The Ultimate Domains Guide for the Non-Tech Savvy in 2024

Learn how to choose domains, how much it costs and what to consider when buying them.

22/12/2023 10 minutes read Guides

Understanding domains

What is it?

A website domain is the unique address that you type into your browser to access a specific web page.

If you have a website, having a domain is essential for it to appear in Google search results and for people to be able to visit it.

Parts of a domain name

Let's break down what makes up a domain name. It's pretty simple and usually has two or three parts:

  • Name: This is the bit you get to choose, the unique identifier of your website. Take "" for example, "google" is the name part. It's your chance to be creative and pick something that really represents your site.
  • Extension: After the name comes the extension, a small bit with at least two letters:
    • Generic names: You've probably seen the usual suspects like '.com', '.org', and '.net'. But there's a whole world of less common ones too, like '.studio', '.store', or even '.wtf'.
    • Country code name: Country code extensions like '.uk' for the United Kingdom, '.eu' for Europe, and '.es' for Spain, which link your site to a specific country.
  • Subdomain (optional): This is the additional part that precedes the main domain name. Some examples can be: "" and "", and is used to give addresses to other web pages (other than the web page with the main domain).

Important distinction of subdomains

Unlike main domains, which serve as the primary gateway to a website, subdomains act as separate entities under the main domain's umbrella.

For example, a company like Microsoft might use its main domain ( for general information, while employing subdomains for specific departments or functions, like and

This helps search engine optimization (SEO), as search engines treat subdomains as separate websites, allowing for targeted content strategy and optimization.

The 3 key principles to choosing your ideal domain name

Keep it short and memorable

  • The power of conciseness: Aim for a domain name that's concise. Shorter names are easier to remember, type, and share. The ideal length? Try to keep it under 10-15 characters.
  • Make it memorable: A catchy or unique name sticks in people's minds. Think of how easily recognizable names like Google or Reddit are. Your domain should have that 'easy-to-recall' quality.


When picking a short and memorable domain name, consider using less common domain extensions. While .com, .net, and .org are the most recognized, exploring options like .io, .co, or even .biz can open up a world of possibilities.

Sometimes, you can get creative by blending the extension into your name. Imagine a bakery using ".cake" – like "Janes.cake". It’s fun, inventive, and sticks in the mind.

Make it relevant and intuitive

  • Reflect your brand or purpose: Although it's not essential, if your domain name gives people an instant idea of what your site is about, it could be helpful. For example, if you’re into baking, something like '' instantly suggests what you might be offering.
  • Avoid overly specific names: While being relevant is important, don’t restrict future growth. For example, "" is great, but if Tom decides to blog about more than computers, the name might become limiting.

Avoid complexity

  • Steer clear of numbers and hyphens: They can confuse people. Is it '5' or 'five'? Did that domain have a hyphen? You want to avoid these questions.
  • Easy to spell and pronounce: Think about telling someone your domain name in a conversation. If you have to spell it out or correct their pronunciation, it's too complex.

Also consider including a keyword in your domain (optional)

  • SEO advantage: Keywords in your domain can help a bit with search engine rankings. If you're a plumber in Boston, '' is a jackpot.
  • But don’t overdo it: Beware of stuffing too many keywords. '' is a mouthful and looks spammy.

Domain costs

How much does a domain cost?

The price of a domain varies only by two factors: the domain extension and the domain provider. Common extensions such as ".com" usually cost between 10€ and 17€ per year, and the provider is the one that defines the price of the domain within this approximate range.

For example if we want to buy the domain "", we have to choose a provider from which we are going to buy it. There are some quite cheap providers like "Porkbun" that give it to you for 10€/year, and there are some more expensive ones like "Squarespace Domains", where the first year costs 11€/year, and the following years 18€/year.

So, what is the difference between the suppliers? Is there any difference if you buy from one than from the other?

The domain itself will be exactly the same if you buy it from one provider than from the other. What makes the difference are the additional things you get along with the domain:

  • Additional services: Providers may offer different add-on services, such as domain privacy protection, SSL certificates and etc.
  • Ease of use: When you buy a domain from a provider, the provider gives you access to a control panel with which you can manage your domain. These control panels vary between providers, some being more intuitive and easy to use, and others being advanced or unnecessarily complex.
  • Technical support: The quality and availability of customer service is also an aspect that can vary quite a bit. If you have no technical knowledge and plan to manage the domain yourself, be aware that this is something you will need.

