What is a domain name and how can I buy one?

This article applies to 123-reg Domain names

The following applies to what a domain name is, some of its basic functions, and the advantages to having your own domain name, alongside how to purchase a domain name through 123-reg. 

Tutorial Video


How do I buy a Domain Name?

Tutorial Video

So you’re wondering what a domain name is, well let’s have a look.

You may have seen or heard of domain names before.

Say you’re looking online for a deal for your next holiday.

You remember seeing an advert for a website: ‘holidaydiscountdeals.co.uk’ where you can get great holiday deals online.

To look at this website, you might simply type ‘holiday discount deals’ into a search engine like Google, but to go directly to the website, you will want to type the whole web address straight into your web browser, like this.

The domain name is this part right here and is basically the name of the website you want to visit.

Let’s take a look and break the web address down.

The ‘www.’ is a subdomain and stands for ‘World Wide Web’.

And this part, just after the domain name is the domain extension.

You may have already heard of a few popular extensions like .com, .co.uk .org. or .uk.

To find out more about domain extensions, click here to watch this video.

So now you understand what a domain name is, why would you need one?

Well there are many benefits to owning a domain name.

The first and most useful benefit is that you can now have your own website.

Whether you need a website for customers to find and purchase your products, or have a blog that you want people to read, whatever your reason, you will need a domain name so that people can find your website.

Another great benefit is that you can have a personalised email address using your domain name.

So you could have your ‘name’ or ‘job title’@’yourdomain’

By creating a website or a blog and changing to a personalised email account, you are contributing to your overall online presence, helping to increase the exposure of your brand, so people know where to find you and what you’re all about.

This can also help to attract more customers to your business and even help your brand to get recognised on a global scale.

Ok, we’ve seen the benefits of owning a domain name; let’s see how to choose your perfect domain name.

When choosing your domain name you’ll want to take a few things into consideration.

You want to ensure that it’s recognisable, so say you are a photographer, and you are creating a website which shows off your photography, the n having the word ‘photography’ or ‘photographer’ within your domain name would make perfect sense.

If you already have a brand established, having this as your domain name would be a good choice and means that people online can find you quickly, especially if they are already familiar with your brand name.

Have a look at this video to find out more on choosing your perfect domain name.

Ok, so we’ve learnt what a domain name is, the benefits of owning one and how to choose one that’s perfect for you.

Let’s see how easy it is to register a domain name with 123-reg.

With 3 easy steps you could have your own perfect domain name.

So step 1: Use the 123-reg domain search tool to find the right domain name for you.

If you’re having trouble finding the exact one you want then try changing it slightly, or maybe try choosing from one of our new gTLD extensions which have more availability.

Step 2: Register your domain name by filling in your details and purchasing it, so that you become the legal owner, meaning no one else can purchase or use that specific domain name.

And remember it’s easy to renew your domain name once you’ve purchased it.

If you choose to own the domain name for two years, when those two years are up, you will have the initial rights to renew and continue owning it.

And Step 3: That’s it; you own the domain name and can begin managing it with 123-reg.

So why wait, register your perfect domain name today with 123-reg.

Just click here to get started.


A domain name is a human-friendly address, sometimes called a URL (Uniform Resource Locator). The internet works on IP (Internet Protocol) addresses. These are numbers, much like a telephone number. However, most people find it much easier to remember names rather than strings of numbers. Like all companies, 123-Reg choose to publicise their domain name (https://www.123-reg.co.uk) rather than their IP address (

Your domain name is unique to you. When someone types it into an Internet browser (e.g. Internet Explorer or Mozilla FireFox) they'll be taken directly to your space on the Internet where they can view your site or files.

Domain names also have other uses. For instance, when choosing an email address, rather than having joe.bloggs.384574@myisp.com you could have joe@mydomain.com. This is far more memorable, and also means that if you decide to change your ISP you won't have to send out emails telling people your address has changed.

How do I buy a Domain Name?


The easiest way to buy a domain name from the 123-reg home page is by using our domain search feature. Simply enter your search term and we will show you what domain names and extensions are available for you.

Tip: Check out our article on choosing your new domain name for some top tips on selecting the best domain name to suit your needs.


Our search tool will show you a range of potential domain names based on your search term; we'll show you our current best deals and promos, popular domain types, and if you are looking for a more specific domain type, domain names based on location or industry.


Once you've got all the domain names you want in your basket, click on the Go To Checkout option.


Now you need to Login. If you are an existing customer, you can login with your existing account. If you are a new customer, you can create an account straight away. 


Once you have confirmed your details, you have the option to add some extras to your domain name purchase. For example, if you want to set up an email address for your new domain name, you can add one of our mailbox options. If you're looking to create a website you can add one of our site building packages: InstantSite or Website Builder


Once you have everything you need in your basket, click on the Checkout option.


You can review your order one last time, once you are satisfied, click on the Go To Checkout button to move onto the payment stage.


There is a range of payment methods available to you. Select your preferred method and follow the on screen instructions to complete your purchase.


Answer options

Your feedback was successfully added.

Answer tracking


Watch the content of this article for changes.