Similar to how your house address indicates where you live in the world, a domain name indicates where your computer's location is on the Internet. Organizations that do business over the Internet want domain names (addresses) that are easy to remember and that are closely related to their company's trademark, so that customers can locate their web site very easily. The actual domain name is a simplified, easier to read translation of an IP (Internet Protocol) address. The Internet is composed of a vast number of interconnected computers. Each of these computers is assigned a numeric value of the form XXX.XXX.XXX.XXX (for example, 22.214.171.124 ). This numeric value is called an IP address. If each computer on the Internet were identifiable only through its IP address, people would have a lot of difficulty when trying to locate each other and having to memorize each other's addresses. Domain names simplify IP addresses into an easy to remember combination of words and numbers.
If you want to know what website corresponds to a particular IP address, you can type the IP address in here. Try 126.96.36.199 if you are curious to try this!
1. To attract visitors
No one is going to visit your website if they can't find it. And your website can languish in obscurity without a domain name to give it its identity, to make it stand out from the millions of personal and business home pages out on the Web.
Most people visit sites as a result of search engine returns. And when deciding which site to visit after searching, most people try to get a sense if a site is worth visiting before clicking. A unique domain tells potential visitors that the site owner cares about the site, considering it important enough to have a compelling domain name. Many of the major search engines use this same logic: all other things being equal, a web page having its own domain name will generally get a better listing than one that doesn't, on many of the major search engines.
People are more likely to remember your site and return to it if they can associate your web address (your URL) with your site. Millions of people have generic e-mail addresses like aol.com, earthlink.net, or hotmail.com. Not very memorable especially when hundreds of thousands of other addresses look just like it. When you get your own domain name, you'll be able to begin immediately receiving e-mail sent to email@example.com.
To show you care: Visitors are more likely to take your site seriously if they think you take it seriously. One way to show that is to give it a personal web address, which announces to the world that the site is important, that the creators took the site seriously and felt it deserved attention and recognition. (This is especially true of a business website, no matter how small. If a business owner doesn't think enough of his or her business website to give it a unique domain name, then why should visitors think highly of the site or the business?) Businesses have truly learned the value of domain names. Recently, Compaq (which owns the AltaVista search engine) paid more than $3 million for the rights to the altavista.com domain. Loans.com recently sold for over $3 million. There are countless more examples of the value of an instant worldwide "monopoly" on domain names.
Every day, over thirty thousand domain names are registered, meaning every day you wait to register yours and get your personal web address, you have thousands of fewer choices. So don't wait!
2. To protect your primary domain names against "cybersquatting"
Click here for more information on cybersquatting.
The domain suffixes usually called domain extensions are intended to differentiate between various types of organizations on the Internet. Generally, the following rules apply:
The domain extension itself has no bearing on accessibility on the Internet from a technical standpoint, but over time the .com domain type has become the most popular and recognizable on the Internet.
Choosing the longest term possible (we offer terms ranging from one year to ten years which options are available depends upon the domain name extension) is the best way to make sure your name is never deleted or registered to another party. Also: with us, registering for longer periods is cheaper!
You would not believe the number of times we have seen people forget to renew their registration on time, and, as a result, forfeit the ownership of their domain name, and have someone else snatch it up immediately! Some "domain name hunters" have special software that is constantly looking for newly available domain names. (In fact we offer you that kind of software: check out our expired domains service.)
However, as long as you are sure to keep your contact information up to date (using our Account Manager), you will receive email renewal invoices prior to the expiration of your domain. And as long as you pay the renewal invoice in a timely manner it will secure your domain for another term. As the domain's owner, you'll always have the option to renew.
You are, when you register through us. In contrast, when you register a domain name at VeriSign, you do not own your name. In the VeriSign registration contract, they declare the right to revoke or suspend your domain name at their sole discretion. A few other companies have registration agreements like this. That's why it is very important to read the fine print when you register a domain name.
The person you list as your billing contact will always be sent a renewal notice. (Always make sure that the contact information is kept up to date!) As long as you pay it in a timely fashion, your domain will remain in your control. The billing contact and all registrant information can be changed via your Account Manager.
Yes. Information about who is responsible for domain names is required to be publicly available to allow rapid resolution of technical problems and to permit enforcement of consumer protection, trademark, and other laws. You can look up this information yourself by using our WhoIs tool.
Name servers are what the Internet uses to direct someone to your website. When someone types into the browser the web address, www.yourdomain.com, that name is translated (or "resolved") into numbers (called an "IP address"). So for example, the IP address for our Enchanted Websites site, www.enchantedwebsites.com is 188.8.131.52. If you type the IP number for a website into the browser, it will bring up the same website, because the IP number is actually its real address. It's the address of the actual physical computer the website is residing on. So the web address is something like the "name" of your company, while the IP number is more like the "street address" of your company. And the name server is something like the phone book, where you can look up a name and get a corresponding street address (sometimes, at any rate!).
