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Domain Name

If you want to set up a site, this means that you need a domain. A domain name is an easy-to-remember name that you write in your web browser's URL bar when you desire to access a particular web portal.

Why Do You Need a Domain Name?

This is an issue I broach because last week my boss brought forth the idea of making a web site for our brand new venture. That itself is not a problem, the problem is that he wants a site, but has not made a decision yet about what it should look like, what it should consist of, and so on. All that he revealed to me was the name of the website - its domain. So, we now have an address for a yet-to-be-made web site and nothing apart from that.

The Domain

Each website is hosted on a physical server. That physical server has its own personal physical address, known also as an Internet Protocol address. Visiting a web site by writing the Internet Protocol address of the machine in your browser, however, is not the best and most appropriate thing to do, so that was how and why domains came into being. So, a domain name pertains to an IP address on the World Wide Web. After it has been registered, of course.

Registering a Domain Name

To register a domain name, you first need to settle on a domain registrar. NTC Hosting has the best solution for my current and prospective projects - they have a Domain Manager plan, which can be easily upgraded to a hosting plan later on - when my boss eventually makes a decision about what purpose the website will serve.

Hence, to register a domain name, you need to choose a name for your site. After that, you have to select a Top-Level Domain - this is what follows the dot. For example, in 'live.com', '.com' is the top-level domain name (TLD). Clearly, '.com' is short for 'company', '.net' is short for 'network', '.org' is short for 'organization', and so on and so forth.

After you've picked your domain and your future domain name registration provider, you have to find out whether the domain name you wish to register is available for registration, since someone else might have seized it before you, no matter how annoying this might be. Each registrar, including NTC Hosting, offers a search tool at their sign-up page, which confirms the availability of a specific domain. To move on with the registration of a domain, you have to fill in certain registrant details - the name, the place of residence, the mail address and the telephone number of the domain name's registrant.

You've Registered a Domain Name... Now What?

I registered .com, .net, .eu and .name domains for our project, as per the desire of my still-unsure-about-the-purpose-of-the-future-website boss. I tested the domain name management interface NTC Hosting is offering and found it extremely useful - everything is logically organized and, from what I saw in the Control Panel demo at their web site, after we upgrade to a shared hosting plan, it will remain the same, just with a lot more features. This, thank God, will save me quite a bit of inconvenience from having to administer my domain and website hosting account separately. So, while waiting for the boss to reach a decision about at least what the website should include, I was pleased to discover that the domain name administration dashboard contains DNS administration and domain renewal options, and - an extremely valuable feature (!) - a parked domain template, which I used in order to set up a "Coming Soon" page for our domains.

Country-Specific TLDs

I was pretty glad to see that NTC Hosting is offering numerous country-specific Top-Level Domains, since the project the website is aimed for is international. Country-code top-level domain names are entrusted to local registry operators, which enable domain name registrar companies to register domains, usually at rates that are cheaper than those offered to the end clients. There are plenty of country-code TLDs: .co.uk for the UK, .it for Italy, .nl for the Netherlands, .us for the USA, .ca for Canada, .com.au for Australia, and so on. This, I am sure, 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 introduced.

TLDs 1-year 2-years with Hosting
.COM (Commercial) $11.00 USD $22.00 USD FREE
.NET (Network) $11.00 USD $22.00 USD FREE
.US (United States) $10.00 USD $20.00 USD FREE
.BIZ (Business) $11.00 USD $22.00 USD FREE
.INFO (Information) $11.00 USD $22.00 USD $11.00 USD
.COM.MX (Mexico) $48.00 USD $96.00 USD $48.00 USD
.WS (Website) $17.00 USD $34.00 USD $17.00 USD
.NAME (Personal) $10.00 USD $20.00 USD $10.00 USD
.AT (Austria) $25.00 USD N/A $25.00 USD
.JP (Japan) $55.00 USD N/A $55.00 USD