What is a Domain Name?
A domain is simply a term or phrase that is used to describe the web address of a web site. The characters that appear in the address bar of your web browser when you visit a web site are actually the domain name.
Domain names are an important part of the way the internet works because they are easier to remember than an IP address, a number that every domain name is connected to. Domain names are sold by domain registrars and can range in cost from about $1 to thousands of dollars, depending on the individual value of the name and/or the site attached to the domain. Domain names that are less than 6 letters long are considered quite rare, and are generally sold at auction for higher prices.
What is an IP Address?
An IP (Internet Protocol) address is simply a string of numbers that are separated by dots. An example of the appearance of an IP address would be 127.043.70.154. An IP address is essentially the number used to identify a device (such as a computer, mobile phone or web server) that is connected to the internet.
Every device that connects to the internet is assigned an IP address by the ISP (Internet Service Provider). Thus, every web site has an IP address, which is assigned by the domain name system, also known simply as the DNS. In theory, you could type the IP address of a web site into your web browser and access the site, however the associated domain name is usually much easier to remember.
What is the DNS?
The DNS (Domain Name System) is the largest digital database in the world, which holds the domain name information of every site in the world. This database is split up over thousands of individual web servers known as “Name Servers” or “DNS Servers” that maintain the integrity and continuity of the internet.
The DNS database can be searched by anyone through the WhoIS DNS lookup services, however it is possible to register a domain name privately so that registration information is not made available to the public. Without the domain name system the internet would not exist as we know it today. When you register a domain name you are actually adding new information to this already unfathomably large database.
What is a Name Server?
A name server is a web server that has DNS software installed on it, and is used to communicate with the domain name system and other devices that request information (such as a site visitor). Name servers are responsible for retrieving information from the DNS and displaying the necessary site when a web site is visited.
When you register with a web hosting provider you will be given the name of their nameservers (there are two for redundancy and smoother operating). As a webmaster it is your job to enter these name servers within the control panel of your domain registrar account. If you purchased your domain name from your hosting company then it should already be “parked” on their name servers.
What is a Domain Registrar?
Domain name registrars are companies that are authorized to sell domain names to the public. Domain registrars often providing web hosting services as well. Domain name registrars usually sell domain names at competitive pricing, which keeps the price of domains the same regardless of which registrar you choose to buy from. Most domain registrars provide discounts when you purchase multiple domains at once, especially if you buy multiple TLDs of the same name.
Although there are certain companies that are allowed to sell domain names, there are also many registrars that are middle men and profit by mediating the sale of domain names. In fact, almost every major hosting company has deals with domain registrars that allow them to offer free domains and/or sell additional domains within their service.
What is TLD?
A TLD (top-level domain) is the letters that appear after the last dot of a domain name. For example, in the domain name “exampledomain.com” the TLD would be .com (which is the most popular TLD on the market). There are over 200 TLDs currently on the market, the vast majority of which are ccTLDs (country-code TLDs). TLDs are also sometimes referred to as domain name extensions, or simply domain extensions.
Choosing the right TLD is an important part of the domain buying process because search engines frequently base their rankings on the type of TLD a site has. For example, .com sites are ranked higher than others in many cases.
What is a Parked Domain?
When you purchase a domain, by default it is parked. In other word, the domain is not being utilized and is simply being stored on your web hosting provider's server. When you visit a parked domain you'll notice that it will often have information on it that pertains to the web hosting provider. Some people intentionally park their domains with third-party advertising companies and allow them to place contextual advertising on the domain for a small amount of money each month.
Any domain that does not yet have an active site on it is considered parked. You can “unpark” a domain by simply placing a basic HTML page on the site. Some companies base their business model on parking domains and returning a small profit each month from the advertising.
What is a Domain Speculator?
Domain speculators are industry experts that specialize in buying and selling domain names. Domain speculators are also hired to judge the value of a domain name before it is sold. Domain names are frequently bought and sold on auction sites. Domain name speculators often own companies that profit through the buying and selling of domain names.
Domain name speculation is quickly becoming one of the largest industries online, with more people becoming involved in the sale and purchase of domains on a daily basis. Domain name speculation is an art form that requires one to take various factors into consideration before making a judgment of value. Although the name may seem to imply less, domain speculators do much more than speculate the value of a domain.
How Do You Buy a Domain Name?
Domain names are sold by domain name registrars, which are companies authorized by IANA (Internet Association for Domain Names) to sell domain names. Some companies are not actually registered domain registrars though, and instead have contracts with actual registrars through which they mediate the sale of domain names.
Buying a domain name is as simple as visiting the site of a domain name registrar an choosing a name. After searching for the name the registrar will tell you if it is available, and if it is not, a list of recommendations will usually be made. In most cases you're offered combo deals for purchasing more than one domain, which may be beneficial if you are trying to secure an online brand and keep your competition from capitalizing on your success.