Other things to consider


Be aware that the domain name you're interested in might not be available for purchase, owing to several common scenarios:

  • Occupied by another entity: Your desired domain may be already registered by someone else. In that case, you will have to look for alternatives, such as name variations or consider other available extensions.
  • Registered but inactive: Sometimes, a domain may be registered but not being actively used. In these cases, you can try contacting the current owner to see if they are willing to sell it. There are situations where the owners may be open to negotiating the domain.
  • Pending expiration status: Domains not renewed by their owners enter a waiting phase before they become publicly available again. If you're interested in such a domain, monitoring its status is wise, as it might soon become available for public registration.
  • Classified as a premium domain: Certain domains are considered "premium" due to factors like brevity, popular keywords, or inherent value. These domains are often available for purchase but at significantly higher prices reflecting their high demand and perceived worth.

The limitations/requirements of geographic domain extensions

If you are considering purchasing a domain with a geographic extension, these are the important limitations to consider:

  • Eligibility Rules: Some countries have strict rules about who can register their domain extensions. For instance, to snag a '.eu' domain, you might need to be a resident or have a business within the European Union.
  • Local Presence: In some cases, you might need a physical address or a representative in the country to qualify. This can be a hurdle if you're a digital nomad or running an international online business.
  • Changing regulations: Policies for registering a ".es" domain may change over time, so it is important to be aware of current regulations when registering and maintaining the domain.
  • SEO Implications: These extensions can be great for local SEO, making it easier for people in that country to find you. But remember, it might limit your global reach a bit.

Security and protection

Embracing WHOIS Protection for Privacy

Let's start with WHOIS protection. When you register a domain, your personal information is listed in the public WHOIS database – think of it as your details being in a massive internet phonebook.

To avoid unwanted calls and emails, WHOIS protection is like making your number unlisted. This service, usually offered for a small fee by registrars, keeps your personal information private, safeguarding you from prying eyes.

The Importance of SSL Certificates

Next up, SSL certificates. These are crucial for creating a secure connection between your website and its visitors. Imagine a secret handshake that only your site and your users know – that's what an SSL certificate does.

It encrypts sensitive data, like credit card numbers, ensuring it's safe from hackers. Plus, it's not just about security; SSL certificates make your site look trustworthy (thanks to the padlock icon in browsers) and not having it can penalize your SEO rankings.


What's the difference between a domain and a hosting?

They are totally different things, and to have a web page, you need both the domain and the hosting.

  • Domain: You can imagine that the domain is like your home address on the internet. It is what you type in your browser to get to a particular web page, such as "".
  • Hosting: Hosting is like the land where you build your house on the Internet. It is the space you rent so that your website is online and accessible to everyone, and that is where all the things that make your website work, like code, images, videos and so on, are stored.

Can I transfer my domain to a different registrar?

Sure thing! Transferring your domain to a different registrar is much like choosing a new home for your online presence. Whether you're after better customer service, more features, or cost savings, moving your domain is a straightforward process.

What happens if I forget to renew my domain?

If you forget to renew your domain, it doesn't immediately become unavailable, but it does enter a period of uncertainty.

Initially, your domain will go into a grace period after expiration. This duration varies depending on the registrar but generally lasts from a few days to a month. During this grace period, you still have the chance to renew your domain at the regular price.

However, if the grace period ends and you haven't renewed your domain, the situation becomes more critical. The domain then enters what is known as the redemption phase. Renewing your domain in this phase is usually possible, but it comes with significantly higher fees – think of it as a penalty for missing the initial renewal deadline.

If you also miss this redemption period, your domain is released and made available for public registration again. At this point, anyone can register your domain name, which can be a real issue if you've built up a brand or online presence around it.

A word of caution

To avoid these complications, it's highly recommended to set reminders for your domain's renewal date or opt for the auto-renewal feature offered by most registrars.

Keeping your contact details up to date with your registrar is also crucial, ensuring you receive all necessary notifications regarding your domain's status. Taking these simple steps can save you from the hassle and potential loss of your online identity.

Wrapping up

There you have it – a complete guide to navigating the world of domains, tailored for those who aren’t tech wizards. Picking and protecting your domain doesn't have to be a chore or a puzzle. It’s about making smart, informed choices.

Key takeaways:

  • Choose wisely: Your domain name is your digital identity. Make it memorable, relevant, and easy to type.
  • Protect your domain: Invest in security features like WHOIS protection and SSL certificates. It’s like locking your car – basic but essential.

So go forth, choose a domain that reflects your vision, and build your corner of the internet with confidence and creativity. Happy domain haunting!