
Next steps & how to get started
If you want to get started with a domain name and domain registrar, we have plenty of guides to help you out.
If you’re still short on ideas, you can always use a domain name generator.
And once you have a domain name, you can follow our complete guide on how to make a website to turn your domain into a working website.
Any other questions about what a domain registrar is? Leave a comment and we’ll try to help!
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