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Domain Name Basics Many Don't Know!

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Sammer Hakim
May 17, 2006

Sammer Hakim
Sammer Hakim has been instrumental in helping business owners select appropriate domain names through his site
. A copywrityer by profession, other topics he's extensively written about include website promotion, boosting response rates from sales materials and advertising.
Sammer Hakim has written 1 articles for DomainInformer.
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Computers talk to each other via numbers; in this case it’s called an IP number. You have probably seen or heard of it when setting up your e-mail program. It looks something like this: So when a user wants to access your site, what they basically do, is give their computer a signal to locate your computer’s fingerprint IP.

You don’t see this happening; the computers do this whole process while you see the pages load on your screen. So every online machine anywhere in the world is programmed to recognize ‘’ with its IP number and will take you to that site.

There are two (or more) parts to your domain: · Top level domain · Unique or second level domain. So in the example, .com is the top level domain and ‘mysite’ is the second level domain.

The Top Level Domains
The previous example of .com as a top level domain is one of many. Consider: .com = commercial . net = network . edu = educational .org = organization. Another thing you can do is state sub domains (commonly known as hostnames) of the domain An example would be This will direct to another section of your site.

Technical Information
All domain names registered are profiled in a database which details everything about the domain name and personal details like address, contact, billing details and your domain name server (DNS). Here are the steps how accessing a website works:

1. User requests site via browser (a particular IP address) using a domain name

2. The local host queries the local name server

3. If the local name server does not find the IP address on its local database, then it will query other available name servers, which in turn will perform the same steps.

4. Finally, the user is given the IP address (website) or error message. What can a Domain Name contain? · Letters · Numbers · Dashes (-). They can’t contain any spaces or symbols anywhere in the domain and they can’t start or end in a dash. Including the top level domain (like .com), you have 67 characters to work with which gives you lots of opportunity to register a keyword rich and audience specific domain. But try to keep your domain as condensed as possible as some browsers return error messages if the domain name exceeds 58 characters.
Example: Acceptable Domains: þ þ þ Unacceptable Domains: Q Q - Q 1 stop-marketing

Why Should I get a Domain Name?
If you want your site found on the Web, you need one. But apart from merely identifying your site, your domain name represents your business and is the first stimulus search engines use to draw visitors in. Many people are misled thinking they will get their domain/s when they have a need for it or when the right time comes. The problem is when they finally get around to it, their domain has been taken long ago, and they start again from square one. Many have recognized this trap so they register their domains immediately to reserve them until they are ready to use them. So for a few dollars, they protect their next business idea.

If you are a company, its even more reason to reserve your domains immediately. If your company relies on a number of brands for its majority of sales, then it would be wasteful if not tragic to discover your best brands are being held hostage to a guy working out of his living room in hope you will pay him big bucks to get your domain back. Even if you win the legal battle, why have it in the first place? On last count, there were over 30 million registered domain names with thousands more joining daily. You just know there are thousands of people glued to their computer screens searching the availability of every imaginable domain that could make them rich tomorrow. You can guarantee that as soon as somebody finds that undiscovered, potentially lucrative domain, they will instantly register it.

So delaying even for a few hours already puts you behind the 8 ball. Test this for yourself. Open your browser and think of your favorite hobby. Now type in the name of your favorite hobby followed by .com. So if your hobby was tennis, you would type (it’s taken). You will struggle to find a domain name that hasn’t been taken. Now considering the CIA (yes, the intelligence guys) projects online users to increase to 1.46 billion by 2007 (it’s now estimated at 945 million) your chances for getting the domain name you really want rapidly decreases by the day!

Your Personal Website
Domain name selection for your personal site is a whole lot easier. You can just name the site after your name like or after your profession like You probably have a higher chance of getting your exact name as a domain if it is less common than Smith or Jones. With software programs such as FrontPage you can build your own website with zero HTML skills, zero programming skills and not really have much of an idea about websites at all! These programs do the coding and programming for you. All you do is put in the text and graphics which you can easily cut and paste from other applications and it will automatically generate your site for you. You can get lots of help from free online sources and support from specialists who often give free tips and advice in exchange for their names being promoted to the network’s members.

Your Company Trademarks
There are now tough regulations from ICANN and InterNIC that forbid you from buying other people’s trademarks and registering them as a domain name. For example, Wal-Mart is a trademarked name so anyone who owned the name previously would be forced to hand it back without any payout to Wal-Mart. The same goes for just about any trademarked name. We strongly urge you to keep clear of trademarked names and costly legal battles. Stick with relevant domain names for your business. You can buy as many as you like and they reinforce your company’s image as an industry leader. Your business is far better off buying its domains now rather than later which can cost several thousand dollars. Remember, the online community is exploding at staggering rates and won’t wait for you to make up your mind. Active-Domain has domains available from as little as $9.95 per year – a minute investment that could pay handsome rewards.

Your Products and Services
This is one of the most powerful ways you can unleash your brand name on the Web. Many companies reserve a domain name based on future projects not even completed yet. They rely on market research and forecasts to anticipate demand for their particular product or service. So they name their domain name after their product or service. When it officially hits the market, it creates a buzz and people swarm from all over to buy it. Viagra is a great example. Search engines shoot it up to the top of their lists and keep it there as long as the traffic and search term requests are consistent. So if you have a product or service you know is destined for success, buy its domain now and keep it hidden from the public eye until you are ready to launch. That way, you can focus on your project and not have to worry about if your perfect domain will be taken by somebody else.

It’s hard not getting excited and have $ signs glaze over your eyes when you see domains like sell for $7,500,000. We are not saying all domains will fetch huge sums of money but you may strike it lucky and get a good buyer if the domain has a high value. Despite the potential for loss, masses of people still actively search to buy and sell domain names. One can only speculate that the relatively cheap cost of buying domains today combined with the moneymaking potential far outweighs the risk of not making anything at all. So people will still take their chances. You will always miss 100% of the shots you don’t take.

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