Once your browser has the IP number for a web address, it is directed to the correct computer, and then the correct website, using those numbers. The translation of a domain name to an IP address is done through the name server managed by the domain name registrar — the place where the domain name was registered.
Once your new domain name is set up for hosting on a web server, the name servers associated with that domain name are changed at the domain name's registrar. It can then take up to 72 hours for this information to filter across the entire Internet. This process of new information spreading across the Internet is called DNS propagation.
First your domain registrar submits the new information to the master record database. The new information is available there very quickly. What slows things down is the fact that the Internet is a distributed system. When someone in Tokyo, Japan types your web address into the browser, your browser goes looking for the IP number of the corresponding website. However, it doesn't go to the master record database -- imagine if everyone on the web throughout the world were trying to look at the same database on the same machine (say, in a building in Washington, DC) all at the same time. There would be a massive "Internet traffic jam". And it would take forever before your browser got back an answer from the database.
How is such a massive "Internet traffic jam" avoided? Here's how. When that person in Tokyo, Japan types in your web address, their browser doesn't try to ask the master record database directly for the IP number of that web address. Instead, their browser asks the ISP (Internet Service Provider) through which their computer is connected to the Internet.
To avoid the traffic jam, each ISP has its own copy of the the master record database. That way the folks in Tokyo can ask their local ISP to look up the IP number of a web address, and the folks in Topeka, Kansas can ask their local ISP to look up the IP number. That way a global Internet traffic jam is avoided.
But how up to date is your ISP's copy of the master record database? It depends on how often they update their copy. Some do it every night, some every other day, and some up to 3 days.
So if you are hooked to the Internet through an ISP that updates its database every night, then if you set your domain name up for hosting today, you may very well see it tomorrow when you type in your web address to the browser. But someone in Rio De Janeiro may not see it yet at the same time tomorrow, because their ISP only updates its database every three days.
If you set up hosting today, and wait three days, you can be reasonably sure that everyone in the world will now be seeing your website.
Yes. You always have this right. You will need to follow the instructions provided from the new registrar. If you're interested in transferring your domain name to us, it's easy and cheap! ($14.95 for transferring a .com, .net, or .org domain name.) Just click here.
Most registration servers (including ours) are configured to accept longer domain names up to 67 characters in length (including the extension: so this means you can squeeze a couple of more characters in the prefix for .bz names than you can for .info names ). Previously, all .com, .net, and .org domain names were limited to 26 characters, but you can now register much longer names.
The following domain
is 52 characters long:
The following domain
is 63 characters long: this-domain-name-is-exactly-sixty-three-characters-long-exactly.com
Domain name registration and website hosting are two separate services. If you have registered a domain name (mydomainname.com), but have not yet set up hosting for an associated website (www.mydomainname.com), then we say that your domain name is "parked". Typing your parked domain name into a browser will bring up our standard parking page (which you can see here, if you're curious). Many people register and park a domain name (particularly "extra" domain names) for extended periods of time, simply so they acquire its ownership before anybody else does. It's far cheaper to own a domain name than to build a website around it!
If you're ready to start constructing your website, then you'll want to sign up for a hosting plan with a web hosting service like Host Your Site. Your website will be physically located on a web server: one of the web-accessible computers associated with the hosting service.
When you have a web hosting company such as Host Your Site set up your domain name, mydomain.com so that it can be accessed through a browser as a website, generally the web address of the website is www.mydomain.com. As you develop your online presence, you may want to have several different groups of people accessing your site, and you'd like to make it very easy to keep separate the web pages you'd like each group to have access to. For instance, you might distinguish between end customers, retailers, and distributors.
One simple way to do this is to use a different subdomain name for each purpose. This means that the first part of the web address is different. Instead of "www" you might have "retailers" (or whatever you'd like). So in the case we described, you might use www.mydomain.com for your end customers, retailers.mydomain.com for your retailers, and distributors.mydomain.com for your distributors. (The latter two subdomain sites might require opening an account to gain access to propritary material, wholesale prices, etc.) Many hosting companies (such as Host Your Site) offer the ability to set up subdomain sites.
In quick and simple terms, if you've registered the name in good faith, and it is not a name belonging to an internationally known company, and you can show that you have a legitimate reason to use that name, then most likely you will likely be able to keep that name.
One way to avoid trademark disputes would be to choose the right domain name. You would not want a name that is so similar to another company that people cannot distinguish between the two. For example, if your company is called Integrated Business Management, you would not want to register a domain name of "IBM.com". This would be a sure way of inducing a trademark dispute. Another way to protect your domain name from trademark disputes is to own more domain names just like it. If your company name is available in the .com version, you should always register the .net and .org versions, just to be on the safe side.
