Domain Registration Overview

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To get a domain name for your web site you have to "register" it at a registry first. This is because for the Internet to work universally, there can only be one of each domain in the whole world. You can only register domains that aren't already taken by somebody else. We'll do it for you, and the cost can start as low as $9.95/year.

How do I transfer a domain registered with DreamHost to another registrar?

As long as it hasn't expired the procedure is as follows:

1. Go to the other registrar and inform them you'd like to transfer your domain to them.

2. They'll handle it from there, there's no need to contact DreamHost about it at all.

3. Remember, just because you transferred your domain registration away doesn't mean you've canceled your hosting service with us! To end your active web hosting plan goto (BILLING > MANAGE ACCOUNT) and click on the "close this account" link. The system will walk you through the process.

If I registered a domain with you and it expired, how do I transfer it to another registrar? Unfortunately, expired domains cannot be transferred; it is an ICANN regulation. They typically stick around for 75 days, the first 30 of which you can still renew them. If you renew an expired domain, you can then transfer it to another registrar again.

Once a domain has fully expired and has been released from the main database server, you would then want to quickly register it anew with the new Registrar. Clearly, it's best if you get in your transfer request before the domain expires as there is a possibility of losing your domain name to someone else during this interim period.

Frequently Asked Questions

Do I have to register a domain name?

No. When you sign up at DreamHost, we give you the domain name for free, no registration required.

You might prefer to direct people to, and for that you'll need to register as a domain. DreamHost happily offers one domain registration for free with our hosting plans (as low as a $9.95/year value!).

Do you have any suggestions for domain name registration?

We sure do! Use us! Why? Glad you asked:

  • We'll set it up correctly with no hassle or confusion.
  • We accept credit cards.
  • Your domain will be registered immediately upon your completion of the form on our web panel.
  • It's free! Additional domain costs start as low as $9.95/year.
  • You can choose to register domains for either 1 or 2 years.
  • You can register domains up to 67 characters in length (including the .com, .net, .org or .info)!
  • Any modifications you make to your domain information take effect IMMEDIATELY!
  • You can easily deal with bulk registrations/modification right from your Account Control Panel!
  • No hassles at all, even if you ever decide to host your domain somewhere else!

What if I don't want to register a domain name?

That's no problem -- every plan comes with a free sub-domain :

Your dreamhosters sub-domain doesn't need to be registered, and it's free!

And if you decide to switch to a full domain later, you can make the switch at no cost other than the domain registration fee (if necessary -- see Free Registration for more details).

Will my domain be registered under my name or DreamHost's?

We always register it under your name. You will be paying for the domain, so you will have complete ownership.

Only nonpayment will prevent you from having complete control of your domain. Should you fail to make payment, DreamHost will retain control of the domain -- including the right to transfer, sell, or modify it -- until your balance is paid. Virtually all registrars operate this way. (DreamHost is an ICANN-accredited registrar.) Also, did we mention the first domain comes for free with our hosting plans?

Even if you stop using DreamHost's web hosting services, so long as you stay up to date on your registration fees, your domain is completely under your control!

Is there anything I should know BEFORE I have DreamHost register my domain?

  • Domain registrations done through DreamHost require a major credit card. Payment can also be sent via Paypal.
  • Choose wisely: once you register a domain name, it's yours. If you mess up the spelling or think of a better name later, you can buy an additional domain name, but you can't get rid of the one you bought until it expires.
  • Registering the domain name is just one part of having your own website. You will also need to have someone (like us!) host your site (i.e., store your web page files on our computers).

Do I have to make my address and phone number public?

Yes and no. We offer a privacy option which will display a temporary email address which will route to the email address you listed as your contact email address. If you choose to not use this option, anything you put as your registration information for your domain is very easily accessible by the public. This is for a very good purpose - at some point, someone may need to contact you regarding the content of your domain, technical problems related to it, etc. So it's important that you always have correct contact information available.

If you wish to change your domain contact info for a domain registered through us, you can do so from the web panel in the following manner:

  • Click on the 'domains' area.
  • Click on the 'manage' section.
  • You'll be given a list of domains, with associated services underneath.
  • You'll see a 'Domain Registration' service type. Click on the Edit link next to it, under 'modify'.
  • All of the domain contact info is there, and editable.

Domains not registered through us will need to be altered via the domain registrar you registered them from. If you're not sure who this is, contact tech support for more information.

Should I register my domain as

No. The www is not part of the top level domain. Just register, NOT; we will make sure both work for your URL, free of charge.

How do I pay for domain registration?

How much is a domain? A domain name cost can start as low as $9.95/year when you register (or renew) through DreamHost. If you have a hosting plan with us, we offer one domain registration!

How often do I renew my domain? You may choose a billing cycle from 1 year up to 2 years, with full payment due at the beginning of each cycle.

When do I pay for domain registration? When you first register your domain, you pay automatically as a part of the signup process.

You can also register a domain and pay for it after signing up for a hosting plan, via our Account Control Panel. Select Add Domain under the Domains tab.

How may I pay for a domain registration? New domain registrations can only be processed via a major credit card.

This other registrar asks for two DNS servers....

This information tells the user's browser where to look for your site when the user enters your URL (website address).

For domains hosted by DreamHost use:


If you register your domain with us, you don't have to worry about this at all. We'll set it up for you immediately!

  • Note: If there's only room enough for two name servers, just use the first two.

Also, Network Solutions has an optional Technical Contact they ask for. If you want, you can use "JJ1805" as the NIC handle for the technical contact!

ICANN Accreditation

What's the big deal with ICANN accreditation?

"When you register a domain through Dreamhost you can rest assured that it is ICANN accredited" And what does this mean for me? ICANN is the top of the food chain so to speak. ICANN stands for Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers; they're in charge of IP address space allocation, protocol parameter assignment, and domain name system management. So when you register though us you get that domain name and that's that! More information can be found at ICANN. DreamHost is accredited under the name New Dream Network, LLC dba DreamHost Web Hosting.