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:
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