A domain name is an alias for an IP address. Now what is an IP address? An IP address is a numeric code that signifies where to look through the Internet for content. An example of an IP address would be 18.104.22.168. Rather than typing in a long and easily forgotten IP address, a domain name helps you by typing an easily remembered name to access the same site.
For example, www.domainsatretail.com is a domain name that points to a specific IP address. People can remember a domain name such as www.domainsatretail.com much easier than they can a long numeric code.
Domain names are everywhere as many use it everyday. Think of search sites. Google and Yahoo both have corresponding domain names www.google.com and www.yahoo.com. If you have ever sent an email you have used a domain name. For example when sending an email to email@example.com, sympatico.ca is the domain name.
Now that we have a better understanding of domain names, we need to know which domain name to pick and where can we register it. The domain name chosen for a web site can be a very important decision of marketing your company on the Internet. Its quite easy to just say pick a catchy domain that everyone will remember to use and you are set. In most cases it is that simple and you are set on your way to register the domain. However, at times the domain name you want has already been taken. And then you must think of a secondary name that you wish to use that will be just as catchy as the first.
OK, now you have picked your domain name you want. What is next? You need to choose a registrar for you domain name registration. There are many registrars who sign up and are available for the year, but you get no service from them whatsoever. Here are two domain name registrars that I would recommend for completing your domain name registration.
1) Domains at Retail - registrar that registers domain names. We provide great service and have 24/7 customer support. .com domain names are normally on sale for $8.75 US / year, however they are currently being run on promotion for $7.95 US / year. Visit Domains at Retail at http://www.domainsatretail.com for Cheap domain registration and excellent customer service.
2) Domains at Cost - excellent registrar with very competitive prices. I use this registrar for my .ca domain name registrations and renewals. They offer an excellent price ($14.41 CDN per domain name registration) and I am always able to get someone on the phone and my questions answered. Please Visit Domains at Cost at http://www.domainsatcost.ca for .ca Domain Name Registrations!
Good Luck with your domain name registration process and your start to your online marketing!
Michael Kralj is owner of Emenki Web Solutions and Domains at Retail. Emenki Web Solutions are web site designers and programmers based in Hamilton, Ontario, providing businesses with an informative and strategic approach to establishing an online presence on the web.
What is a domain name?
A domain name is the address of your website and it looks like this: (http://www.ebizmodelsyoucancopy.com/). Website addresses are unique, just as your personal ID; no one else in the world can have the same ID number as you. Likewise, once the domain name has been registered by you, no one else can register a domain name which is the same as yours.
Choosing the best domain name
The best name you can choose is always one that follows the theme of your business. If the theme of business is "starting your online business" then you should include words like "e-biz" or "internet" or maybe "internet business" in your domain name.
You see, the best domain names out there are ones that are easily remembered. Visitors are likelier to come back if they remember your domain name. So, if you want a great domain name, choose one which is short and easy to remember. Here are some tips to choose a good domain name: The name you choose should not exceed 5 words or 20 characters and it should be easy to spell. Try making use of keywords or popular search terms whenever possible and try not to have it more than 3 - 4 words long.
Registered vs. Free
Now, it is time to decide between a free domain name and a paid one. Tell me, what would think if someone is selling a $97.00 ebook using a free domain name? A big cheapo right? Even If that person is selling a popular ebook that comes with a 90 day money back guarantee, you'll probably wonder if he would ever return the money if you decide to ask for a refund. Here is another point, If I were to name my business "ebizmodelsyoucancopy", would it be much better if I registered www.ebizmodelsyoucancopy.com rather than www.geocities.com/internet/public/business/ebizmodelsyoucancopy/ ? After all, registering your own domain would cost less than $15.00 per year. What is $15.00 a year compared to a potential loss of sales?
Registering a domain name
The last step here is to register a domain name. Write down possible domain names that you like, then do a quick search to see if that name you want is available at the registrars website. For your information, most domain names that you might have thought of would have been already taken. So, you might have to do a lot of searches to find available domain names of your choice.
Next, Jot down all available domain names you like, then keep searching until you have about 5 - 7 good names that you can choose from.
Finally, choose a domain name you like best, and register it at a domain name ICANN Accredited registrar.
