Choosing a Domain Name, Step By Step

Last Monday, we wrote about why it’s important to have a web site for your business on its own domain without relying only on Facebook or a free blog.

So what are you waiting for?

Maybe it’s because you haven’t selected a domain name yet?

Today, we’ll walk you through the very simple steps involved in finding and registering your own web site domain name from the EarthLink web site.

Hopefully, this will give you a gentle nudge to get you going in the right direction.

Web hosting - website services at EarthLink

  1. From the EarthLink homepage (, click Web Sites and then Domain Reservation & Email Hosting in the top navigation bar (shown in screenshot above).In the Domain Reservation box, click the Sign Up button (don’t worry: you can search for a domain name without signing up) to access our Domain Search.
  2. In the big search box, type in the domain names you are considering. If it is a 2 or 3 word domain name, make sure you type it in with no spaces (websitedomainname not website domain name).
  3. The domain name search results will show you which top-level extensions (e.g., .com and .org) the domain name is available for. Available extensions will be grey and unavailable extensions will be red. In the screenshot below you’ll see that for the domain name DomainNameExample, is not available, while all the other extensions are available. DomainNameSearch is only available with .name or .telextensions.Domain name search results - successful domain search
  4. One thing to be aware of: if you search for a domain using the extension in the search (for example, you enter and it is available, the result will be shown in green, but if you don’t specify the lop-level extension the same result will be grey.Domain name search success.
  5. Click on one or more available top-level extensions that you are ready to reserve and then click the next > button at the bottom of the page.
  6. Specify how many years you want to reserve your domain name (longer is safer, so you don’t accidentally lose your domain if you forget to renew it) and click the add to cart button.
  7. From the following page you can add any domain extras you want and choose a web hosting or ecommerce hosting plan if you are ready to get started.

If you are ready to sign up for web hosting, you also have the option to initiate your domain name search by clicking the Sign Up button for any of our web hosting, ecommerce, or professional website design packages. You’ll get the same opportunity to search for your domain name before checking out.

If you weren’t successful finding an available domain name that you like, try searching again with some variations. Our domain name search results will typically give you a couple of additional domain names to consider. It may also be helpful to read our previous blog post with tips for choosing domain names.