Provided that there are no trademark disputes, and the annual fees are maintained, your secured domain name will be yours indefinitely. As long as you wish to use it, it will be yours.
The top-level domain and the second level domain work together to form the Internet address. The second level domain usually indicates the name of the organization that the address belongs to (e.g. Microsoft), or the type of web site it is (e.g. .com). When the two are tied together, the address is formed: "microsoft.com". The term, "domain name", is usually used to refer to the combination of the top-level and second-level domain (like "microsoft.com"), Any additions to this address would be simple and straightforward and are performed by Microsoft. For example, Microsoft has the sites www.microsoft.com and search.microsoft.com.
In addition to the top-level domain extensions that are available for purchase worldwide, there are country code top-level domains (which require residence in the country) and the following generic top-level domains, which are restricted to qualifying entities as described below:
You may have noticed that some of the domain name extensions we offer were originally (but not any longer) the country code top-level domain name extensions for particular countries. For instance, .nu was the two-letter country code for Niue, a tiny country located in the South Pacific, with a population of 2,124 (as of a July, 2001 estimate). In fact it still is for example, the official government site is http://www.gov.nu. However, instead of being restricted to entities (individuals, businesses, not-for-profit organizations, etc.) residing in Niue, these few country codes were opened up to the worldwide domain name market. The motivation was usually twofold: to open up new domain name extensions to a world market that was already running out of good domain names of the .com, .net, and .org kind; and to benefit the small countries associated with these country codes.
For instance, the money from the sale of .nu domain names funds the development of the Internet infrastructure in Niue, providing free or low-cost Internet connectivity for the people of Niue, providing for technology transfer and education in the Internet and computer use, and other related activities. So purchase of these names benefits many others besides yourself!
The remaining two-letter country are still restricted for the exclusive use of entities residing in those countries. You may have seen some of these in email messages you have received: .de ("Deutschland") is the country code for Germany, .cn for China, and so on.
To see a list of all the two-letter country codes, click here.
A name server is a program that listens for and answers requests for domain name information. When it is registered, each domain name must be associated with a minimum of two name servers (primary and secondary) and a maximum of thirteen.
Name servers are typically of the format "ns1.domain.com". By default (unless you set them otherwise), we set your name servers to be ns1.nameresolve.com (primary) and be ns2.nameresolve.com (secondary).
Any time after you register your domain name, you can change the name server configuration (= "un-park" your "parked" domain name and associate it with a website) in your Account Manager. You'll want to find out the primary and secondary name servers of your web hosting company. If you host with us (through Host Your Site), we take care of all of that for you.
Domain Name System
(DNS), an Internet protocol and distributed database, is the technology
that ties text-based domain names to the numeric IP Addresses that are
necessary to locate a domain name server on the Internet. Simply put,
DNS translates www.domainname.com to an IP address.
DNS is far more complex than this! Click here to learn more.
Business is stolen from successful web sites everyday. Did you know that anyone can register a variation of your website name and set up shop in about five minutes? No ownership checks or trademark searches are done at the time of registration. Since most registration services are automated, even the most obviously malicious names are approved with a click of the mouse.
Cybersquatting, the act of registering a name in bad faith, has become one of the major problems facing businesses on the Internet. Although the term "cybersquatting" was originally used to describe the act of registering another's trademarked name, the term is commonly used to describe many different forms of bad faith registrations.
In order to protect yourself, you should be aware of the following forms of cybersquatting and domain misappropriation.
Can this really happen? Yes, it can and does happen every day. One of the most famous examples is "The Porn Funnel" strategy applied to the White House's own website, www.whitehouse.gov. (If you're curious, just replace "gov" with "com" in the web address. If you do want to see what they did, be forewarned: it is a pornographic site!)
Is it legal? Depending on the situation, site owners may have legal recourse (e.g. trademark infringement lawsuits or arbitration). However, even when a cybersquatter is breaking the law, it can be time-consuming and expensive for a site owner to win a legal judgment, especially if the cybersquatter is located in a different country. In some circumstances, it is possible to reclaim names through domain arbitration, however this can cost thousands and can take many months. Full-blown domain-related law suits can take years and cost tens of thousands of dollars.
The easiest (and cheapest) way to prevent most cybersquatting is to register a few basic variations of your company name before the damage is done.
Isn't this going to get expensive? Registering protective domain names is now becoming a necessary and expected cost for doing business on the Internet. Luckily the domain registration industry has been recently de-regulated. Domains which have traditionally cost $70 to register can now be registered for about $20. A small price to pay to help protect against the time and expense involved pursuing a cybersquatter.
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