What is Domain Name Registration?
Domain name registration is the process of leasing a domain name for a certain time period. Domain names are not permanently sold to anyone, but instead or rented out for predefined time periods that are decided upon registration of the domain. It is possible to renew the domain though, which means you do not have to worry about losing your favorite domain name just because it is about to expire.
Most domain name registrations are only purchased for a year's time, however it is possible to register the domain for up to 10 years at a time. Registering a domain is as simple as entering in some basic information and paying the registration fee.
How Do You Renew a Domain Name?
Renewing a domain name is a simple and common task that anyone can do with just a few minutes time. Unfortunately, a lot of people forget to renew their domain unnecessarily. The best way to renew your domain name without having to worry about forgetting is to set up notifications in your domain registrar control panel. This will cause your domain registrar to send you an email when your domain is about to expire, giving you an ample opportunity to renew the domain before it expires. You can even have these notifications set to text your cell phone if you feel that email is not reliable enough. When a domain name expire it usually goes back on the market within 30-90 days after expiry.
What is Private Registration?
When you register a domain name all of the details you provide to the domain registrar are placed in a public database that anyone can search using the WHOIS lookup tools found on various sites online. Fortunately, you can prevent this occurrence by registering the domain privately. Nearly every domain registrar will give you the option of registering the domain privately, however it will cost you an extra $10 in most case.
Private registration is beneficial to businesses and people that do not want their personal information online for predators and competitors to see. Many times the information in the WHOIS database is used by telemarketers to make soliciting phone calls about web based services and other marketing endeavors. If you would like to avoid this hassle then you should definitely consider private registration.
How Much Does Domain Registration Cost?
The cost of registering a domain name will differ depending on which registrar you use, and primarily, what type of TLD you choose. The more popular domains like .com and .net cost about $10 to register, however .info domains only cost about $5 to register. If you are purchasing a domain name that has already been registered (via auction or resale) then you may pay a lot more, depending on the name and the value of the attached web site if applicable.
Some domain registrars offer what are known as premium domain names, which can cost thousands of dollars. In general, most domain names do not cost more than $10 to register, which is one of the reasons why all of the good names are being bought so quickly.
What is Domain Certification?
Domain certification gives you an extra line of defense and security when registering a domain name because it allows you to easily prove ownership. With an official domain certificate you can prove that you are the rightful owner of a domain if a hacker gets your login credentials and steal your domain. Believe it or not, this is actually a fairly common occurrence, and there are people out there that engage in this kind of activity on a regular basis.
If you have recently had your web hosting account hacked then you know just how difficult it can be to prove that you are the owner of the domain. Domain certification usually only costs a few dollars more at checkout, and it can give you the assurance that your domain name cannot be stolen.
What is Domain Forwarding?
Domain forwarding is the commonly used practice of forwarding one domain name to another in order to direct web traffic more efficiently in certain situations. Domain name forwarding is done within the control panel of your web hosting account. Most people forward their domain because they've changed the name of their site, however there are no limits to the reasons domain forwarding can be used.
Domain forwarding is the best alternative to relocating an entire web site because you do not have to do extensive file transfers or any other complex procedures that require an investment of time and/or money. If you own more than one web site or domain name then you will need to learn the basics of domain forwarding and its uses.
What is IANA?
IANA is the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority, which is a government appointed organization that is in charge of regulating and managing the assignment of IP address. IANA coordinates the IP and AS number spaces and allocates these assignments to regional registries. IANA is the company responsible for approving the creation of new domain TLDs. All IP addresses are also cataloged and issued by IANA to local ISPs (Internet Service Providers).
IANA is not to be confused with ICANN, which is the company responsible for managing the Domain Name System. Many people try to file spam complaints with IANA, however it should be noted that these complaints should be sent to ICANN instead. IANA is an organization, whereas ICANN is an entity assigned by the U.S. government.
Can I Register Any TLD?
Although, most domain TLDs are open for public registration with no pre-requisites required, there are some TLDs that are not. For example, .mil and .gov domains are reserved for military and government entities respectively. Other domains that are not available for public registration are .aero, .coop and .museum.
Many people have the misconception that country code domains can only be registered by individuals or businesses within the specified country, however this is not true. Anyone in the world can register a ccTLD (country-code top-level domain). Ultimately, the domains available for public registration are plentiful, and there are only a few exceptions including the aforementioned TLDs. Overall, the limitations on domain registration are presented only by your budget and your preference.
How Do I Buy Expired Domain Names?
Buying expired domain names is one of the best ways to get immediate results in the search engines based on the work of the previous domain owner. Expired domain names are usually sold on auction sites where people list them for various prices. Most often the domain registrar will sell their recently expired domains to a company that specializes in selling these kinds of domains. After the domain has been acquired by the company it is listed on the auction site and people begin to bid on them.
