A Domain name is everything comes after the “www.” part in a web address. It consists of two parts: the part you make up (usually its your company name) and the regulated suffixes that follow. There are .coms, .nets, .orgs, .tv, .biz and a whole slew of others that all correspond to what kind of company you are. For example something ending in .org is usually a non-profit organization and something ending in .gov is a government institution. That’s why most companies try to go with .com though it really doesn’t matter which one you go with in terms of functionality.
The actual process of registering a domain name is very simple and straightforward – it can be purchased by you or your web designer. The cost is about $10 per year, and you must buy in yearly increments. I highly recommend buying it for 3-4 years simply for reassurance that it will not expire soon after you buy it. Some companies offer a year free when you sign up for their web hosting service and are usually quite a bargain. The bottom line is that no matter who you buy your domain name from your ownership rights are the same: YOU own your domain for the time you pay for it and you can take your domain and switch it from one hosting company to the next as often as you like.
Keep track of the expiration date of your domain because most hosting companies do a poor job making you aware of when its time for renewal. You do not want your domain to expire and THEN try to renew it. Believe me when I say you will have a better experience giving yourself a root canal. Renew it months in advance and purchase it for more years than you think you will need it.