Domain Name Registrar
Before you publish a website, you have to register a domain name for it with an accredited domain name registrar. While the registration is a fairly simple process, there are some things you need to know about domain name registry to help you understand key concepts, and how they may affect you.
1. Unique domain names
The name you register has to be unique, and, ideally, should be relevant to the purpose of your website. Every website has a unique IP address that identifies the physical server that the website is hosted on, and its location. The IP address is a numeric value, and is associated with a textual domain name. Typing the domain name is the most common way of accessing a website.
This method of finding websites was set up because it is much easier for people to remember a textual name rather than an IP address. For example, it is much easier to remember amazon.com than the IP address, 126.96.36.199, of the online bookseller. If you happen to know an IP address, you can type it in the browser address bar, and it will take you directly to the website.
The textual domain name and its associated IP address are stored in a Domain Nameserver (DNS) database. When anybody types a domain name into a browser address bar, the browser sends a query to a DNS database, and the DNS database locates the name, and then directs the browser to the associated IP address. The browser then retrieves the contents of the index page at that IP address and displays them.
Since a domain name can have just a single IP address in the DNS database, it has to be unique. Therefore, there is an administrative function in place to ensure that no duplicate names exist.
2. What’s the function of Internet domain name registrars?
Internet domain name registrars keep a record of all domains that have been registered, and provide facilities for people to register new names. When you try to register a new domain name, the domain name registrar service will first check whether the domain name is already in use.
If so, you will be unable to register it. The domain name registrar service will often show you possible alternatives. We discuss aspects of alternative, similar domain names in more detail below.
When the name you want to register is found to be unique, you can go ahead and register it straight away. You will have to pay a fee based on the length of time for which you want to register the name. The minimum term is usually one year and the maximum is ten years.
The annual fee paid will depend mainly on the Top Level Domain (TLD) chosen. The TLD can simply be thought of as the part of the domain name that comes after the dot. Some TLDs, such as .tv, are more expensive than others, such as .com and .net.
3. Alternative domain names
You can register as many unique domain names as you want, and it is possible to have each alternative pointing to the same website. The main reason for doing this is to make sure that most people who are looking for your website will actually find it. If they make the smallest error in typing your website name, they will not arrive at the website.
Another important fact that you need to understand is that a domain name registrar will not decline a registration if it is almost identical to an already registered name.
This is best demonstrated by examples. If you successfully register bestwidgets.com, you have full rights to use that name. However, if the name bestwidget.com is available, anybody else could register that name, even though it is virtually identical to yours.
Secondly, somebody else could register a domain name called bestwidgets.net, subject to it being available. Because of this, many people spend extra money registering several different domain names to protect their interests.
Your domain registrar will record personal details about you when you register your domain name. You must supply at least one contact email, phone number and a contact postal address. By default, that information is available to anybody who looks up the domain details.
This can lead to the provided email address being harvested for spamming, and can also lead to your other personal information being used by marketing companies to send you unsolicited mail or contact you by phone.
You do have the option to use proxy registration where your personal details are hidden from everybody. This service is offered by our registration service for an additional annual fee.
Once your domain name registration has been accepted, that does not mean your website will immediately show up when you type in that domain name. It can take up to 48 hours before the databases are updated, making your website accessible.
This also affects any email addresses associated with your domain name. Emails sent to the address before the databases are updated will be bounced. This delay is rarely a problem, since most website owners registrar domain names some time before the website goes live. However, you should bear this possible delay in mind before launching any advance publicity about your forthcoming website.
6. Combined hosting and domain name service
Our company offers both domain name registration services as well as web hosting, and many owners will buy both hosting and the domain registration from us at the same time. This is unquestionably the easiest way to proceed, because the nameservers will default to our hosting servers.
You can, if you wish, use the registration facilities of one company, and have your hosting done with a different one. If you do this, you need to change the nameservers associated with your account to the nameservers your alternative hosting company provides. There can be a delay while DNS databases are updated.
You have to keep your domain name registrations up to date. When you register with us, we will, by default, set your domain name registration to renew automatically. This is the best way to ensure you do not lose the rights to your domain name. You can override this default, and request a manual renewal. We will send you a reminder of when your domain name is due for renewal.
We have already covered the topic of registering multiple domain names to protect your interests, and explained how others can register names that are similar to yours. While that is the case, other registrants may be in breach of the law if they use your registered trademark as part of their domain name.
For example, if you register a trademark called Bestwidgets, other website owners cannot legally use the word “Bestwidgets” in their domain names. This does not apply if the domain name was registered before your trademark was registered.
You should also bear this in mind when you register any domain name. You should check that you are not infringing any other company’s trademarks.
Here at webdevel.com, we provide a full domain name registrar service. You can check availability of domain names, and then you can register your unique domain names with us. As an added bonus, if you register five domains at the same time, we will give you free domain privacy. Call us today with any questions you may have or visit our store at webdevel.com