Domain Registration Overview

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Frequently Asked Questions

Do I have to register a domain name?

If you want to own your own top-level domain (TLD) name, then the answer is ‘Yes’. But DreamHost also offers the use of a free sub-domain name under our ‘dreamhosters.com’ TLD. So, you don’t need to purchase a domain registration if you do not mind your site showing with ‘dreamhosters.com’ at the end. (For example: dhwiki.dreamhosters.com).

If you purchase a DreamHost shared hosting plan, you are entitled to one free domain registration for the year as noted in the following wiki:

Can I purchase a domain through DreamHost?

You can purchase a domain registration on your DreamHost account panel at (Panel > ‘Domains’ > ‘Registrations’) or through one of the many domain registrars that are available. But, it’s easier to manage everything on a single account. So, if you have hosting on your DreamHost account, it would make it easier to manage your domain registrations on your DreamHost account as well.

There are other reasons to register a domain with DreamHost:

  • The purchase can be done through your account panel using a credit card.
  • Domains purchased will be registered within 15 minutes of the completion of the purchase form, so it’s quick and easy.
  • With a shared hosting plan, the purchase of your domain name will be free. But it must be a .COM/.INFO/.NET/.ORG TLD.
  • Domain names have a maximum character length of 67 characters.
  • You can modify your domain registration and manage it yourself through the panel.
  • For the domains that offer privacy protection, this feature is free of charge, whereas many registrars charge a hefty fee for this feature.

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

The domain registration is registered under the name you set for the owner on the purchase form. It’s not owned under DreamHost.

If you enable privacy protection, the public WhoIs will hide your personal ownership details from whomever looks up your domain registration through a WhoIs search. You will see DreamHost’s details there on the privacy protection details, but your internal contact and ownership info will be listed with the registrar for the owner of that domain name.

Only nonpayment will prevent you from having complete control of your domain. Should your account become suspended for a delinquent balance due, DreamHost will retain control of the domain – including the right to transfer, sell, or modify it -- until your balance is paid and the account re-enabled. Virtually all registrars operate this way. (DreamHost is an ICANN-accredited registrar.)

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

  • Domain registrations done through DreamHost require a major credit card. Account credit balances can be used to purchase the domain registration as well.
  • DreamHost has a very limited window to delete certain newly purchased domains. Be sure you wish to purchase the domain name in question and ensure that the domain name is spelled correctly. If the deletion window has closed, the domain name cannot be deleted and refunded. For most TLDs, this window for deletion is open for as long as 5 days.
  • Registering the domain name is just one part of having your own website. You will also need to have a hosting plan to host the site and its contents uploaded to your server.

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

You do not need to post your contact details for your domain registration publicly for the more commonly known TLDs, including .COM/.NET/.ORG/.INFO. DreamHost offers a free privacy protection setting that will hide the ownership details for the domain registration on public WhoIs searches. However, only certain TLDs will offer this option. Some international TLDs will require some information to be posted publicly, but that depends on that domain registry’s policy.

For domains that offer privacy protection, the WhoIs search will display DreamHost’s contact details along with a proxy email address tied to your ownership email address so that it remains hidden, but can still receive messages sent to you regarding the domain name.

Should I register my domain as www.mydomain.com?

No. The www is not part of the top level domain. Just register MYDOMAIN.com without the ‘www’. When setting up hosting for the domain, you can set up the ‘www’ record to be hosted for the domain name as well.

How much is a domain?

Domain registrations start as low as $5.95 (for the .DE TLD) and vary depending on the TLD selected. The cost of each domain extension will be listed on the ‘Registrations’ page by clicking the See all domain extensions and pricing button.

A shared hosting plan provides one free domain registration for the year so long as the selected TLD is one of the following four: .COM/.NET/.ORG/.INFO.

How often do I renew my domain?

You can renew a domain for up to 2 years, with payment required upon renewal. You can also set an automatic renewal option to your domain registration as well. You can read more about that here:

When do I pay for domain registration?

All purchases of a domain registration require immediate payment. Manual renewals also require immediate payment. However, we bill accounts for domains that are set to automatically renew when the automatic renewal is processed. This charge must be paid in full within 60-days from the date of the charge.

How may I pay for a domain registration?

New domain registrations can only be processed via a major credit card or through the use of a credit balance on the account. That said, you can prepay to your account using Paypal or a check sent in advanced so that the account is left with a credit balance.