How to Register
Your Own Domain Name
Web Design/Domain Name Registration
If you have a web
site, you should seriously consider registering your own domain
name. A domain name is a name like "MPMarketingCenter.com"
which you can use to refer to your website. Note that you do not
have to be a company or organisation to register a domain name.
Any individual can do it too.
Importance of a Domain Name
There are a number of
good reasons for having a domain name:
If you ever change
your web host, your domain name goes with you. Your regular
visitors or customers who knew your site name as
www.MPMarketingCenter.com (for example) would not have to be
informed about a change of URL. They would simply type your
domain name and they'd be brought to your new site.
If you are a
business, a domain name gives you credibility. Few people
would be willing to do business with a company with a dubious
URL like http://www.geocities.com/whatever/12345.
If you get a domain
name that describes your company's business or name, people
can remember the name easily and can return to your site
without having to consult their documents. In fact, if you get
a good name that describe your product or service, you might
even get people who were trying their luck by typing "www.yourproductname.com"
in their browser.
If you want good
sponsors (advertisers) for your website, a domain name is
usually helpful. It tends to give your website an aura of
Getting a domain name
involves registering the name you want with an organisation
called InterNIC through a domain name registrar. For example, if
you choose a name like "mycompanyname.com", you will have to go
to a registrar, pay a registration fee that ranges between US$15
to US$35 for that name. That will give you the right to the name
for a year, and you will have to renew it annually for (usually)
the same amount per annum.
Some web hosts will
register it and pay for the name for free (usually only the
commercial web hosts), while others will do it for you but
you'll have to foot the InterNIC fees.
preference is to register the name myself, so that I can be sure
that I am registered as the owner, the administrative and
technical contacts. Being the owner is vital - if someone else
places himself as the owner (such as your web host), he can
always decide to charge you for the use of the name later, and
there is little you can do. The various contacts are less vital,
but still play important roles. For example, the administrative
contact's approval is required before a domain name is
transferred out of a web host. If he/she cannot be contacted,
the technical contact is used.
Although many web
hosts suggest that you put them as the technical contact, you
may prefer to keep yourself as one, so that when you want to
transfer your name to a new web host, you don't have to wait for
your old host to approve the transfer (apparently some have been
known to take some time to do this, while unscrupulous ones have
actually refused to do it).
disappear extremely fast. Many people claim that all the good
domain names are gone. I doubt that - but it is probably true
that most good domain names that are descriptive of products and
services have been taken. If you want a domain name for your
site, I suggest you act now, or face the anguish of having lost
that name later. After all, US$35 (the price charged by the most
expensive registrars) for a year's ownership of the name is
pretty cheap when you realise that you're cornering a good name
for your website.
Step By Step Instructions
If you want to
register a domain name, here's what you need to do. Please read
it all before acting.
Think of a few good
domain names that you'd like to use. It won't do to think of
only one - it might already be taken (it probably is!).
Obtain from your
web host the DNS IP addresses and names of their primary and
secondary name servers. Don't worry if you don't understand
what these things mean. Just save the information somewhere.
The information can usually be obtained from their FAQs or
other documentation on their site, usually under a category
like "domain name" or "DNS" or "domain name transfer" and the
like. If you can't find it, email their webmaster. If you
don't have a web host yet, all is not lost. Read on.
Get your credit
card ready. This is a requirement of most if not all
registrars. It will allow you to claim and get the domain name
immediately on application. This is not an option
If you already have
a web host, you can just go to one of the registrars listed
below and apply for the domain name. Be sure you have the
information mentioned earlier.
If you do not have
a web host, you can always use one of the registrars listed
below that allow you to park your domain name at a temporary
website specially set up for you. This way you can quickly
secure your domain name before it's too late and still take
your time to set up the other aspects of your site. Some of
those registrars also provide you with a free email address at
your own domain name, like firstname.lastname@example.org.
List of Domain Name Registrars
Domain Name Registrars.
Once you've decided,
you should not procrastinate. I've lost more than one domain
name by procrastinating (I lost the latest one by only one day).
After all, at the price you're paying, it works out to be about
US$3 a month if you're choosing the most expensive registrar. It
is even cheaper, of course, if you use the other registrars
(slightly more than $1 per month).
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