A Thorough Guide to Domain Name Registration

The choice of a domain name is considered as one of the most important decisions that can help in establishing an online business or personal website. Every online entrepreneur prefers the top level domains for their website and in some cases; they prefer using special top level domains.

A Thorough Guide to Domain Name Registration

General Top Level Domains (or gTLDs) include common domains such as .com, .info, .org, and .net. For specific business websites, one may use special TLDs. For example, a company engaged in air travel, tourism, and air transport business may use .aero. While online entrepreneurs often try to garner global customers, if an entrepreneur wishes to stress more on native or local customers, they may also decide to use country code Top Level Domains (ccTLDs) such as .co.in for India, .bn for Bulgaria, .ch for Switzerland and so on.

An attractive domain name that represents the uniqueness of a business and its business ethics can hugely influence the business outcomes and that is why online entrepreneurs try to select the best possible domain names for their personal or commercial websites. An online entrepreneur is required to take care of every aspect of making an online website in such a manner that it may offer them a unique ability of search engine optimization. While one may use any general domain name for their website, choosing a distinctive, unique domain name may prove to be beneficial especially if potential customers can easily recognize it, remember it, and search for it. Thus, for a commercial website, such a domain name that can easily offer an idea about the business is always preferable. Such domain names are often called as generic domain names. Instead of providing information about a person, these types of domain names offer direct information about the business subject of the website. The domain name should be smaller and easy to be remembered. However, while choosing a domain name for a commercial or personal website, one should be very careful about choosing the domain name. One should avoid using the trademarks of other businesses and using a well-known trademark for a website can be termed as a violation of Intellectual Property laws. The IP laws of almost all countries maintain that registering the trademark of a well known company or person as a domain name of commercial website not belonging to that company or person is a violation of IP rights and it is considered as trademark infringement.

Brief History of Domain Name Registration

While the Internet is establishing itself as the strongest and fastest growing media, the history of Internet is not very old. In 1960s, people started connecting their computers with each other with the help of Wide Area Networks or WAN’s. One of the most commonly used WAN of those times was ARPANET. Gradually, the number of people using WAN facilities kept increasing and people realized that a systematic identification is necessary so that any system can be easily accessed. Initially, there were very few users of computers who made use of networks to connect with others and all these network users were associated with the U.S. Department of Defense and similar authoritative institutions. However, the number of network users kept increasing at a faster pace and it became necessary to offer a strong way to regulate and keep an eye on all available domain paths working on the network.

To facilitate the means of identification for each network user, the U.S. Defense Information Systems Agency evolved the concept of Internet Assigned Numbers Authority or IANA. The main job of IANA was to offer a unique code number or address to each network users so that they may regulate every computer that can be connected through the Internet network with others. Within a year, the concept of Internet Protocol or IP addressing system was developed and it became necessary for every computer connected with the Internet to have a proper IP address.

However, with increasing number of Internet users, the problem of addressing everyone through IP address became problematic and this problem was solved by the development of first name server in 1984. Within a year, the use of IP numbers to address network users became obsolete and it was replaced by the domain name system. In 1985, all major Top Level Domains such as .com, .net, .org and others were introduced and that gave a chance for Internet users to maintain their uniqueness.

In 1990, Tim Berners-Lee released the concept of World Wide Net with the help of CERN and within a month, the first commercial domain name server started offering domain name registration services for interested Internet users. In 1998, the U.S. Department of Commerce announced the proper transfer of management of domain registration systems to private companies and it increased the competition in the market of domain name registration services and that in turn increased the number of people using Internet. At present more than 19 million people are enjoying the facility of domain name registration and according to some estimates, more than 40 thousand people get a registered domain name every day.

Types of Domain Name Extensions

Domain name extensions are also known as Top Level Domain Names. We have already discussed about TLDs in brief. Let us take a look about 15 major types of Domain Name Extensions.

Initially, .com was the most commonly used domain name extension. Since there were not many Internet users at initial stages, the domain name servers used to offer mainly six types of domain name extensions to offer unique information about specific websites which were,

  1. .int
  2. .net
  3. .org
  4. .edu
  5. .gov
  6. .mil

During those days, .com was commonly used as the Top Level Domain. However, with increasing number of Internet users and with the advent of Internet shopping and marketing, DNS providers realized the importance of offering generic Top Level Domains. In general, these domain name extensions are often used by special interest groups. Some of these domain name extensions are..

  1. .biz
  2. .jobs
  3. .info
  4. .mobi
  5. .tel
  6. .name

With the advent of World Wide Net, Internet became the fastest growing global phenomena and the use of country code Top Level Domains became popular. Some very common ccTLDs are

  1. .in (India)
  2. .br (Brazil)
  3. .fr (France)

Generic Top Level Domains such as .com, .info, .net, .org, etc are the most commonly used domain name extensions and they are also known as unsponsored Top Level Domains or uTLDs. In addition, one can also choose a sponsored Top Level Domain or sTLD such as .museum. These types of domain name extensions are specifically used by specific companies or institutions within a business or industry.

