What is a domain Name?
A domain name is a unique name that can be entered into a browser to resolve
the numeric address (called the IP address) of your web site or email
server. A domain name tells people (and the computers they use) how to
find your homepage on the Internet. Your hosting provider assigns each
domain name to a numerical IP (Internet Protocol) address. It takes the
form of a name of your choice coupled with an extension relating to the
type of site. Current gTLD ("generic Top Level Domain) extensions
are .com (meant for business sites), .org (meant for non-profit organizations),
and .net (meant for internet service providers). People remember names
better than numbers, but computers translate www.yourname.com into IP
Why should I register a
Registering a domain name for your business or organization is essential
to your marketing efforts. A domain gives your business credibility and
a unique identity on the World Wide Web.
If you use the Internet, you will eventually want your own presence on
the world wide web. Post your interests and hobbies on the web. Soon you
will begin receiving emails from others around the world who share your
interests. Families researching their genealogy post their web sites and
are found by relatives they didn't even know they had. People are making
new friends from the four corners of the world simply because of the ease
of communications, and the ability of this tool to virtually eliminate
Registering your own domain name gives you presence on the web that is
easy to remember, descriptive, and an enhancement to your professional
image. And, if you ever need to switch Internet service providers, you
can take your domain name with you, whether across the street or to the
other side of the world. You'll never need to reprint your business materials,
change your email address, or send notifications to your clients.
What does it mean to "register"
a domain name?
When you register a domain name, you are inserting an entry into a directory
of all the domain names and their corresponding computers on the Internet.
What are the components
of a domain name?
A domain name consists of two or more words separated by a period. The
last word (the far right) is called a "top-level domain". Here
are some common top-level domains and their use:
Used for commercial entities. It is the most popular top-level domain.
Anyone can register a .com domain.
Originally used for networking organizations such as Internet Service
Providers and backbone providers. Today, anyone can register a .net domain.
Designed for miscellaneous organizations, including non-profit groups.
Today, anyone can register a .org domain.
Four-year, accredited colleges and universities.
I choose a .com, a .net, or a .org domain name?
There is no doubt but that .com is trump. It is the most popular extension
on the Internet, and it is firmly established in the public mindset as
associated with all things Internet. Even your newer browsers automatically
search for the .com version of a name first.
What characters can be included in a domain name?
You can use the characters a-z and 0-9 (in any combination). You can also
use hyphens (-). Mind your domain name cannot start or end with a hyphen.
You cannot use any other characters, nor should you use punctuation. Other
special characters like the underscore "_" or an exclamation
mark "!" are NOT permitted. Example: your name.com (not correct,
no spaces allowed) Example: your-name.com (is correct) A domain name can
be up to 72 characters long -- including the 4 characters used to identify
the Top Level Domain (.NET, .COM, .ORG, or .EDU). Do not type the www.
before your domain name when registering.
I register a domain name containing only digits?
What information will I receive when ordering a domain name?
Some registrars will mail you a paper record of your domain name registration.
The e-mail confirmation is also available as a form of documenting a domain
name opening. Others simply display a confirmation screen in your web
browser upon completing an order. It is always a good idea to print out
any information supplied by your registrar during the registration process
so that you will have access to it later.
What extra services can
I expect when I register a domain name?
Some registrars offer "name only" services, where they do nothing
more than register the domain name for you. Others offer a wide variety
of other services (but they may charge a higher registration price to
reflect these additional services). The most common such services include:-
• email forwarding: email sent to firstname.lastname@example.org is forwarded
to your current email address. This is a very cheap and easy way of having
your own "custom" email address
• website forwarding : This comes in two flavours: pointing your
website at a given IP address, and pointing your website at a directory.
The latter is great for anyone hosting a site on an ISP's site, as you
will not need to move the site. The name will automatically be resolved
to point to the correct directory.
• under construction page : depending on your personal preference,
you may prefer to have www.YOURNEWNAME.com point at a standard "under
construction" page rather than not point at anything at all.
• sample page : some registrars allow a single free "sample"
page so that visitors to the site www.YOURNEWNAME.com would see your company
name and address and maybe a phone number or a simple description of the
services your company provides.
What if the domain name
I want is already taken?
You can offer
to buy the name off its current owner, or look for an alternative domain
name. If your company holds a trademark on the terms in the domain name,
it may be worth seeking legal advice about the possibility of recovering
your domain name.
When you do your domain name search on the whois, you may find that someone
else on the Internet has already registered that name for his or her own
site. Try a slight variation on that name. Consider a hyphenated form.
Think of a name that might be a synonym. Consider a name using "the",
"this", "e-" or other additions that may be suitable.
See if the same name is available with a different domain extension.
I registered a domain name,
but I made a mistake while registering and registered the wrong name/changed
my mind about registering it after paying. Can I cancel my registration?
Under the current Domain Name Service Agreement that all accredited Registrars
operate under, all sales are final. If you want to register a different
domain name, you'll have to pay again.
I'm thinking of registering
the ".org" of a well-known .com domain name. Is that a good
While this tactic may get you some "free" traffic, it's also
a great recipe for a lawsuit. If the .com domain is trademarked, it's
better to steer clear of trouble. If the .com domain is "generic"
(that is, it is a dictionary word which is not trademarked) then you're
safer. Ultimately, it's your decision.
I'm thinking of registering
a misspelling of a popular site's domain name (example: Yahhoo.com, AOLL.com).
Is that a good idea?
