You need to register a domain name before your website can hit the ground running. The registration can be done in different ways depending on what you experience during the registration process.
Typically, domain name registration is carried out through ICANN accredited registrars. You will first have to check the availability of the name you want to register and if it is available, you will go ahead with the rest of the process. If it is not available, there still many options for you to take.
You can modify the name in such a way that it will scale the hurdles of availability. For example, you can add an ‘s’ to the name, if possible, or change it to another tense. Another way of scaling through the unavailability hurdle is to register another extension of the name. The .com extension is the most popular among registrants because it is well-known worldwide more than other extensions. However, registering your domain in other extensions like .net, .biz, .info, .org, etc, will not deter you from having visitors once you optimize your website for search engines.
Moreover, you can take advantage of new generic top-level domains (gTLDs) to beat unavailability hurdle. A lot of new gTLDs are released in relation to different professions, industries and interests. For example, there is the .design for those in that type of industry, .photography for those in that type of industry, .science, .plumbing, .guru, .boutique, .academy and so on. You should identify the extension that is related to your industry and go ahead with the registration.
You can also strike a free domain name registration deal if you know the tricks of the game. Some registrars will give you a free domain if you purchase, at least, an annual web hosting plan. The free domain that you will get is a top-level domain of your choice and not a sub-domain. You will get full access to DNS (domain name system) and be able to manage it appropriately, which is not possible if you get a free sub-domain for your website.