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Basics of Domain Names

What is a domain name?

Computers on the Internet identify websites through a unique number called an IP. An example would be 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, The computers connected to the internet are configured to recognize that every time you search for the site, you really want and will direct you to this site.

The domain name generally consists of two parts. In, 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 domains

.com = commercial .net = network .edu = educational .org = organization

You can also specify subdomains of the domain name, such as, which will point to another page in your website. Subdomains are also called hostnames. They refer to the same thing.

Technical Information

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 Name contain?

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 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 Domain Name?

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 and other undesirable combinations. If you do get a domain name like, 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 or 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.

Your Company

If you own a trademark name, such as Wal-Mart, it may be relatively easily to take the name, from an existing owner. tried to take away from a group of artists, who had actually started their website two years before 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 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 Dispute Policy.

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 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,,, 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 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 website.

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.








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