You need two components to have a working website - a domain name and a web server. This tutorial will focus on acquiring a domain name and how to prepare it to point at our VPS.
Buying a Domain
When deciding for a domain name, choose one that is short and easy to remember. You can then buy it from a domain registrar. Some of the popular ones are:
I prefer Namesilo and Internet.bs because of their competitive price and good control panel. As of the time of this writing, .com/.net/.org, should only cost somewhere between $8 and $12 USD per year. Prepare some names and search if what you like is available:
A registrar will typically suggest several options. Select your preferred name from the available list and go through the sign up and payment process.
Domain Name Server
Visitors of your website will usually type the domain name in their browser (E.g. http://vpsnotes.com). But your VPS is identified by IP - a sequence of 4 numbers separated by dots (E.g. 18.104.22.168). To make the browser contact our VPS everytime a visitor visits our website, we need a domain name server (DNS). Below is a depiction on how it works:
First, the browser doesn't know who the web server is of a particular website. It asks a DNS server by sending the domain name. The DNS then rerplies the IP address of the correct web server. The browser can then proceed to ask for contents.
Most of the reputable domain registrars (where you buy domain names) provides free DNS service. After purchase, everything is set-up, except for telling the DNS what is the IP of your server. Illustration on how to do this is below using the control panel of Internet.bs.
Select your domain from the list of domains:
Go to DNS Management:
Create two rows, one with blank subdomain and another with www. Then enter the IP of your VPS to the IPv4 textbox and save.
We need two entries because people usually visits a website by using either http://vpsnotes.com or http://www.vpsnotes.com.
(Note: control panel of different name registrars are so different with each other.)