What is a domain name?

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What is a Domain name?

What is a domain nameA domain name is the the name which you will be known by on the Internet. This is very similar to a business registering a dba or establishing a corporation entity. Domain names are comprised of two parts, the name itself, and the extension (.com, .net, .org). The name part should ideally represent something about the business, such as the name, like the johndoecorp, or the products or information that you plan on having on the website, like gardeninginformation. The extension (was originally) designed to identify the type of website, the .com extension was for commercial, .net was for network, .org was for organization, .gov for government, .mil for military, .edu for educational institutions. Today there are also country extensions and more extensions are being added as the demand continues.

When it comes to registering a domain name be aware that there are tens or thousands of domain names being registered daily. In addition, unlike business names where you can have two businesses with the same name, each and every domain name is unique and can only be one on the entire Internet. This means that competition for names can be fierce. There is also a good chance that the name that you want is already taken. An example of this is the domain nissan.com, this name was registered by an insightful computer dealer who's last name is Nissan. He registered the name and began using his website for his businesses needs. When the Nissan Motor corp. went to register a name they found that their first choice had already been taken, they reluctantly had to use nissandriven.com for their business needs.

The lesson to be learned here is that even if you are contemplating a website that you should get a domain name registered as soon as possible. Once you own the name and you continue paying to keep the name, nobody else can take it from you. There are some limitations to this however. Some enterprising individuals register domain names for other businesses and anticipate making a killing by selling those businesses back their own name. This cybersquatting as it's called is a good way to find yourself in court.

When selecting a name try to find as short and descriptive a name as possible, again try to use the businesses actual name when doing this. Alternately you may want to find a name that describes your business. One way to find out if a name is available is to go to Network Solutions website and type in the name that you would like to have. They will let you know if the name is available or not. This may take some time, have patience and be creative. They also may prompt you with names that are similar and available for you to select from. Once you have found a name to register follow the prompts on the website to go about purchasing the name. There are several companies who can do this, networksolutions is just one.

This is also an area where a competent consultant, website developer or hosting company can assist you. Unless you feel very comfortable doing this the fees that they charge for assistance can be well worth it.

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Modified 04/03/2012