Why a Short Domain Name is Better Choice

While choosing a domain name for a commercial or personal website, it is necessary to consider about the uniqueness and charm of the proposed domain name. In addition, one should also stress more on choosing a small domain name. The benefits of using a short domain name over a longer domain name can be summarized as follows:

  1. A short domain name is easier to remember. Thus, once a visitor arrives at your webpage, it will be easier for him or her to remember the web address of your website so that he or she may revisit your website.
  2. A short domain name for a commercial website will offer greater ease in submitting your website address in various directories. Directory submissions are profitable as they can offer great benefits of search engine optimization.
  3. A short domain name for a business website can help in establishing the website as a brand name. This offers better chance of Internet marketing and business.
  4. A long domain name of a website increases the chances of misspelling. Thus, even if a website succeeds in impressing the visitors, it will fail to attain any promotion through those visitors if they misspell the long domain name of the website. On the other hand, the risks of misspelling of shorter domain name of a website are pretty less. A short domain name can attain a huge praise and promotion through the words of visitors in their personal discussion with their friends, colleagues and family members.
  5. Shorter domain names can easily be promoted through social media platforms while longer domain names of websites are often ignored by social media users.

Certain Tools that help in registering an effective domain name

It is not easy to select a short, attractive, and appropriate domain name for a commercial or personal website. However, there are a number of software and tools that can help a person to choose the best possible domain name for their websites.

Every day, more than 40,000 new domain names are being registered on an average. This huge flood of registered domain names makes it difficult to select an attractive domain name for a new website. However, one can use innovative and effective tool that can help a person to know about other TLDs that have been used to create very popular websites such as del.icio.us. In addition, such tools will also provide full information about the available classy and catchy domain names to be selected for a new website. Some of the very effective tools that can help a person to find, select and register a charming, short and attractive domain name for their website are Domainr, Dot-o-mator, BustAName, Domize, Ajax Whois, Stuck Domains, squURL, and many others. All these services are very effective and any of these can be used by a person to make domain name hunting and registration process pretty rapid, easy and effortless.

How to Find a Good Domain Name Registrar

Before deciding for a domain name registrar, it is essential for a person to confirm that the registrar is trustworthy. The registrar should provide complete information about the whole process of domain name registration and how it works. Certain tips and criteria that will help in choosing the best domain name registrar are as follows:

  1. While a person can easily attain services of an online domain name registrar for their website, it will be beneficial to use services of such a registrar whom the registrant already knows. It is better to take help and advices of friends and colleagues and ask for their experience with the domain name registrar if they have had used the services in past.
  2. Looking for customer reviews about a domain name registrar may help a lot in finding the right service provider. A person may know if the domain name registrar offers proper customer care services for their clients by going through the customer reviews.
  3. A good domain name registrar will actively help in choosing a good, short, and attractive domain name for a new website. Communicating with the registrar before choosing his services will provide better idea about how good his services can be.
  4. Ask about the security systems for the domain name to avoid any fraudulent transfer or stealing of domain name. A good registrar should also offer proper information about the facilities of domain transfer in future.
  5. Going through the websites of different domain name registrars and comparing the charges for their services can help a person in choosing the best and cheapest domain name registrar effectively.

Mistakes to be Avoided while Registering a Domain Name

  1. Before registering a new domain name, one should confirm that the domain name they are choosing is not a trademark of any well known company. Avoiding any trademark infringement is very necessary as trademark infringement is a criminal act.
  2. One should confirm that the domain name registrar is reliable and he will provide proper security for the domain name to avoid any fraudulent domain name transfer.
  3. While registering a domain name, one should avoid choosing such a domain name that provides no information about the objective of the new website.
  4. Often people fail to find any short domain name for their new website and they give up too easily. One should try their best to find a short domain name for their website as it will help in establishing the website as a brand.
  5. If an attractive domain name is not available with the common TLD .com, one should try to choose such a domain name that is available with .com. While all generic TLDs offer same services, online visitors often show more attraction towards websites with TLD .com.
  6. Before registering a domain name with a registrar, it is necessary to thoroughly check the contract and terms of conditions offered by the registrar. This will avoid chances of losing a domain name because of some terms of the contract were violated.
  7. In general, domain name registrars offer services for variable durations such as 1 year, 2 year, 5 years, 10 years, and so on. One should avoid registering a domain name for more than one year especially if they are not fully confirmed about the quality of services offered by the registrar. Registering for longer periods will reduce a person’s chances of transferring domain name legally and he may also face difficulties if the registrar goes out of business within the period of their registration.
  8. Even after paying for domain name registration, one will not be able to use the domain name immediately because it takes time to update the official registry in the set of DNS information. One should confirm the authenticity of domain name and domain name registrar in advance and should ask how much time the registrar will take to get the new domain name officially registered in DNS information record.
  9. One should avoid using explicitly racial or abusive terms in the domain name of a new website.
  10. One should avoid using hyphenated domain names for their website. People often forget to use hyphens while typing a domain name to visit the website.
  11. One should not forget to use specific keyword or keywords in the domain name of their website.
  12. An online entrepreneur who is looking forward to achieve global customers should avoid using country specific domain name extensions.
  13. One should not chose a domain name registrar in haste and should invest enough time to research about the best, cheapest and reliable domain name registrar.

