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Your Website

This is probably the scariest thing for most people, and the first thing you should do. Where do you go to get established on the web. The easiest way to do it is to go to godaddy.com or bulkregister.com, and set up an account. These companies are known as domain registrars. Whilst GoDaddy is the most popular, it is no way the simplest to get around. Bulk Register, in my opinion, is the easiest one to get around.

Don’t be fooled by other sites that offer free domain registration when you sign up with their hosting service. See the description of ‘hosting’ further down the article. GoDaddy is also a hosting service, not a great one for a lot of reasons, but you don’t have to host there just because you registered there. Both GoDaddy and Bulk register give you full control over your information as to whom the domain belongs to.

When you register a domain, you are essentially leasing it. You make a payment every year to ensure that the name you choose stays with you. You are able to renew it when it is coming due, and your registrar will let you know via email in plenty of time. You can register a domain for longer than 1 year at a time, and the price goes down with each year you add. It really isn’t expensive to register a domain, and you may want to register a few domains.

Like I said in an earlier post, if you are going to go all geeky and try your hand at designing a website, it would be good to have a site that you can play on. Right now the going rate at GoDaddy for a .com address is $12.99 and $19.95 at bulk register.

As soon as you create an account at GoDaddy or bulk register, you will see an input line to search for a domain.Type in the name you want, all lowercase, with no spaces. Look for the .com domains. When people are typing in domain names they will usually put .com at the end because that is what they are used to doing, so you will loose some people if your extension is something else. I have another post with a list of the other extensions and what they are for.

The breakdown of a domain name is as follows:

www.yourdomainname.com

This is like your domain phone number, and no two people will have the same domain ‘phone number’.

The ‘.com, .org, .mil, .gov’ part is the TLD or top level domain – tells you whether your site is commercial, not for profit, military, government, etc.
The ‘yourdomainname’ is the part that tells the web the address, or phone number to call.
The ‘www’ is the part that sends it to the world wide web

Here are some other term and definitions that you might find interesting. I’m not going to explain them here, but you will come across them I’m sure.

WWW – World Wide Web
URL – Uniform Resource Locator
HTTP – HyperText Transfer Protocol
HTTPS – HyperText Transfer Protocol Secure
URI – Uniform Resource Identifier
DNS – Domain Name System
FTP – File Transfer Protocol
HTML – HyperText Markup Language
XML – Extensible Markup Language

What’s in a Domain Name?

Here is a breakdown of the different types of domains that are out there. This is by no means the definitive list, as it keeps changing on a weekly or more basis.

TLD – These are the most common extensions that you’re probably familiar with. They are made up of .COM, .NET & .ORG domains.

ccTLD – These are country code domain name extensions and they are generally made up of 2 characters. Some of the ccTLD extensions that you’re probably familiar with are .US for United States, .CA for Canada, .JP for Japan and .CN for China.

gTLD or vTLD – These are generic or vanity TLDs, and are generally made up of 3 or more letters. Some of the gTLD domain extensions that you may be familiar with are .BIZ, .INFO, .NAME & .MOBI, and many more.

Here is a list of SOME domain name extensions and their meanings. Some have viable reasoning behind them, whilst others are obviously vanity dots.

.COM (Commercial) – Generally intended for commercial use. By far the most recognized domain name extension.

.NET (Network) – This was originally intended for network oriented sites such as internet service providers. This definitely isn’t the case any longer. People will register .NET domains for commercial use, generally if the .COM extension isn’t available or if they’d like to protect their main .COM domain by registering all available extensions.

.ORG (Organization) – This domain extension was originally intended for non-profit or trade organizations. Again, this is no longer the case and is generally registered by anyone looking to protect their main domain by registering all available domain extensions or simply because a better extension isn’t available for registration.

.BIZ (Business) – This is a gTLD that is generally registered  to classify their website as a business. Although it’s not a commonly recognized extension.

.US (United States) – This ccTLD generally refers to US based companies. Although the domain has been out for quite some time now it’s possible to find some very good domain names with this extension.

.INFO (Informational) – This gTLD is generally used as an extension for informational websites. I believe that other than .COM, .NET & .ORG, it’s the most popular domain extension used. If you are developing an informational website, it’s definitely a domain extension that I’d register.

.MOBI (Mobile) – This domain extension, as of this writing, is fairly new. Although the majority of the domain name owners registered their domain name with the.MOBI domain name to protect their brand, it is primarily reserved for websites built for displaying on mobile devices.

. TV (Television) – In my opinion, it’s used primarily for media, primarily video, related websites.

.WS (Website) – This is actually a ccTLD for Western Samoa but was converted to a domain extension commonly used as an acronym for ‘website’. Although it seems that it would be a great extension I don’t feel that it really ever took off and you can find very good domains available with the .WS extension.

.ME (ME) – This is the newest domain, as of this writing. It was originally the ccTLD of Montenegro but would generally be used for personal related websites such as family websites or blogs another option would be to pose your resume or even artwork that you may have done. The other use would be to create a very memorable, personal email address.

.NAME (NAME) – This is a gTLD that’s intended for personal use. You’ll find that this extension is used for personal / family websites or simply used for name related email addresses.

.CA (Canada) – This is a ccTLD that is generally reserved for Canadian based businesses.

.CO.UK (United Kingdom) – This country code domain is generally reserved for commercial related websites based in the United Kingdom. Although it’s not restricted to just UK based business, I see very little value in registering the domain extension unless you plan on doing some sort of business in the UK.

.CN (China) – This is the ccTLD for China. This domain is not restricted to companies based in China and can basically be registered by anyone that would like a .CN extension.

So stick with your .com top level domains (TLD), and you won’t go wrong. As the I get new information, or information changes, I will either update the article or add a new one, so please subscribe on the right hand side of this blog.