How Do I Get a URL?

By Crystal Bonser

A uniform resource locator, or URL, is an address used to locate a specific page on the Internet. A domain name is the primary identifying feature of a URL and is unique to each website. If you want to create a website of your own, you will first need to obtain a URL. The easiest way to do this is to register for one through your website host. Otherwise, you will have to pay a fee and possibly wait a week or more for the URL to be transferred to your website hosting account.

Step 1

Create an account with a website host of your choice, such as Bravenet, Webs or GoDaddy (see Resources).

Step 2

Locate the "Create a website" button and click on it. You will be prompted to create a URL before you can proceed.

Step 3

Choose a domain name if given the choice between a sub-domain name and a domain name. A sub-domain name is a free extension of your website host's domain name -- for example, www.YourSubDomainName.Bravenet.com. A domain name is yours alone -- for example, www.YourDomainName.com. Domains usually cost around $10 to $20 per year, as of March 2011, and less if your purchase the domain name for two or more years.

Step 4

Type the domain name you want to use into the search box provided. Your search results will show your requested domain name if it is not already taken, along with variations of the name you typed. You may need to try several names before you find one that is available.

Step 5

Click on the domain name to accept it as your own. You will then be redirected to a checkout page.

Step 6

Pay for your domain name using a credit card or other form of online payment (such as PayPal).

Step 7

Print your order confirmation and keep it in a safe place.

Step 8

Wait approximately 24 hours (give or take a little depending on your service provider's policies) for the URL to appear in your hosting account.

Step 9

Click on the URL in your hosting account to start building your website.

Tips & Warnings

  • Your domain name should be as short as possible and/or easy to remember. It should also provide some indication as to what your website is about.