How and why to register your own domain name
In this article we talk about why registering a domain name is an important first step in beginning your breakup with Big Tech, and how you can take a few simple steps today to begin to take back control of your digital life.
First we have to explain what a domain name actually is.
A domain name, as the “name” portion implies, is the name of your online presence. Domain names are how you found this website — breakingupwithbigtech.com. If you came here via search engine, you used their domain name to find the search engine, such as startpage.com. You might also be interested in our review of search engines (coming soon).
A domain name is made up of two or more parts.
The first part is the “Top Level Domain”, or TLD. This is the .com, .org or .gov part of the domain names we all know from the internet. Over the years of the growth of the internet, the traditional list of TLDs got crowded, and new TLDs were added. The list is now quite large, and now includes TLDs such as .guru, .expert, .baby and even .horse, which has already taught us a valuable lesson in copyright enforcement. The TLDs are used to group domains together into sub-groups in somewhat the same way as area codes do for telephone numbers, or zip codes for the postal service.
The next part is uniquely yours, and what makes your domain name yours.
The domain name system is not only for corporations or businesses. Anyone can register a domain, and the process is super easy. Follow along with our simple step by step instructions.
Step One: What is your domain name?
If you have already decided on a domain name to register, feel free to skip to step two.
The first step is sometimes the hardest — what to name your digital domain?
Some practical wisdom here – don’t obsess about this. Domain registration is relatively inexpensive, and they renew annually. You don’t have to keep a domain that you do not like, and you can register as many as you have funds. A good choice for an individual wanting to reclaim their data might be their family surname. There is even a .family TLD.
When you have decided on a domain to register, it is time to check availability.
Step Two: Check domain availability
The next step is to verify that the domain is available. Head over to a registrar. We have used and can recommend both NameCheap and GoDaddy..
Step Three: Register the domain
If you haven’t already, go ahead and sign up for an account and purchase the domain.
One important consideration at this step is privacy protection on your domain registration.
In order for a domain to be registered it must have a valid administrative, technical and billing contact. The contact must list name, address, email and telephone number. This information is public and viewable by anyone who knows where to look for it. This, unfortunately, leads to an almost unbelievable amount of phone calls and emails soliciting services to the new domain owner.
My advice to anyone is that the extra charge for privacy protection is worth every cent, in my personal experience.
Next Steps: Purchasing your own cloud server
Wow. You’re already done, and you have your very own .place or .rodeo to show for it. Congratulations!
In our next post we will take a look at how you can get your very own private server on the internet.