Find out how you can FULLY set up and run your own internet business within a few days at http://www.ebizmodelsyoucancopy.com/
Visit E-Biz Wiz Blog for proven ideas, tips and information on starting your own Internet Business and subscribe to the 12 Day Internet Marketing Success Course. http://ebizmodelsyoucancopy.blogspot.com/
Understanding the process and options involved with registering an expiring domain can be a confusing task. How, Where, When?
This article will explain the basic steps to researching an expiring domain name, and the many different options (or should I say necessary steps to insure success).
The normal domain expiration process for .com .net (domain deletion cycle):
Phase 1. Active Domain
A domain is registered for a time period of 1-10 years. During this time the domain owner has unrestricted use of the domain.
Phase 2. On-Hold
At the end of this time period, the registrant is required to pay a renewal fee to the registrar to continue to use the domain. If the domain is renewed go back to phase 1, if not the domain is placed in an onhold (on-hold) status for 1-45 days (each registrar has determines how long this period lasts). During this time, the registrant (owner of the domain) can still pay the renewal fee and continue to use his/her domain name. During this onhold period the domain resolves to the registrars website or does not resolve at all.
Phase 3. Redemption
After the 1-45 day onhold period, the domain then enters redemption status (RGP - Redemption grace period), which lasts for 30 days. During this time the registrant of the domain name has the option to pay a redemption penalty fee (redemption fees generally cost between $100-200 depending on the registrar) and renew the domain. If the domain owner renews the domain go back to phase 1. During this redemption period the domain resolves to the registrars website or does not resolve at all.
Phase 4. Pending Delete
After the domain completes the 30 day redemption period without being renewed, it then enters a 5 day pending delete period. During this the time the registrant no longer has the ability to renew the domain name. The domain will be released to the general public and be available for registration on the sixth day at 2pm eastern.
(This drop process does not hold true for exclusive backorders)
Domains are an ever changing industry. Over the last 2 years, many things have changed including many variations of the domain deletion process. The above mentioned process is the norm, but every day more and more registrars are starting to have exclusive drops.
An example of an exclusive drop: A domain is registered with Network Solutions. The registrant fails to renew the domain within 60 days of the expiration date. The domain is then auctioned off at snapnames.com (a domain auction site).
Each registrar has their own time frame for exclusive drops. Current registrars that are participating in exclusive drops are: network solutions, godaddy, wild west domains, blue razor, bulk register, dotster, and enom. Domains registered at network solutions or bulk register must be backordered at snapnames. Domains registered at godaddy, wild west domains, or blue razor must be backordered at godaddy or a wild west reseller such as domainut.com. Domains registered at dotster must be backordered at namewinner Domains registered at enom must be backordered at club drop (if at least on backorder is placed at the above services the domain will stay with the original registrar, if no backorder is placed, the domain will follow the normal drop process) A backorder is the process of signing up at a drop catching service and making a request to be the next owner of a domain. The prices at each drop catch service vary. Pool.com - Backorders start at $60. Pool uses a pay for performance business model. If pool does not catch the domain when it expires then you are not charged. If you are the only person that backordered a domain and pool catches it, you are awarded the domain for $60. If the expired domain was backordered by more than one person, the domain is then up for private auction. People that backordered the domain prior to Pool catching it are only allowed to bid in the auction. The auction lasts for 3 days. SnapNames.com - Backorders start at $60. Snapnames uses a pay for performance business model. If Snapnames does not catch the domain when it expires then you are not charged. If you are the only person that backordered a domain and snapnames catches it, you are awarded the domain for $60. If the expired domain was backordered by more than one person, the domain is then up for private auction. People that backordered the domain prior to snapnames catching it are only allowed to bid in the auction. The auction lasts for 3 days. Enom Club Drop - Backorder start price is optional$10 or $30. Enom uses a pay for performance business model. If enom does not catch the domain when it expires then you are not charged. If you are the only person that backordered a domain for $10 the domain then goes to public auction, but if you backordered it for $30 or more and enom catches it, you are awarded the domain. If the expired domain was backordered for $30 or more by more than one person, the domain is then up for private auction. The auction lasts for 3 days. Namewinner.com - Backorders start at $30. Namewinner uses a pay for performance business model. If namewinner does not catch the domain when it expires then you are not charged. If you are the only person that backordered a domain and namewinner catches it, you are awarded the domain for $30. If the expired domain was backordered by more than one person, the domain is then up for private auction. People that backordered the domain prior to namewinner catching it are only allowed to bid in the auction. The auction lasts for 3 days. Godaddy.com or any Wild West Domains Reseller - $18.95 first come first served (only one person can place a backorder on any one expiring domain, if or when the domain expires and godaddy catches it, the backorder holder is awarded the domain.) It is always best to fully research an expiring domain name. There is no sure fire way of knowing if a domain will receive traffic, or how much a domain is worth. But by checking to see how many sites link to a domain (linkpop), how many people searched for the domain in the previous month (overture with extension), how many people searched for the terms that make up the domain in the previous month (overture without the extension), what the google pr is (google page rank), and what the domain was use for in the past (wayback archive), you can get a rough idea of how much traffic you should expect.