Top Domain Registration Websites

As you may know, it is the domain name that turns the raw IP address of a website into a human-readable piece of text. It is very important to register your website with a quality domain registrar. Your website could be your business. It could be your life. Do not take any risk. Play safe by avoiding cheap registrars. Here are a few quality domain registrars for you to choose from!

Namecheap.com

instantShift - Namecheap.com

The price is cheap, as the name suggests. Yet, Namecheap is a credible, trustworthy registrar charging you only $9.98 per year. It has a reputation built for itself by providing the most economical deals in town.

Visit Website

GoDaddy.com

instantShift - GoDaddy.com

GoDaddy has a huge customer base. Apart from being a domain registrar, GoDaddy is also a Web Hosting company. They offer a mini-hosting plan and provide you a five page site templates, tools and free storage of upto 1GB. Registration costs $11.99 per year.

Visit Website

Register.com

instantShift - Register.com

They suit the best for small-business owners. Until this date, Register.com offers the maximum choices in name registration with consistent services. A great example for their user-friendly service is the ‘help’ button on almost every page of their site.

Visit Website

Name.com

instantShift - Name.com

Name.com differs from other registrars by suggesting alternate names for your domain. It also lists the currently held domain names that are open for auction. Name.com impresses with a service called ‘Domain Grabber’ by which you can purchase even an unavailable domain.

Visit Website

1and1.com

instantShift - 1and1.com

1&1 domain registrations include a very simple 5-page website, which is considered as a domain parking package. It offers 2GB worth free storage space. 1&1 offers extra protection to your personal information.

Visit Website

Conclusion

Domain name registration can prove to be a cumbersome activity, however, choosing a unique domain name is very necessary for establishing a website as a good domain name will help in marketing a new website effectively through social networking sites, submission directories, and by other means of search engine optimization. While there are a number of choices of unsponsored Top Level Domains, one should be very careful while choosing a gTLD for their website. One can make use of quality tools that offer help in finding a good domain name for a website. However, the most important aspect of domain name registration is to use the service of such a domain name registrar who is trustworthy, reliable, and well established.

Like it? Share it.

6 Comments

  1. Jay,

    Great, comprehensive approach to the topic. Very useful to those who are just setting up their site.

  2. Thank you for providing such an in-depth guide. I appreciate that you have included information about several different registrars. Since everyone has a different preference, it is important for beginners to know a little bit about each of these registrars in order to make an educated decision.

  3. One key area this article fails miserably at and likely so with the endorsements to some of the most pathetic domain hosts on the web being shown. You must weigh heavily the justification for using one domain host over another. Do not base your decision based on web hosting features that these companies offer. Base your decision solely on what they offer you based on the domain control. Moving a website from one host to another is relatively simple, however moving a domain can become a logistics nightmare.

    I can tell you from personal experience that the worst domain host is 1&1. When I finally got tired of the limitations and ridiculous rules they imposed on my domains I decided to switch. Most of the domains I moved away took anywhere from 2 weeks and in some cases 3 months to move (Yes you read correctly 3 months!). This is because this company overcharges for their domains and they do not want to lose control of any domain. They make it such a hassle to move a domain that they are banking that you will give up and just stay where you are. In the case of the ones that took months it was simply because they denied the transfer and I resubmitted the transfer request 6 times before they finally let it happen.

    The best domain host I have ever had and the only one I use now is name.com. Not only is the control panel simple it is not polluted with so many advertisements like 1&1 and GoCrappy that it is easy to navigate. Support is fantastic and they NEVER over sell their domains. Moving from one account to another is painless and in all but rare cases changing records, DNS settings and nameservers is so fast that you rarely need to wait for anything to resolve since it happens within a few minutes to no more than an hour (rarely every more than that).

    Contrary to this article claiming that you should review the company’s process, some of these companies process looks valid and true but the reality is black and white. As is true with anything do not just believe what you read. Do yourself a huge favor and take the time to investigate your domain host, read the horror stories of others in the forums and make damn sure you make an informed choice. You will pay for it with aggravation and personal time in the future if you make a poor choice.

  4. Great to read the post. Thank you so much.

  5. Oh! You have done an excellent job. You have combined all the essential information and presented it in a simple way, it takes a lot of patience and time. We can see your passion and hard work.

Leave a Comment Yourself

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>