Register a Web Address
Registering a Domain Name (Website Address)
What is a "Website Address"?
A website address (also called a "domain name") is what you type at the top of a web browser (like Internet Explorer) to get to a website. For example, typing the website address "google.com" will take you to Google's website. This article will show you how to register your own website address, so when people type "your-church-name.com", they'll be taken to your website. Let's get started...
For the purposes of this tutorial, we'll pretend we're registering a website address for a church named "Our Lady Queen of Peace".
Step 1: Find a registrar
We like NameCheap, as they typically have the lowest prices (around $10-15 per year for most names), their website is easy to use, & they don't bombard you with confusing up-sell options.
Step 2: Find an available website address
Finding an available website address can involve a bit of "trial and error". Our fictitious church will find that "ourladyqueenofpeace.com" is already registered (in this case it's owned by a charity), so what do we do? Here are a few tips:
- Try A Different Extension: ".com" isn't the only extension available. Other commonly used extensions include ".org", ".us" (if USA based), ".ca" (if Canada based), ".org.uk" (if UK based), ".org.au" (if Australia based), and the list goes on. There is even a ".church" extension coming soon (though not available at the time of writing).
- Abbreviate: We might try to register "ourladyqop.com", which is shorter (always good), and very easy to remember.
- Add A Location: If our fictitious church is in Houston, we might try "ourladyqueenofpeacehouston.com". If the name becomes a bit too long (as it does in this case), we recommend also abbreviating the name, so we'd end up with something like "qophouston.com" or "qophouston.org".
- Add A Dash: If your name is really short, like "St. Mary's", then it's OK to register "st-marys.com" if it's available; however, in our case, "our-lady-queen-of-peace.com" is just too long and messy. As a side note, most of the time dashes will make a website address difficult to remember, so it's best to use them only as a last resort.
Your chosen Registrar will usually recommend alternative names for you, based on the rules above, though the results aren't always the best, which is why we've included these tips.
Step 3: Register The Name
Once you've found an available name, go ahead and register it. The price can vary, but as long as it's within the $10-$20 (per year) price range, you're getting a fair deal (we recommend NameCheap). The registration & checkout process is typically quite straightforward. After a few minutes, you'll have your website address all locked up and ready to use for the website.
Note: If you're using GoDaddy (the most popular Registrar), you'll be bombarded with up-sells that are often worded to sound as if you need them (like "Email Accounts" or "Protect My Domain") - you don't need any of it, just keep clicking "next" until you reach the checkout page.
Once you've finished the checkout process, you're ready to tell your ParishPal website about your new website address.