Once you have completely researched a domain, you should then decide if the domain is worth backordering at pool or snapname for $60, at enom or namewinner for $30, at godaddy or a wild west reseller for $18.95, or enom for $10. Remember to cover all your bases if an expiring domain is worth at least $60 to you, then backorder at all of the above services. If it is only worth $30, then backorder at any service that is $30 or cheaper (but remember someone else may backorder it at the $60 service, and then you have no chance at getting the expired domain, if you don't have a backorder placed at that service.)
In today's business world, a domain name and a web presence are a must. All major businesses have domain names. The Web is now a part of everyday commercial life and your domain name is your identity on the Internet. A business web site without a domain name is difficult to find and looks unprofessional.
The Web is where people and customers around the world find information about you, your products and your services - 24 hours a day. Here online buyers, suppliers and partners come together. Securing a domain name ensures that your company name or product names are on the Internet.
For the amount domain name registration companies charge, it's a small price to pay for increased credibility in the eyes of potential customers.
Several thousand new domain names a day are registered. However, with a little creative thinking, you can still find a strong domain name that reflects your business or specific interest. Of course, the longer you put off registering a name, the more limited your choices become.
Equal Access On the Web, everyone has access to a first-rate location to set up a business. No matter how small you are, a good domain name can put your business on equal footing with multimillion-dollar sites such as Yahoo! and IBM. Therein lies the beauty of the Web: nobody knows if your site is run by a large team out of a downtown high-rise or by you from your garage.
If your site is a hobby or personal homepage, you can still benefit from a domain name. Your site will be easier to find, and more importantly, friends and relatives will remember it.
Domain names give you a higher profile on the Web Domain names that include common keywords can improve a site's ranking in search results returned by major search engines. Many large search directories will not list a site that does not have its own domain name. As well, domain names are easy to remember and customers may not have to search at all to find you.
Easy to Locate And let's face it, www.widgets.com is much easier to remember and locate than http://isp/users/widgets/index.html/.
Domain names are portable Having a domain name means you can change web hosting services without losing customers. Your new web hosting service will point people to the same web site. This way, you can to change hosting services to find a better deal, or receive better service without losing viewers or breaking links. Without a domain name, your web site name (URL) changes each time you move, which is confusing to customers.Shaun Cronrath is the President & CEO of DomainPurpose.com, a domain name registration company offering all the major domain extensions --.com, .net, .org, .info, .biz, .name, .ca, .us, .cn, .eu, .de, .pro and more.
Registering a domain name is seen by many newcomers to the web as a really complicated, highly technical task that the average mortal cannot do.
Nothing could be further from the truth.
You only need to bits of information on hand when you register your domain name:
- What you are going to call this domain
- and your web hosting DNS values, these are give to you by your hosting company and look something like:
NS1.WEBSITEWELCOM.COM and NS2.WEBSITEWELCOME.COM
They are almost always provided to you in pairs.
So first go to a reputable domain name registrar. I suggest using either www.Better-Domain-Names.com or www.Godaddy.com
These may not be the cheapest registrars currently on the web but their service, and reliability are incredible. I generally work on the principle "You get what you pay for", and never a truer thing can be said about domain name registrars.
OK, lets walk through the process of registering a domain name:
Using your web browser, visit a domain registrar. Usually on the front page there is a search option to check if the domain name you want is available.
