How to Buy ENS Domains: A Beginner’s Guide

Ethereum Name Service, or ENS for short, is a decentralized domain system that offers users countless possibilities, from a more simplified user experience on your crypto wallet all the way to the creation of decentralized websites and apps.
ENS domains are slowly lighting up the Ethereum landscape, moving traditional web addresses and illegible wallet addresses into the shadows. Not only is the community supportive of this advanced decentralized domain system, but celebrities like Paris Hilton are also jumping on the trend. So, if you’ve heard of the ENS domain but aren’t sure how to get one, this simple guide will walk you through the steps of claiming a unique piece of the Ethereum ecosystem and reshaping your digital identity.

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How to Buy ENS

Illustration: Lenka T.

ENS Domains – A Quick Overview

Instead of throwing around all the fancy words, let’s try to explain ENS in the simplest way possible.

Just like you have a home address that helps people find where you live or where to send the mail, a wallet address in the crypto world allows users to interact with you and vice versa. However, your home address is easy to remember, right? It consists of a street name and a number, maybe an apartment number, too.

Wallet addresses, on the other hand, consist of a long alphanumeric data string. There’s no way any of us would deliberately remember our own wallet addresses, let alone memorize strings associated with our friends’ accounts.

Luckily, ENS domains turn something like this:

“0x3342fn4w95u4irnf8erufk4rfr4ir3r0pr..” (not a real address) –

Into “WebMindio.eth”, with .eth being an indicator that the ENS is built on the Ethereum architecture.

That said, ENS domains are special names for your Ethereum wallet address that simplify the user experience by shortening the user’s wallet address and replacing it with a human-readable name. This makes it easier to look up your activity on a blockchain explorer, send or receive crypto or interact with smart contracts and crypto projects. That is, of course, if they use ENS domains.

You can also think of it as a personalized nickname that makes your presence on the Ethereum blockchain more user-friendly and accessible to others. Not only that, but you can also use your ENS domain for various purposes. For example, you can use it to build a decentralized website or even as a collectible, especially if you have a limited three-character-long ENS domain.

How to Buy ENS Domains?

There are a few steps to purchasing your first ENS domain, and we’ll get there in a minute.

Let’s get over some details first.

ENS domains expire a year after the purchase. They can be renewed, but that’s not a necessity. If you no longer want to use your ENS domain, any information related to you and your activities will be deleted. As a result, you don’t have to panic-invest in your yearly subscriptions just because you’re afraid of potential security issues.

Another essential thing to mention is that ENS domain prices vary based on how many characters you need to assemble your new digital wallet nickname. Your options are:

  • 5 characters or longer: $5 a year
  • 4-character names: $160 a year
  • 3-character names: $640 a year

We love scanty stuff, and 3-character names don’t come in abundance. At least not when compared to 5-character domains. Imagine the difference in possible combinations. Anyway, you don’t have to go for a 3-character domain name unless you really want to flex on the rest of us. Which is, I guess, understandable.

Now, the purchase, yes.

If you don’t have any crypto, you will likely have to do the following:

  • Create an exchange account
  • Deposit money and buy crypto
  • Create a wallet
  • Transfer Ether to your wallet
  • Connect to ENS domains
  • Purchase a domain name of your choice
  • Set a renewal reminder

Create an Exchange Account and Buy Ether

If you don’t have any crypto, you have several options. Ask someone to arrange a transfer or buy yourself some on the exchange of your choice. Choose the second option; you’ll need crypto for other things, too. If, however, you don’t have an account on a centralized exchange, here’s how to create one:

  • Provide your name, mobile phone, and mail
  • Choose an identification method and send the necessary documentation
  • get verified
  • Select a payment option and purchase some crypto

Account verification doesn’t take long to complete, and you’ll likely be able to start trading in a matter of minutes. Once that happens, you can deposit money into your account and buy Ether. Remember that you’ll need a bit more than $5 if you want to buy a five-letter domain because you’ll lose some money on fees.

Crypto exchange

Photo illustration: Freepik

If you already have crypto but don’t have Ether, you can hop on an exchange for light trading. However, you don’t necessarily have to go to a centralized service provider if you already have crypto you want to trade for Ether.

Create a Wallet and Transfer ETH

An ENS domain is associated with your wallet address. If you don’t have one, now is the time to create it. Opting for your own address is much safer than keeping your money on an exchange (on a Binance Wallet, for example), so it’s a win-win anyway.

Of course, you’ll need to find a wallet that supports Ether. Some of your options are Metamask, Rainbow, KeepKey, ZenGo, etc. Please remember to write down your seed phrase and put it somewhere safe.

Ethereum

Photo illustration: Freepik

Once you do that, you can copy the public address and use it to initiate a transaction on the exchange – this is where you want to receive funds. When pasting, make sure to double-check if the address you copied from your wallet matches the one you want to transfer your funds to. As a reminder, here’s how to initiate a withdrawal on Binance:

Connect to ENS

Now that you have a wallet and enough crypto for a purchase, it’s time to visit the official ENS website and get yourself a domain name.

ENS logo

Source: ENS

Once you get there, search for the .eth domain name you want to purchase. You’ll see immediately if the name is available, so you can proceed accordingly. If available, you can choose how long you want to hold it. If not, you can do some digging and check when the domain name you wanted for yourself is next available. You can also choose a different domain if you don’t want to wait.

ENS domains

Source: ENS

The next step would be to connect your wallet with ENS. You can achieve that by clicking on the “Connect” button, and a wallet popup should appear on the screen. At this stage, it’s unnecessary to meddle with ETH gas, so leave the settings as they are. Then, select the “Confirm” button to initiate the transaction.

ENS domain name registration might take a few minutes. You’ll be able to track progress on the screen; just make sure not to close your browser until you complete the process. Then, sign the second transaction by selecting “Register,” As soon as the transaction is validated, you’re the domain owner.

Should You Buy an ENS Domain Name?

Whether or not you should buy an ENS domain is entirely on you. Using ENS domains is a secure and fun way to improve user experience and make the never-ending alphanumeric strings a little more manageable. They also help users personalize their presence on the chain, which is another good reason to try them.

However, they’re not a necessity, so don’t urge yourself to get one just because. Besides, if you’d rather invest $5 + the money you’d spend on fees every year in something more valuable, it might be a good option to avoid them for now and maybe consider purchasing an ENS domain on another occasion.

Jelena is a content writer dedicated to learning about all things crypto. Her hobbies are playing chess, drawing, baking, and going on long walks. During winter, she usually spends her leisure time reading books.

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