Expired domain names often sell for a bit more than conventional domain names, with some of them selling for thousands of dollars, depending on the value of the name itself. If your domain has recently expired, there is no need to worry about it being sold right away, as most domain registrars provide a grace period before they sell the domain.
How Do I Change The Name Servers for My Domain?
Changing the name servers for your domain is a simple yet imperative process that most people learn early in their webmaster careers. When you sign up for a hosting account, you'll be given access to the hosting provider's name serves, however, if you purchased your domain name from another company you will need to point it to these name servers. This process involves retrieving the names of the name server from the hosting company and entering them into the appropriate fields in the control panel of your domain registrar account. If you're having trouble finding the name of the name servers, or pointing your domain to the right name server, then you may need to contact your web hosting support staff for assistance.
Can I Change the Default Parking Page?
The answer to this question depends upon the hosting provider you're using, as well as the registrar from which your purchase your domains. Most hosting providers allow you to change the default page that appears when you first purchase a domain within the control panel of your hosting account. This process differs depending on your host, so you may need to contact the support staff for assistance in some cases.
In general, if your hosting plan carries the cPanel control panel then this option should be found rather easily by even novice webmasters. In some cases the domain name registrar will not allow you to change the default parking page. If this is the case then it is strongly recommended that you change registrars and consider using another company for your next domain registration.
How Long Does It Take For Domain Changes to Take Effect?
In general, the time it takes for changes to your domain to take effect can differ greatly, ranging from one minute, to 72 hours. Most popular hosting providers perform updates on a constant basis, and in many cases if you associate a new domain with your hosting account it should be active within 5 minutes. However, there are instances when people have to wait for longer periods of time, and have even had to contact the hosting provider to force the changes to take effect.
If you are noticing that there is a consistent delay in the changes you make to your hosting account, then you may want to consider changing hosting providers. Do not be afraid to contact your hosting provider and let them know that you are disappointed with the amount of time it is taking for domain changes to take effect in your hosting account.
How Do I Use My Domain Name?
This is one of the first questions that many new webmasters ask after purchasing their domain. Most of the time the typical reaction is to visit your new domain, only to find a default parked page. To use your domain name you will need a web hosting account, which will give you access to a web server that can be used to manage the content on your domain.
Most of the time your domain name registrar will offer you hosting services during the purchasing process, however it is best to shop around for the best deal and the most reliable company before buying a hosting a plan from your domain registrar. Often, the domain registrar is simply offering hosting services that are being managed by another hosting provider.
What Does .com Stand For?
.Com is by far the most popular TLD (top-level domain), or domain extension available on the market today. In fact, the internet has become synonymous with this three letter term. Unfortunately, many people still do not understand its intended meaning. .COM stands for commercial, which means it is intended for commercial use. However, it is important to note that a lot of people use .com for a variety of reasons, and there are no requirements for registering or using a .com domain.
Experts estimate that more than half the internet consists of .com domains, and at the moment the most expensive domain names are .com domains that contain less than five letters. Fortunately, a regular .com domain name only costs about $10 form most registrars.
What Kinds of Letters and Symbols Can Domain Names Contain?
Domain names can be up to 62 characters long and can contain any combination of letters, numbers and hyphens (which are the only symbols allowed to be used in domain names). Although hyphens are commonly used to separate several words in long domain names, most experts advise against doing this because it is said that this can have a detrimental impact on the search engine ranking of the site that is attached to the domain name.
The most valuable domain names do not contain numbers or hyphens, even though it is becoming increasingly popular to use numbers and hyphens in domain names because many of the good names have been used, especially with .com TLDs.
How Do I Sell My Domain Name?
Selling a domain name is rather simple, especially if you have name that is of great value. There are many sites online that will let you sell your domain name for nay price you would like. These sites are often referred to as domain auction sites and are commonly used by people with all types of domain names. If you have a domain name that you feel is particularly valuable then you may want to consult with a domain speculator before listing your domain name for sale. Selling the domain at auction is often the best option because you'll be able to review a variety of bids before you choose your buyer.
What Does .Net Stand For?
.Net stands for network, and is a domain name extension that is commonly used for larger web sites that represent a network of businesses. However, people commonly use this domain for a variety of other reasons because it is one of the domain types that are frequently ranked highly in the search engines. .Net domains only coast about $10, and are amongst the most popular domains on the internet along with .org and .com.
If you are unable to find the domain you are looking for with .com TLD, then you may want to consider .net as your second choice. .Net domains have the potential to rank just as highly as .com domains in the search engines.
What Does .Org Stand For?
.Org is an abbreviation for organization, and is a domain name extension that is commonly used for non-profit sites that represent organizations. However, this domain extension is commonly used for all sorts of purposes, and is one of the most popular domain TLDs on the internet, along with .com and .net.