Lets say for example, that you are trying to register a domain name for your Dog Training website.
So you type in dogtraining.com press enter, and it comes back that that domain is already take. Now, I would suggest that you place prefix and or suffix words to the domain name you are after. So you could try:
betterdogtraining.com bestdogtraining.com dogtrainingnewsletter.com dogtraininganswers.com
You could also try placing dashes "-" in your domain names to separate words. Admittedly, there are a group of search engine optimization people who currently believe that the search engines are now starting to penalize sites with 'dashes" in them. Another thing, sites that do not contain dashes and do not have any numbers in them, generally seller for a higher price. So if you think you might sell your domain sometime in the future, then it may be advisable to avoid using both dashes and numbers.
Lets say, that you find dogtraininganswers.com is available. So you move to the next page. Generally this asks you for the details of the person that is going to be the owner of this domain. Generally this will be your name, address, phone number etc.
Next the system will ask you for how long you want to register your domain for, the minimum period is 1 year and the maximum I have seen is 10 years. Most people go for the 1 year period, only because it costs the least. On the Better-Domain-names.com screen and the Godaddy.com page, you will see a link that says: "If hosting your site elsewhere, please click here to set name servers"
Please set your name servers now (using the name server values given to you by your hosting company), otherwise if you have to come back and change the default name servers at a later date. the problem is that it generally takes a long time for the name servers to propagate around the net and you could wait several days for this to happen. But if you set them now, they should propagate within a few minutes, maybe half an hour at the most.
Once you have keyed in *both* name servers values, you then move onto the payment screen where you key in your credit card details.
Here you may see an option called "Auto Renew". Check this box! This allows you to renew the domain automatically when its term expires. Any good domain name registrar should send you an multiple emails before the domain is set to expire, and if you take no action on these emails, then the domain will get automatically renewed. If you don't set this "Auto renew" option, then system will let the domain lapse and it becomes available for some else to purchase.
Once you press the "submit" button, it will take just a few seconds for that new domain name to be yours.
Bruce Hearder owns and run http://www.online-money101.com
Signup for the Online-Money101 newsletter and learn the simple techniques that everyday people like yourself use to make money on the web, every single day.
Selecting a proper domain name is one of the first important steps when starting an online business. In the online community, your domain name actually represents the name and reputation of your business, so choosing a domain name for your website is just as important as choosing your business name.
The first step to selecting a domain name is to brainstorm a list of possible domain names for your business. Ideally, your domain name should contain your business name, if possible. Customers who remember your business name can then return to your website easily by entering the URL of your website on their browser.
If it's not possible to register a domain name that contains your business name (because it has already been registered), then you need to include your business keywords in the domain name. These keywords should describe what your business does, or what products your business sells.
For example, if you plan to sell rare gemstones, you can register domain names like ‘uniquegemstones.com' or ‘raregemsonline.com'. These domain names contain the word ‘gem', which describes your business.
Another reason why you must include your business keywords in your domain name is that search engines will rank your website higher if your domain name contains the keywords you want to optimize your site for. You'll benefit from a higher stream of targeted visitors from Google, Yahoo or MSN when visitors search for your keywords.
For instance, a website with the domain name ‘webtuitionservices.com' is likely to rank higher than ‘tuition4you.com', for the keywords ‘tuition services', all else being equal.
Additionally, keep your domain name short and catchy. If your business name is too long and complicated, first-time visitors to your site may have a hard time remembering your URL, and cannot return to your website for future purchases.
When choosing a domain name, you should always register a ‘.com' URL. The ‘Dot-Com' domain name has become the industry standard, and everyone remembers ‘.com' first before ‘.net'. If you use a ‘.net' or ‘.org', you risk losing potential customers, simply because they assume that your business uses ‘.com'.
Registering The Domain Name
After you've brainstormed a list of possible domain names, you need to check their availability before actually registering them.
An example of where you can determine the availability of a domain name is Register.com, Inc. (http://www.register.com)
You can then proceed to register the domain name you've chosen. Popular domain name registration services like http://www.register.com or http://www.godaddy.com easily come to mind. The costs of registering each domain name can range between a few dollars to less than $20 a year.
