There are many ways to put up a website on the Internet, but one of the most popular is to purchase a domain name and use it in conjunction with a web hosting service. With most free hosts, you get a sub-domain or a predefined URL--but when you purchase your own domain name you get more control over how to direct users to your website. Custom domains are usually easier to remember and type than the URLs many free hosts will give you. Obtaining a domain name is usually inexpensive and easy to do.
Decide what you want your domain name to be. It's a good idea to have a few banes in mind in case your first choice is taken, especially if you want a .com or .net address. (For example, while a name may be taken on a .com, the .net version of that domain may be available.)
Choose a domain registrar to register and purchase your domain--such as Go Daddy, Network Solutions or Bluehost. Many hosts are similar, but you'll want to make sure you're getting what you want. Consider looking at reviews (a link to a site with popular reviews can be found below), then checking each host that catches your eye personally. Make sure you're using an ICANN (Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers)-accredited registrar, that the company has good technical support and its their website is easy to use. Review usage and support policies to see exactly what you're getting.
Sign up for an account with the domain registrar of your choice, then begin the process of signing up for a domain. On many sites, you can begin this process by using the company's search function to check for the availability of a domain. Otherwise there is usually a "buy now" option somewhere on the main page for you to use.
Type in and select the domain of your choice if it is available. The process will differ depending on what host you choose, but when you are finished and have paid for the domain, you will be able to use it immediately. Be careful when paying for your domain, as the host may attempt to select certain payment options or add products to your order by default. Double-check your cart before you complete your payment.