Basics of Domain Names
What is a domain
Computers on the Internet identify
websites through a unique number called an IP. An example would be
220.127.116.11. An IP is like a Toll Free number, 1-800-932-4678. An
easier way to remember this would be 1-800-WEBHOST. So instead of an
IP, you have a domain name, yourdomain.com. The computers connected
to the internet are configured to recognize that every time you
search for the site yourdomain.com, you really want 18.104.22.168 and
will direct you to this site.
The domain name generally consists of
two parts. In yourdomain.com, the .com is called the top level
domain. Other top level domains are .com, .net, .edu, .org . 'Yourdomain'
is the unique name or second level domain.
The Top Level
.com = commercial .net = network .edu =
educational .org = organization
You can also specify subdomains of the
domain name yourdomain.com, such as, mypage.yourdomain.com which
will point to another page in your website. Subdomains are also
called hostnames. They refer to the same thing.
When you register a domain name, it is
added to a database of all the available domain names. The
information about your domain name, such as contact, billing,
administrative contact, as well as your domain name server (DNS) is
added to this database. So when someone searches for a website, you
are accessing this large database and this database directs you to
the relevant DNS to access their database to find which computer
your website is on.
What can a Domain
A domain name may contain letters,
numbers and the dash (-). Most names end in the above top level
domains, of which .com is the most popular. They cannot begin or end
with a dash, and no space is allowed before, between, and after your
domain. You can have up to 67 characters now (include the top level
domain) in order to increase search engine placement, such as
internetmarketingcenter.com. However, some web browsers may not be
compatible with names longer than 58 characters. Try to keep it
below that length for greater compatibility.
Why Should I get a
There are many reasons why you should
get a domain name NOW.
Even though you may not need one this
second, it is always wise to secure one if you are company that has
registered trademarks or brand names. If you don't really have a
purpose or idea for the Internet at the present time, your domain
name may stand idle for some time, but when you finally have the
resources to start something on the Internet, the domain name that
you have chosen will be available right away.
There are currently over 100 million
domain names registered today. Thousands more are being registered
each day. There is a scarcity of the above top level domain names
that now they are planning to move on to other top level domains,
such as .biz, .info, .museum, etc. Some of these are endings
specified for specific industry, category of people/business. You
may not be able to register for them if you are not qualified. Many
of these names are also being pre-registered already. They will be
snatched up immediately once available.
If you do a search for something that
you are interested in, you will find that it takes you quite a while
to come up with a domain name that satisfies you. Almost all of the
three, four and five letter English words are gone. Of the 3 letter
and number combination, the only domains available are names such as
33A.com and other undesirable combinations. If you do get a domain
name like theme.com, it is potentially worth
hundreds of thousands of dollars.
Your Own Website
It seems that everyone has a website
these days. You may not have the slightest idea on how to go about
building a website, but if you can work the Internet and a word
processor, you can probably build a website. There are many
different tools and automated programs to help you do this. There
are a lot of online resources, such as free graphics, ideas, dynamic
programs that can make your site pleasing to the eye and also
interactive with your visitors.
You could obtain a name based on your
name. For example, if you are a medical doctor, you could register
your domain as dryourname.com or doctoryourname.com. If you have an
uncommon name, most probably it is still available.
You could also register a name based on
your interests. If you make a site on the TV show Friends, it would
be something that interests you and gives you some motivation to
express your ideas and opinions etc.
If you own a trademark name, such as
Wal-Mart, it may be relatively easily to take the name, wal-mart.com
from an existing owner. Etoys.com tried to take etoy.com away from a
group of artists, who had actually started their website two years
before etoys.com did. Etoys was unsuccessful, but have caused a lot
of anguish and strife, not to mention the court costs, for the
owners of etoy.
Someone who had registered
AOLsearch.com had the name plucked from her. She had registered it
for African-American Online Search. Of course, AOL, a huge company,
wanted that name and got it. It may now be stricken from the
database. Other companies, such as MacDonalds, had to go to extremes
to get the rights to their trademarked names.
There is a term for people who buy up
domain names of existing companies in order to demand a ransom price
for them. These people are termed, cybersquatters. I urge you
not to go this route because there are regulations from ICANN and
InterNIC that prohibit these kinds of actions now. The details can
be found in our
It would be wise for your company to
purchase all the relevant domain names while they are still
available, rather than buy them on the after market, where you could
end up paying thousands of dollars, or going to court to obtain the
rights to a trademark name. It costs as little as $9.95 per year to
register a domain name from Active-Domain.com these days.
Your Products and Services
If you offer a product or service, it
would be worthwhile to buy a domain name related to this to offer
brand recognition. Examples would include domainparking.com,
clothes.com, shopping.com, etc. Search the internet and you will
find that a lot of product names are already taken and not fully
developed yet, even after several years. You need to think about it
as an investment. Remember that the Internet is growing by leaps and
bounce. Every day, more and more people are going online. Your name
may itself be worth a lot of money in two to three years time.
If you are eyeing the secondary domain
market, seeing names like business.com selling for $7.5 million, you
need to think carefully about what domain names you invest in to
obtain this extraordinary sum.
Advantages to buying up a lot of domain
names in the hopes of striking it rich are the low cost to buy a
domain name these days. You would own these registered domain names
unless there was a trademark infraction.
If you are buying domain names for the
sole purpose of selling them, you should realize that less than five
percent of the domain names sell for a substantial profit. Unless
you are lucky to have a buyer, your domain name may sit on the
auction block indefinitely. Sometimes it is more profitable to do a
joint venture with a web developer and then sell the name along with
The bottom line is that if you have a
chance to register a name that you want to develop into a website
but just do not have the time, buy it if it is available. The domain
name can be used at a later date or sold. It will only cost you
$9.95 or less per year to keep it registered in your name.