There are no special requirements for registering a .org domain, and you do not need to own an organization to own a .org web site. .Org domains are often sold for $10, and have the potential to rank highly in the search engines, often ranking in the number one spots for certain keywords. If you are unable to find a .com domain that you'd like, you should consider .org or .net domains.
Can I Create My Own Name Servers?
Yes, it is possible to create your own name servers within your web hosting account. Many people choose to do this because they fell it gives them an added sense of privacy and/or professionalism when people conduct a DNS lookup. The WHOis database publicly displays the names of your name servers, which is a reliable indicator of which hosting company you use. If you would like to keep this information private, or display another name for your clients or site visitors to see, then you can install DNS software within your hosting account and create name servers using a domain that you own.
It is important to note that you cannot install DNS software within certain hosting plans, including shared hosting. Thus, if you'd like to create your own name servers for your domain you will need a dedicated or VPS hosting plan.
What is a DNS Lookup?
A DNS Lookup is a service used to research information within the WHOis database. This information includes data given to domain registrars upon registration of a domain, such as the address and phone number of the owner, as well as the hosting provider and the name servers being used by the domain.
DNS lookups are often used to find out information about a company that owns a specific domain before issuing court documents or starting a legal process. It is also used by general site visitors to enquire about the identity of the site owner. Fortunately, through private registration it is possible to keep this information out of the public's scrutiny. Private registration costs about $10 more per domain, and is well worth it for many online business owners.
What is a Reverse DNS Lookup?
A reverse DNS lookup is an online service commonly used to find out information pertaining to the ownership and registration of a web site, or the origin of specific web traffic that is arriving via a certain IP address. The difference between a regular DNS lookup and a reverse DNS lookup is that a reverse lookup is conducted by using an IP address, while a regular lookup is done using the web address of a site.
Reverse lookups are frequently used to find out the origin of spam and or excessive fake web traffic, in order to report this abuse to the web hosting company. After the spam attack or attempted DDoS attack has been logged in your web server's analytics you can use the IP addresses to lookup the origin of the traffic and then report the abuse to the appropriate authority, including the web hosting provider.
What Does .Co Stand For?
.CO is a new domain name extension that has just recently been expanded to commercial use. However, the domain name has actually been in existence for about ten years, and was originally intended to be the country code TLD for Columbia. After receiving the proposition from a University in Columbia, the IANA organization decided to offer the domain TLD as an alternative for .com domains, being that it is so similar. As of recently, the .co domain is becoming increasingly popular as more people are recognizing the benefits of the domain and its similarities to the .com domains.
What is Domain Squatting?
Domain squatting is the practice of purchasing a domain specifically to keep a competitor form purchasing it, or to hold it until it is needed and then make a profit from the sale. Domain squatting is a common practice in the domain name industry, and is often a term used to describe unethical tactics used by webmasters to keep competition in control. For example, a person may purchase a misspelled version of a popular domain name to steal traffic that accidentally arrives at their site, or a person may purchase a domain name that contains copyrighted terms or the names of popular items or people. Domain squatting in the latter form is generally discouraged by most industry experts, however there is nothing wrong with purchasing domains for future use, as long as it is not copyright infringement.
How Do I Re-Claim My Domain?
Surprisingly, domain theft is quite common in today's unsafe internet. There are many hackers that spend hours every day trying to hack the login credentials of hosting accounts s that they can steal domains form their rightful owners. Unfortunately, after the domain has been stolen, most thieves change the login credentials and email address associated with the account, so it is nearly impossible to regain control of the domain after it has been stolen. This is especially true if you registered the domain with false information.
One of the best ways to make sure you can always regain ownership of your domain is to purchase domain certification upon registration, print a copy of your dated certificate, sign it, and take all of the necessary security precautions.
What is a Sub Domain?
Sub domains are domains within a domain, and are commonly used to better categorize a web site. The sub domain appears before the first dot in the domain name. For example, subdomain.domain.com. Sub domains are free and easy to create, and most hosting providers let you create an infinite amount of sub domains. Sub domains are often issued by web 2.0 sites that let you have your own mini site on their site, like a blogger.com or blogspot blog.
Some people advocate the advantages of subdomains and how they can be used for better site organization and search engine optimization. If you're planning on becoming a serious webmaster you'll need to learn the ins and outs of sub domains.
How Do I Create a Sub Domain?
Creating a sub domain is a simple process that can be done within any web hosting account, regardless of your experience or knowledge level. Although the exact process will differ depending on which hosting account you use, in general you would find the appropriate section within the domains module of your control panel. Some web hosting accounts let you create more sub domains then others, while some are unlimited.
If you plan on creating a multi-user blog then you may want to consider the benefits of having a hosting account that allows for unlimited sub domain creation. If you are having trouble learning how to create a sub domain within your hosting control panel, you should contact your hosting support.
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