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Published on October 13, 2022

How to Register An ENS Domain

A step-by-step guide for registering an Ethereum Name Service (ENS) domain and connecting it to your Ethereum wallet.

7 min read

ENS domains have established themselves as a serious player in the blockchain world. Similar to how '.com' became the standard naming protocol for most of the internet, many believe that ENS domains will have the same effect on Web3 for the Ethereum blockchain. But what's the point? Why does Web3 need its own domains? The Ethereum Name Service (ENS) provides a user-friendly way to address resources on the Ethereum network. Instead of dealing with long, complicated hexadecimal wallet addresses, ENS provides human-readable domains, like 'brian.eth' or icytools.eth,' for users to easily send and receive funds. Just like '.com' domains, ENS domains are unique and one of a kind. So be sure to grab your own ENS domain before it gets taken!

What Is An ENS Domain And What Are Its Benefits

Ethereum Name Service (ENS) is a decentralized system that allows users to register and assign readable usernames to Ethereum wallet addresses. Instead of sending ETH from machine-readable wallet addresses (e.g. 0x43af), users can instead send and receive from human-friendly domains (e.g., icytools.eth). ENS aims to provide a similar service to DNS, the internet's Domain Name System, but with a radically different architecture built on the Ethereum blockchain. Due to the hierarchical nature of the ENS, users can configure subdomains (just like with DNS). For example, if I own 'icytools.eth,' I can also create 'pay.icytools.eth.' By leveraging ENS, users can have a more user-friendly experience when sending and receiving ETH and accessing Ethereum-based applications.

How To Register An ENS Domain (Step-By-Step)

In order to register an ENS name, you first need to have a web3 crypto wallet. Once you have a wallet, you can go to a registrar like MetaMask and select your desired ENS name. After that, you'll be asked to pay a small amount of ETH to reserve the name for yourself. The registration process is designed to be simple and easy-to-use, so anyone can get started with ENS names without any hassle.

Step 1: Open your Web3 browser

  • Open the browser that is connected to your web3 crypto wallet. Google Chrome and Brave are among the most common.
  • Next, sign into your web3 wallet. MetaMask, Coinbase Wallet, and Trustwallet are among the most popular choices.
  • Lastly, make sure you have a small amount sufficient amount of funds in your wallet (~$50) to purchase an ENS domain.
  • Step 2: Navigate to the ENS Manager


    Step 3: Search for your desired .eth name

  • In the search bar, enter the name you'd like to register and click the search button to see if it's available.
  • If the name is already registered to another user, ENS will display the ENS records, who owns the domain, and when it expires.
  • If the name is available, click the name and indicate how many years you'd like to register the domain (min. 1 year). ENS will display the registration price + estimated gas fee to purchase this domain.
  • register-ens-domain-name-available.png

    Step 4: Register the domain

  • Click the request to register button.
  • A box will popup from your web3 wallet asking to confirm the transaction. Click confirm!
  • Step 5: Wait for 1 minute

  • ENS requires a 1 minute waiting period while it checks to ensure another person hasn't tried to register the same name.
  • register-ens-domain-confirming.png

    Step 6: Complete registration

  • Once the waiting time is up, an orange text will appear stating, "click register to move to the third step." Click the register button.
  • This will prompt a second signature from your web3 wallet, asking you to confirm the transaction and pay the registration fee. Once confirmed, your ENS domain is registered 🥳.
  • Step 7: Set a Resolver

  • A Resolver is what tells the ENS system how to translate your domain name into an Ethereum address. In order to receive payments to the wallet address via the new ENS domain, we need to click manage name, and then click the set button alongside 'Resolver.'
  • Click use public resolver, then save and confirm the transaction.
  • Step 8: Bind old wallet address to ENS domain

  • Once the transaction is confirmed, click the little '+' sign next to 'records.'
  • Click the drop-down menu and set it to 'address.'
  • Copy & paste your web3 wallet address into the open field, click save, and confirm the transaction.
  • Voila! You can now receive crypto through your new ENS domain.
  • Tips For Choosing The Right ENS Domain Name

    When it comes to choosing the right ENS domain name, there are a few things you'll want to keep in mind. First and foremost, your domain should be memorable and easy to spell. Think of it like your Web3 username. Secondly, your domain should be short and to the point. Long, complicated domains are more likely to be forgotten or mistyped. Ultimately, your ENS domain name is more than just a way to show off your Ethereum address in a more human-readable format. It can also be used to associate other information with your address, like your email address or social media profile. This can be useful if you want to create a decentralized identity that can be used across different applications.


    How Much Does It Cost To Register An ENS Domain Name?

    The shorter the ENS domain name, the higher the cost. Domain names that are five characters or more cost ~$5/year. Four character domain names cost ~$160/year. Three character domain names cost ~$640/year. ENS requires annual renewal fees to prevent squatters from buying up all of the domain names.

    What Is An ENS Subdomain?

    ENS domains are typically broken down into three categories: top-level domains, second-level domains, and third-level domains. Top-level domains (TLD) are the suffix, such as .eth, which is owned by the smart contract. Second-level domains (2LD) are what you own and purchase via ENS manager. Third-level domains (3LD) are the subdomain layers you can create from a 2LD. For example, a company like Icy Tools can purchase the 2LD 'icytools.eth.' From there, we can create subdomains for our employees, e.g. 'brian.icytools.eth.' Just like how web2 companies can create email accounts within the company domain address

    How Long Does It Take To Register An ENS Domain?

    It takes 3-5 min. to register an ENS domain, including a 1-minute wait period to prevent frontrunning.

    What Is The ENS Registry?

    The ENS registry is the core contract of the ENS solution. It behaves as the ENS' 'source of truth,' maintain a list of all domains, owners, resolvers, and TTL (caching time to live) for each.

    What Are The Benefits Of Registering An ENS Domain?

  • You are the sole owner: As the token holder, on you have the ability to modify or delete the domain. The ENS Foundation is simply a non-profit organization responsible for registering ENS domains where possible.
  • You can host a decentralized website: By combining IPFS (InterPlanetary File System) with ENS, you can host a completely decentralized, censorship website pointing to your ENS domain.
  • Where Is This Heading?

    ENS domains could become the main form of online ID for all people and businesses in the future. Instead of jumping between a business's website, social media profile, email, and online store, you can interact and transact with a single online identifier. ENS domains simplify the digital experience by connecting otherwise disjointed layers under a decentralized umbrella. For example, by owning an ENS domain, you have eliminated the need for Stripe and Google Domains right off the bat: two third-party services that were effectively required to participate in the Web2 economy.
    As decentralized social media platforms come to fruition, your ENS domain could potentially serve as your social media username as well. Because we are still "so early" in web3, it can be difficult to visualize the practical use cases of an ENS domain today. But as new projects and applications continue to emerge, ENS domains can serve as the go-to, platform-agnostic pseudonym for participating in web3.

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