Take note that domain name registration and web hosting are two separate services. The domain name registration service only registers your domain name - nothing else.
A web hosting service, on the other hand, allows you to upload your website onto a server so that visitors can view it via HTTP on the internet. The web hosting service comes together with Domain Name Service (DNS), which is the tool that directs visitors to your website when they enter the domain name on their web browser.
Also note that some web hosting services also offer free domain name registration as part of their web hosting package. One such example is PowWeb, Inc. (http://www.powweb.com). Before you register your domain name at http://www.register.com or http://www.godaddy.com, you should decide on your web host first and find out if they offer free domain name registration. This can probably save you a couple of extra dollars for domain name registration each year.
In conclusion, you need to select a domain name that is short and memorable, so that your visitors can easily return to your website another time. Your domain name should also contain either your business name, or the major keywords of your website, to rank higher on the search engines.
Ray Yee is the founder of Dropshipperscentral, a website that provides a wealth of informative articles, guides and resources on everything you'll need to know about setting up and marketing a Drop Ship Business. Click here for the Drop Ship Directory from http://www.dropshipperscentral.com.
When you launch a new website you must register a unique domain name with an authorized registrar. When the internet was first starting, all domain names and IP addresses were registered through one organization, Internic. Eventually Network Solutions took over the role as "keeper" of the internet domain names. Today, there are hundreds of websites where you can register your domain name but Network Solutions still maintains the main database of domain names. Some websites charge as little as $2.95 per year for your domain name while others charge as much as $35 per year for the exact same service. Some even offer one year free if you register your domain name with them and host your website on their servers. Why pay $35 when you can register your domain name for much less at another website?
So why does Network Solutions charge $35 a year if they are the keeper of the database and their resellers charge a fraction or even nothing? Who knows and who cares! Register your domain with one of the cheaper providers and you'll be fine. A word caution - be care who you choose to host your website. Getting a free year of your domain name isn't worth it if your webhost is unreliable and your website is down more than it's up.
You pay for your domain name on a yearly basis. It's a separate charge from your webhosting bill. When you register your domain name choose the autorenewal option if it's available. This way your domain name will not expire if you forget to renew it. If your domain name expires, it's free for anyone else to register so you need to stay on top of when it's expiring. Also registering your domain name for a 3 to 5 year term will often save you money. For example, godaddy.com charges $8.95 a year for your domain name but only $7.25 a year if you register for a 5 year term.
When you register your domain you can create different contact names. The three contacts are Administrator, Technical and Billing. Most of the time the same person is all 3 contacts. If you web designer registers your domain name for you, make sure you are designated as the Administrative contact. This gives you control over the domain name and you must be notified if someone is trying to make changes to your record. If you aren't one of the contacts then someone can transfer ownership of the domain name without your permission.
To see a record of your domain name, go to www.networksolutions.com and use their WHOIS utility which is located in the bottom left corner of their home page. Simply enter your domain name and click Search. You'll see the complete record of your domain name, where it's registered and where your website is hosted. For a complete video of how to use WHOIS, visit www.valiss.com/video/whois/whois.html.
When you register your domain name you'll have to the option of making it a private registration. I highly recommend paying the additional fee to make your information private. If you leave your registration public anyone can look up your domain information which includes your home or business address and your email address. Many spammers scan public domain registration records to find valid email addresses to spam.
I always use a yahoo or hotmail email account when registering my domains. This way if spammers to find my email address, I can just get a new "throwaway" email address and I won't receive spam at my primary email address.
Always make sure your domain record remains locked. Locking your domain name is a feature implemented a few years ago. When you want to transfer your domain name to a different registrar you must unlock it. Once it's unlocked the new registrar can "pull" your domain name from your current registrar. Once the transfer is complete, the domain name will be locked to prevent anyone else from "pulling" your domain away from you.
About The Author Ted Prodromou spent over 25 years in the computer industry working for IBM, Digital, and Cellular One. Today he's the owner of Valiss IT, a consulting firm that provides personalized web design and small business marketing solutions. Visit http://www.valiss.com for lots of free "how to" articles about marketing your business online. Copyright 2005 Valiss IT, Inc. All Rights Reserved This article may be reprinted only if it remains unchanged.