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

This FAQ will explain what a domain name is and how to buy one with 123-reg

Learn about domain names and the purchasing process with the below video and step by step FAQ.

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.

domain search

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.

domain results

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

go to check out

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

choose additional products

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

final checkout

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.

review order

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

enter card details

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