What is a Domain ?

What exactly is a Domain Name?

A Domain Name is like your phone number, it is unique world wide. No one else has it.  Your Domain Name is how your customers will get to your website.  They will type in www.YourDomainName.??? and your site will come up.Domain Icon  Behind the scenes though, the domain names are used to identify one or more IP addresses which is an 11 digit number. Think of the domain name as turning a number into a name that you can remember. As an example, is it easier to remember WOWDLLC.com or 208.117.46.97? Type either one of these in the URL and it will take you to this website.  The point is, its easier to remember a domain name than a bunch of numbers.  There is more to a domain name than just a way to get to your site though.


An Asset

A domain name is LEASED, not purchased.  This means you have the right to use it for a limited time.  Once that time has expired, if you do not renew your lease, someone else can lease your domain name making your website an orphan and not accessible.  This is something you never want to have happen and want to have full control over.

Your domain name is a business asset, it has value.  It is as much a part of your business as the name, the logo, and the client list.  You should always be in control of your domain name.  Never let anyone else register it for you.  If you ever decide to sell the business, the domain name is a part of the assets included with the business.

For this reason, we do not register domain names for our clients.  We will walk you through the forms and process, but "you" will be the one doing it, paying for it and maintaining the lease on your domain name.  You'll get your domain name from a Registrar and they in turn register the domain name with ICANN. After doing this, you'll know how to renew your domain when the time comes to renew it.

Keep in mind, the domain is separate from the host which provides the services the domain will use.  However, it is not uncommon for a host to also be a Registrar as well.  They do this so you can take care of all your website needs in one place.


Contacts for a Domain

For any domain, there are three (3) different contacts that are required.

Registrant The Registrant Contact is the organization or person that has the rights to use ( or "ownership" of) the domain. They will be used primarily to determine who currently has rights over the domain for matters such as domain transfers. If the Registrant cannot be contacted, the Administrative contact will then be contacted.
Admin The Admin Contact for the domain for administrative, non-technical matters. Example, for legal matter, change of ownership, etc.
Technical The Technical Contact is the contact person for domain's technical matters.

 

Domain contact details can only be updated at the domain's Registrar.  No contact details are used for subdomains since subdomains will use the "parent" domain's contact information.  Information collected for each contact is: Name, Organization, Mailing Address, Phone, Phone Ext, Fax, Fax Ext, znc Email address.


Domain Naming, What to Consider...

What Business is About The domain name should tell the customer what your business is about.  For instance, the business might be called Brandenburg's so the site could be called www.Brandenburg.com, but you still don't know what the store sells.  Change the domain name to www.BrandenburgJewelryStore.com and now you know the name of the store and what the business does.
Easy to Remember Make the domain name easy to remember.  Does this mean the domain name should be short like an acronym of the business name?  Maybe it describes the business or products it sells, perhaps just the business name?  These are all good questions and ones that you will need to decide which makes the most sense for your domain name and business.  For example, "Wise Owl Web Designs, LLC" is our business name. We thought of WOWDLLC.com as it is nice and short, easy to type in and easy to remember... or is it?   Thinking about it, people will need to remember "Wise Owl Web Designs, LLC" to remember the acronym.  If they need to remember the company name to remember the acronym, does it make sense to use the acronym?
Easy to Type After having WiseOwlWebDesigns.com as the domain name for a while, it was decided that with most people accessing the internet through their phone and tablets that it would be easiest for the client to just type in WOWDLLC.com instead of WiseOwlWebDesigns.com   WiseOwlWebDesigns.com still exists, but when used goes to WOWDLLC.com
Typo's Consider more than just one (1) domain name if the customer could type it wrong.  If your domain name could be typed wrong or misspelled, do you want your customer to still end up at your site or someone else's?  For example, "www.wiseowlwebdesigns.com" has the plural for the word designs.  What happens if someone types in www.wiseowlwebdesign.com without the "s" ?  In this case, both the domain names were purchased and the non-plural website name www.wiseowlwebdesign.com redirects the customer to the actual domain of www.wiseowlwebdesigns.com   This is a little extra cost but it prevents someone else taking the non-plural domain name and also will bring the customer to your site if they misspell it.
Extension Domain Names have extensions behind them.  The most common one is .com  Others extensions are .net .org (organization) .info .edu (education) .me .tv and so forth. If the .com version of your domain is not available, perhaps you can get it with a different extension.

Word of Caution: This cannot be proved or disproved as a fact, but if you search for a domain name's availability, you should do it ONLY when you are ready to purchase it. On different occasions looking for domain names, I checked the domain name and found it was available but did not purchase it at that time. By the time I went back to purchase it, it was no longer available. I went to the site's URL (domain name) and the site was a single page saying how to contact someone to purchase the domain name. They wanted $5,000 US dollars for the domain name. My suggestion is that you do NOT search for a domain name until you are ready to purchase it.

Once you have your domain name purchased, the next step is finding a host for your domain.


Search Results

In a search result such as Google, your domain name will show as follows:

Title of Page

www.YourDomainName.???/page  (this is the page's url)
Description of what Page is about.
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