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How do I get a URL for myself?

Get a URL for myself - how to

This may sound like a dumb question and may have a simple answer, but how can I get a URL for myself? And if you can assist me further – how can I get an email on my URL?
Ben Flynn

No question is dumb. Only one that is not asked. Having said that, your first question, based on your second query, is not correctly framed. I think you are confused between a URL and a domain name.

So at the risk of boring you with technical jargon, here is a quick brief on the difference between a URL and a domain name (refer that post for details). The former is simply an address of a file on the Internet while the latter is human-friendly name of a website (generally). Also a URL can contain a domain name.

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From your two questions, I gather that you want a domain name! Something like example.com, right? Additionally, you would also want an email address on that domain name, such as yourname@example.com.

Getting a domain name is really pretty simple. There are hundreds of companies selling these. And domain names from these domain registrars cost USD 10-15 per year. However, before you can register one, the name has to be available… therefore, not owned by someone else.

Before you rush to purchase a domain name (URL, in your words), here are a few pointers:

  • It’s always a good idea to pick a domain registrar that is trustworthy. I recommend GoDaddy.com or NetworkSolutions.
  • Registering a domain name is similar to buying a product online. You would need to create an account at the domain registrar. Make sure you keep the login information (username and password) safe. You will require it later at the time of renewing the domain name (more on this in the next point).
  • Purchasing a domain name will not make you own it forever! Domain names are leased out (or registered) for a minimum of a year or multiples thereafter. At the time of writing, the maximum period for which one can book a domain name is 10 years (this may vary depending on the TLD).
  • Finding a good domain name takes time, unless you are lucky. It may cause a little frustration especially when all your choices are already registered. Do not give hope and do not settle for long-winded names. A short memorable name is always a good idea. Check out the extensive tips I’ve listed at how to get your own domain name.
  • Do not get scammed by companies offering domain names for free. With every “free” item, there is always a catch. And the same holds true for domain names. I don’t want to go into details, simply bear in mind that if you get the domain name for free, you would be parting with something else.

An email address on your domain name

Most registrars will also sell one or more email addresses as an add-on to the domain name. This, in my opinion, is the simplest way to get an email address on your domain name without getting into the hassle of web hosting.

So before you make the final purchase of the domain name, check up if the company also offers email addresses and add them to your order. The advantage is that, even though it may cost a tad more than hosting emails at a different company, it will save some time. Everything will be set up quickly and the email accounts would be available almost immediately. Additionally, if you are very new to all this, you’ll be spared of a lot of headache.

Let’s summarise. A URL (which stands for Universal Resource Locator) is an address of a file (resource) on the Internet. A domain name is a human-readable form of an I.P. address (if it is hosted). What you needed is a domain name and not your own URL!

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