What is a Domain?
If you would like to create a site, this means that you require a domain. A domain is a human-memorable name that you write in your browser's location bar when you wish to reach a particular web portal.
Why Do You Need a Domain Name?
This is an issue I introduce due to the fact that a week ago my boss came up with the idea of setting up a site for our new project. That itself is not a problem, the problem is that he needs a web site, but has not made a decision yet about what it should look like, what it should contain, etc. All that he mentioned to me was the name of the web site - its domain. Thus, we now have an address for a yet-to-be-established site and nothing else.
Each website is hosted on a physical server. That physical server has its own personal physical address, popular also as an IP address. Accessing a web site by writing the IP address of the machine in your web browser, however, is not the best and most convenient thing to do, so that was how and why domains appeared. So, a domain name corresponds to an IP address on the Internet. Once it has been registered, that is.
Registering a Domain Name
To register a domain name, you first need to discover a domain registration provider. NTC Hosting offers an optimal solution for my present and future projects - they provide a Domain Manager plan, which can be easily upgraded to a web hosting plan later on - when my boss finally decides what purpose the website will have.
So, to register a domain, you have to choose a name for your web site. After that, you have to select a Top-Level Domain - this is what comes after the dot. For instance, in 'answers.com', '.com' is the top-level domain name (TLD). Apparently, '.com' denotes 'company', '.net' denotes 'network', '.org' denotes 'organization', and so on.
After you've selected your domain name and your future registrar, you have to confirm whether the domain you want to register is available for registration, since someone else might have registered it before you, no matter how embarrassing this might be. Each domain name registration provider, including NTC Hosting, offers a functionality at their sign-up page, which ascertains the availability of a particular domain name. To proceed with the registration of a domain, you need to fill in certain domain registrant info - the name, the address, the email and the telephone number of the registrant of the domain name.
You've Registered a Domain Name... Now What?
I registered .com, .net, .name and .biz domain names for our venture, according to the desire of my still-hesitant-about-the-purpose-of-the-future-website boss. I tried out the domain name management interface NTC Hosting is offering and found it extremely intuitive - everything is neatly organized and, from what I noticed in the hosting Control Panel demo at their site, once we upgrade to a VPS web hosting package, it will remain the same, but with a lot more functionalities. This, thank God, will spare me quite a bit of inconvenience from having to manage my domain and web hosting account separately. So, while waiting for the boss to make a decision about at least what the web site should include, I was happy to find that the domain management tool offers DNS administration and domain renewal options, and - a very valuable functionality (!) - a parked domain name template, which I used in order to set up a "Coming Soon" page for our domains.
Country-Code Top-Level Domains
I was pretty happy to see that NTC Hosting is offering lots of country-code Top-Level Domains, as the project the site is aimed for is international. Country-specific TLDs are delegated to domestic registry operators, which permit domain name registration companies to register cheap domain names, typically at prices that are cheaper than those offered to the end customers. There are a lot of country-code top-level domain names: .co.uk for the UK, .de for Germany, .it for Italy, .us for the USA, .ca for Canada, .com.au for Australia, etc. This, I am certain, will make my boss happy because we will be able to prepare a local version of the site for each country where the project will be presented.
|Universal TLDs||1-year||2-years||10-years||with Hosting|
|.COM (Commercial)||$11.00 USD||$22.00 USD||$110.00 USD|
|.NET (Network)||$11.00 USD||$22.00 USD||$110.00 USD|
|.BIZ (Business)||$11.45 USD||$22.90 USD||$114.50 USD|
|.ORG (Non-Commercial)||$11.00 USD||$22.00 USD||$110.00 USD|
|.INFO (Information)||$12.00 USD||$24.00 USD||$120.00 USD|
|Country Code TLDs||1-year||2-years||10-years||Domain |
|.US (United States)||$10.00 USD||$20.00 USD||$100.00 USD|
|.CA (Canada)||$14.00 USD||$28.00 USD||$140.00 USD||$14.00 USD|
|.COM.AU (Austraila)||$24.00 USD||$120.00 USD||$24.00 USD|
|.EU (European Union)||$7.00 USD||$14.00 USD||$70.00 USD|
|.CO.UK (United Kingdom)||$15.00 USD||$75.00 USD||$15.00 USD|