A domain name is simply an alias for the IP address of your website. It can also be an important marketing tool for your website. Usually the company name or some variation that works better. Remember this is your web address. Make it easy for your customers find you.

It's amazing how we take things for granted. Take for domain names, for example. Many people know what they are, but few understand all the details in question. These do not usually become evident until a domain name is needed for a website.

A domain name is basically an address of a website. For example," 'is the address of the website of the Washington Post, but it's also the site's domain name.

Note: the entire Web address, ie,, is known as the URL (Uniform Resource Locator).

There are three"levels" of domain names. The first level is described in detail below, is the extension part of the name, ie. "Com" The second tier would be " "The third level would be " www."

Top-Level Domains

A domain name extension is called a"top-level domain (TLD)."These are divided into three different categories: generic top level domains (gTLDs), the country code top level domains (ccTLDs ) and infrastructure top-level domains.


Generic top level domains are the most frequently seen on the web:

*. Com (Originally intended for use by commercial organizations but is available to anyone).
*. Net (originally intended to be used by sites directly related to the Internet but is available to anyone).
*. Org (originally intended for the non-profit organizations, but is available to anyone).
*. Edu (used by educational organizations).
*. Gov (reserved for U.S. government agencies).
*. Mil (reserved for U.S. military).
*. Int (reserved for organizations established by international treaty. That is, the European Union:
*. Aero (reserved for members of aviation).
*. Biz (for use only by business).
*. Coop (reserved for cooperatives).
*. Read more.
* Museum. (Reserved for museums).
*. Name (private individuals).
*. Pro (for development professionals and related entities).

Other top-level domains are two letter country codes. They are used to identify the countries or dependent territories. For example, URL "uk" represents the United Kingdom. List of all country codes can be found on the IANA Web site. IANA (Internet Assigned Numbers Authority) oversees the distribution p. all TLD'

Top-level domain infrastructure is limited to Arpa and is used exclusively for Internet-infrastructure. ARPA name comes from the United States Department of Defense advanced research projects agency, government agencies, formulated on the Internet.

Formatting of Domain Names

Domain names must be at least two characters long and not more than 63 characters maximum, except for top-level domain. Characters can include any combination of letters, numbers, or dash. The first and last character must be a hyphen. Domain names are case-sensitive. ie""would be the same as " "


Besides a domain name, there is also another address for the web: Internet Protocol (IP) number. This is the actual address used to connect the computer to the web via the Internet. This is directly related to the domain name, and is regulated by the Internet Corporation for assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN)

If you are about to visit the physical home office of the Washington Post, you have to know his physical address. Although the actual legal description of property is different, like using a vanity 800 number. To place the collect call, you dial 1-800-CALL-ATT to the telephone company's computer translates into 1-800-2255-288.

The domain name and IP address act the same way. Every computer connected to the Internet is assigned a unique number known as an IP address. Developed in the early 1970', this number serves as a computer's Internet address. IP address can be either static (permanent) or dynamic (temporary). Most home computers use dynamic an IP address, while the number of servers and other computers use a static IP address. IP address looks like this: If you should enter this number in the address bar of web browser to get to the websites of the Washington Post.

When you put ''in the address bar of your browser, computer search of domain names (DNS) which is led by the Internet Corporation for assigned names and numbers (ICANN). A domain name is then translated to the number of IT and computer linked to the web.

Domain Name Registration

To use a domain name must be registered with a registry. ICANN manages a current directory of accredited registrars. The domain name was registered for a specific period of time. ie one year, up to a maximum of ten years and is renewable on an ongoing basis. When you purchase a domain name, it belongs to you only for the specified time you stated, in this case, one year. As long as you continue to renew in a timely manner, it will belong to you. It 'important track renewal period because if the domain name is not renewed, it can be registered by anyone for personal use.

During the registration process you may be asked for information other "that" contacts. Technical, Administrative. Your domain name records will be available to the public in what is called a"whois database (a public database mandated ICANN). The information is categorized under different areas so that the contact information just to be available in every situation (technical difficulties, infringement of copyright, etc.). The contact information may be the same for each position, some registrars will have a box control to allow the duplication of information in each section. As an example, here is the whois record for the Washington Post.

One caution about registering domain names just because you register the name does not automatically mean that it's yours. Intellectual property law apply to domain names. For example, you may not be able to register the name" domain"just because your last name is MacDonald. Take the case of Don Henley. His name is exactly like the rock musician of the Eagles. Mr. Henley wanted a website and so has been registered domain name"" and create one. He even stated on its Web site that it was the other Don Henley. The other Don Henley, apparently, has had problems with it. There is a"" recommended by the Eagles at Henley. According to the whois report, it was registered in 1999. Previously it was owned by a cybersquatter ."The other domain, "," was recorded in 1997. As far as I know, this situation is still unresolved.

Domain Pointing

During the registration process you will be asked if you want the domain name to "point." This is the IP address of the server where your website will be located and there should be a primary and secondary server. You can obtain this information from your web hosting company. There may also be a list of other server options. The Registrar may provide IP addresses of at least two name servers delegate on their site. You can change this if you yours. It can also be changed later if you change servers.

It should take 48-72 hours for your domain name to be set-up and available via the web.

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