Domain Name Registration

Keywords: website, internet, domain name, registration, registrar, web hosting, nominet, IANA, DNS, URL, IP, gTLD, TLD, Top Level domains

Summary: A domain name is the human-readable addresses (eg, www.mysite.co.uk) that locates an organisation or other entity on the Internet : it tells computers where to go to find your website. A domain name can be purchased and can be used by you if you own it or rent it. Domain names come with different extensions (TLD, the last part of an Internet domain name): if more than one TLD variant is available, buy as many as you can afford in order to protect your brand image and protect against “cyber-squatters”.
There are several choices you will have to make when deciding on your domain name : choosing the right domain name is one of the most important decisions you will have to make for your e-business because it can help considerably with the visibility of your prospective website. It is essential that the domain name represents the image of your business effectively. So, what makes an effective domain name?

A domain is how you would identify a website on the Internet. No two domains can be the same, and this is what makes each website unique. To host a website on the Internet, you will have to first register a domain for your web site.

Domain name registration is easy – finding the perfect domain name for your personal or business website is not! Here are some pointers to get you started.

Keep your Domain Name Simple – Be Memorable

Try and keep the length of your domain as short and memorable as possible. What’s easier to remember – three or four words, or only one or two words? Obviously a short, simple domain name is easier to remember. The shorter the name, the less likely people are to misspell it as well. Your goal in choosing a domain name should be to find one that is easy to remember, easy to spell, and will stand out in the minds of visitors. It should be related to your products and services, or personal website theme.

TIP: Avoid using your company name initials or your own name initials. These do not describe anything at all about your website’s theme. Visitors will not remember it unless you promote it heavily on national television and all over the Web. But, we’ll leave that to “Corporate Web” for now!
Domain Name Registration Pricing

Don’t be fooled by high domain name registration prices. Whether you pay a cheap domain name registration fee or a high fee, you’re still getting the same thing – a domain name! There’s no secret add-on service that can benefit you unless you’re getting web hosting or a low-cost web site with your domain name. Otherwise, domain name registration is the same whether you order a cheap domain name or an expensive one. Be sure to shop around before you register.

Checking Domain Name Availability

You can visit almost any web hosting site to check the availability of a domain name. Never assume a domain name is available just because it doesn’t show online when you try to bring it up in your browser. If a domain name is not showing online, it could be that the site’s server is down at the moment, the owner is still designing a new web site and hasn’t put it online yet, or the owner might be trying to sell the domain name. When you check to see if the domain name is available, you do not have to purchase it from the site where you checked. You can purchase it from any company that offers domain name registration once you know it is available.

Beware of Expired Domain Names

If you are considering buying an expired domain name, do research before completing the domain name registration process. You could be wasting your money! Ask the registrar questions about why the domain name has expired, what type of site it was before expiring, etc. Some expired domain names have been banned from the search engines all together because they were used by spammers or those selling illegal products or services. If that were the case, you’d be better off finding another domain name. Once a website is banned from the search engines, getting it listed again is almost impossible. Your chances for good, targeted traffic are next to none.

Web Hosting and Domain Names

Some companies offer both web hosting and domain name registration. Others might offer one or the other, or a combined package where you can get a low-cost web site along with a cheap domain name and web hosting. Though it’s easier to keep up with billing and expenses if you do all this through one company, you are not required to host your site with the same company where you register your domain name. It will not affect how your web site services are handled, or how you operate your website. Domain name registration can be an easy process once you decide on the right domain name. Your domain name will be a key player in your online success, so take your time to choose a winner!

Article Source: http://www.articlesbase.com/domain-names-articles/the-abcs-of-domain-name-registration-208415.html

Additional resources:
Domain name registry (source: Wikipedia)
List of Internet top-level domains (source: Wikipedia)
Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA)
Nominet (central registration agency for .uk domain names)