This is commonly known as "typosquatting" i.e. buying a domain
name with the expectation of siphoning traffic off of the legitimate site
by snaring people who can't spell well. There have been a number of court
cases as a result of this kind of behavior - most were decided in favor
of the site owner. Ultimately, it's your decision.
is a URL?
It stands for Univesal Resource Locator. Some people refer to it as a
web address (although URL is not limited to the web). An example of a
URL is http://www.hostreview.com. Please note that a URL is a unique identifier.
No two websites can have the same URL. This is the reason why you should
register your domain name before someone else does.
is an IP address?
Every computer on the Internet has a numeric address called IP-Address
that is used to identify the location of the computer. An example of an
IP address is 126.96.36.199. This kind of addressing system is cumbersome
and hard to remember for humans. Having a domain name will eliminate the
need to remember an IP address.
is a DNS?
DNS stands for "Domain Name Server". It translates domain names
into IP addresses that computers understand. For example, if someone wants
to access our website (www.hostreview.com), the DNS will translate the
domain into the IP address 188.8.131.52 , which will allow the computer
to locate our web server. Domain Name Service (DNS) is the system by which
hosts on the Internet have both domain name addresses (such as blueleaf.prairienet.com)
and IP addresses (such as 184.108.40.206). DNS is the means by which you are
able to type in an easily remembered name in order to go to a URL, instead
of using an IP address. The Domain Name System (DNS) helps users to find
their way around the Internet. Every computer on the Internet has a unique
address - just like a telephone number - which is a rather complicated
string of numbers. It is called its "IP address" (IP stands
for "Internet Protocol"). IP Addresses are hard to remember.
The DNS makes using the Internet easier by allowing a familiar string
of letters (the "domain name") to be used instead of the arcane
IP address. So instead of typing 220.127.116.11, you can type www.hostreview.com.
It is a "mnemonic" device that makes addresses easier to remember.
To the left of the top-level domain is what is called the "second-level
domain." In domainleak.com, “domainleak” represents a
second-level domain within the top-level domain of .com.
I have secured my name, how long may I use it?
If there are no trademark disputes, your secured domain name will be yours
for as long as you maintain the yearly registration fees.
do I choose a good domain name?
It is important to choose a domain that will reflect the intent and purpose
of your website or business. Try to keep it short and simple. Your domain
name will be one of the ways people recognize or evaluate the site for
their interests when they are searching via Yahoo! or other search engines.
Can anyone register to own a domain
Yes, anyone is able to register for ownership of a domain name. It does
not matter what country your are from. Anyone can easily register their
own a (.com, .net, or .org) website address for present, or future use.
Should I register all
three extensions of my domain name?
The answer to this question depends entirely on how you intend to use
If you are planning to have a commercial site, an on-line store or service,
it is probably a good idea to protect your name. There is nothing so frustrating
as working hard and putting out a great deal of expense to develop and
market a fantastically successful .com web site, only to find that someone
has registered your name as a .net or .org, hoping to reap some of the
benefits of your success.
How long before changes
I make to the name servers associated with my domain become active?
When you register your domain, your registration is available immediately
in the shared registry. However the information, particularly your DNS
servers that will point your domain, are not uploaded immediately to the
root servers which control the actual propagation of the information.
Root server uploads occur twice daily, usually beginning at 0500 and 1700
Eastern Time (US). After the upload is complete, your name will begin
working from some locations. However, it could be another 24-72 hours
before the information is propagated world-wide and functional from every
When should I renew my
You must pay your renewal fees by the current expiration date of your
domain name. Your domain registrar will notify you 30 days before your
name is due to expire.
However, you do not need to wait until the expiration date. You can renew
your domain name at any time and for any number of years up to a total
of ten. With a 10 year renewal, you won't have to worry about your domain
name expiring for a long long time.
I just registered a domain
name and it’s still showing as available! Is it registered?
It will take between 24-48 hours for DNS Propagation. DNS Propagation
is the process by which the computers on the Internet update their records
(DNS tables) to reflect new site name(s). When this is complete, your
name can be accessed and recognized on the Internet.
Will my name and contact
information be publicly available?
Information about who is responsible for domain names is publicly available
to allow rapid resolution of technical problems and to permit enforcement
of consumer protection, trademark, and other laws. The registrar will
make this information available to the public on a "Whois" site.
It is however possible to register a domain in the name of a third party,
as long as they agree to accept responsibility -- ask your registrar for
How long does a registration
last? Can it be renewed?
Each registrar has the flexibility to offer initial and renewal registrations
in one-year increments, with a total registration period limit of ten
years. How much does a domain-name registration
Each registrar sets the price it charges for registering names, and prices
vary significantly among different registrars. In addition, some registrars
offer discounted or free registration services in connection with other
offerings, such as web hosting.
Can I change registrars
after registering a domain name?
Yes, you may change the registrar sponsoring your domain name (60 days
after intial registration.) For details on the transfer process, contact
the registrar you would like to assume sponsorship of the registration.
ICANN is the new non-profit corporation that is assuming responsibility
from the U.S. Government for coordinating certain Internet technical functions,
including the management of Internet domain name system. More information
about ICANN can be found at http://www.icann.org.
I have customer service questions or problems related to my domain name
registration, who should I contact?
You should contact the registrar that registered your domain name.
What are the rules for registration of .biz, .com, .info, .name, .net
and .org names?
The .com, .info, .name, .net, and .org TLDs are open and unrestricted.
Traditionally, however, names in .net have been used by organizations
involved in Internet infrastructure activities and .org is frequently
used by noncommercial organizations. .biz is reserved for use by businesses.