Since questions about registering a domain name come up often, we thought a brief explanation of domains in general would be a good idea.
What is a Domain Name?
A domain name is an address on the Internet. It’s unique to you in the same way that your telephone number is unique to you. An international address system called the Domain Name System (DNS) was developed to make sure that every computer connected to the Internet had it’s own unique address. If your domain name is www.abccompany.comthe DNS will actually see that as a set of numbers, for example 123.456.789.10. This set of numbers is called the Internet Protocol address or IP address. The system of using names i.e., www.abccompany.comin lieu of the IP address was allowed since no one would ever remember a lengthy set of numbers as an address location.
Top Level and Second Level Domain Name
Your domain name consists of two parts.
The part following www is referred to as the Second Level Domain. This is typically the “name” of your company or if that DNS wasn’t available a version of your name. The part following the (.) is referred to as the Top Level Domain (TLD). The TLD most commonly recognized is. com.
It’s important to remember that www.abccompany.com is not the same domain name as www.abccompany.biz. If you want to make sure you lock up a particular “name” consider purchasing several TLD’s of the Second Level Domain.
Domain Name Registration
Registering your domain name is the process of paying a fee to register (not own) a domain name. Clients are often under the assumption that they own their domain name. You don’t own it. You pay an annual fee to use the address. If you stop paying the fee the address is made available for purchase.
Make sure you register your domain name with a reliable company. We’ve had instances where a client thought they had registered for a particular domain name only to find out that they actually backordered the domain name. Backordering means you’ve purchased a place in line for a domain name that is registered with another company. If that company opts not to renew the registration you will be notified that the domain name has become available (along with anyone else who purchased the backorder).
Make sure you own the registration and that you have access to the domain name with a login and password. We prefer to use GoDaddy simply because they’re a reputable company and they make the processes involved with owning a domain name simple.
Hosting Your Domain Name
The final step is to find a company who will physically hold all the pages of your website (a website is really a series of linked pages) on their computers. Sometimes the domain name registrar is the same company hosting your site and sometimes it isn’t. In the interests of disclosure, we do not register domain names but we do host all of our client’s websites. It is in your best interests if you retain control of your domain name registration. And just like everything else, it isn’t really a complicated system once someone explains it to you.
Create a GoDaddy Account
To create an account with GoDaddy please click here.