The Domain Name System (DNS) enables people to navigate their way around the Internet. Every computer that is connected to the internet is identifiable by a string of numbers called an "IP address" (IP stands for "Internet Protocol"). As the internet developed so did the DNS, so that now a string of letters can correspond to a particular IP address. This means that instead of using a complicated sequence of numbers you can type www.adomianname.com, which is a lot easier to remember.
No matter what sort of site you are intending building, you should consider getting yourself a domain name. Your domain name is your personal web address and can reflect anything you desire, including your own name or the subject of your business.
There are several reasons why an internet business requires its own domain name including:
A domain name makes your site more credible and reliable
The URL of a domain name will never change even if you change you website hosting, so that customers are not needed to be informed should you change hosting.
Choosing a good domain name will make your site more memorable to your clients, so that people will recall your company easily which spells more profits.
Advertisers and sponsors are more likely to sponsor websites who have their own domain name.
Your won domain name allows you to set up various email addresses for specific uses, e.g. [email protected] and [email protected]
The organization that is responsible for maintaining and co-ordinating the entire domain name system is called ICAAN. TO register any domain name you need to use an ICAAN accredited domain name registrar.
There are numerous domain name registrars and fees for domain registration vary from $8.95 to $35+. Some web hosting companies now offer a free domain name registration as part of their hosting packages.
Registering your domain name is essentially a four step process as follows:
Step 1: Carefully consider what domain name you would like, try to make your domain name as concise as possible and specific to the site you have in mind. Construct a list of alternative domain names, in order of preference. This is because with the huge number of websites in the Internet, some of your ideas for the ideal domain name might have already been taken already so the more names you can think of, the better.
When deciding on your domain name also consider the top level domain TLD) extension you want. The TLD is the .com part of the domain name domainname.com. There are a variety of domain extensions, and the one you wish to use may well affect the price you will have to pay.
The range of TLDs includes .com, .net, .org, .info and .name (used with a personal name e.g. JezLacey.name). None of these TLDs have specific requirements. In addition to these universal TLDs there is also .biz, which is for commercial and business use only. Finally, there are also country specific TLDs, which can only be used by persons who are citizens and residents of that country and by businesses and organizations present in that country where domain extension is applicable, example include .us (USA), .co.uk (UK) and .fr (France).
Step 2: Obtain the IP address or domain nameserver from your hosting company. A nameserver is a special type of domain that is used to identify a particular server. After registration you will need this information in order to set up your domain for use.
Step 3: Prepare for payment. The usual method of payment with domain registrars is via a credit card.
Step 4: Apply for your domain name. You can use your web hosting company to do this, or one of numerous accredited domain registrars. Good examples include enom.com, the ever popular GoDaddy.com, Dotster.com and many others.
When registering your domain name, ensure that you are the registered domain owner. This important because a web host can set themselves as the domain owner, and if they do, then you have no say in what happens to the domain name. For example, if you decide to transfer your domain to another registrar. For this reason you should also ensure both the technical and administrative contracts should be you.
When transferring a domain the new registrar will try contacting the domain owner first, then if that fails the administrative and then the technical contact. There have been cases where the web host has registered itself as the administrative and technical contact for a client. They can then make it difficult for clients to move to other registrars by pending the move or by even refusing. So, stay in better control and avoid this kind of situation.
With these guidelines, you are now well equipped to register your own domain name. As good domain names are getting more and more difficult to find, if you already have an idea for a great domain name, register them now before its too late.
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Jez Lacey is co-owner of 4-packs. Check out our latest release, the incredible Ultimate CMS power builder; it helps create websites in minutes and makes site management as simple as 1-2-3
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