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Domains

If you would like to own a site, this means that you require a domain name. A domain is a human-recognizable name that you type in your web browser's URL bar when you desire to see a given website.

Why Do You Require a Domain?

This is a question I touch on due to the fact that last week my boss proposed the idea of creating a web site for our brand new venture. That itself is not an issue, the issue is that he needs a site, but has not made up his mind yet about what it should look like, what it should include, etc. All that he revealed to me was the name of the website - its domain. Thus, we now have an Internet address for a yet-to-be-developed site and nothing apart from that.

The Domain

Each website is located on a physical server. That physical server has its own physical address, known also as an Internet Protocol address. Reaching a web site by writing the IP of the machine in your web browser, though, is not the best and most suitable thing to do, so that was how and why domain names appeared. Thus, a domain corresponds to an IP on the World Wide Web. Once it has been registered, that is.

Registering a Domain Name

To register a domain name, you first have to pick a domain name registrar. Exclusive Web Hosting has an optimal solution for my current and future projects - they offer a Domain Manager package, which can be effortlessly upgraded to a web hosting package at a later time - when my boss eventually makes a decision about what function the website will have.

Thus, to register a domain, you need to select a name for your site. After that, you have to choose a top-level domain name - this is what follows the dot. For instance, in 'wiki.com', '.com' is the top-level domain name (TLD). Obviously, '.com' signifies 'company', '.net' signifies 'network', '.org' signifies 'organization', etc.

After you've selected your domain name and your future registrar, you have to find out whether the domain name you would like to register is free, because someone else might have snatched it before you, however unpleasant it might be. Each domain name registrar company, including Exclusivehosting.net, offers a search tool at their sign-up page, which verifies the availability of a certain domain. To continue with the registration of a domain, you have to specify some registrant details - the personal name, the place of residence, the e-mail and the telephone number of the domain name's registrant.

You've Registered a Domain... Now What?

I registered .com, .net, .biz and .name domains for our project, as per the request of my still-unsure-about-the-purpose-of-the-future-website boss. I tested the domain administration dashboard Exclusivehosting.net is offering and found it very intuitive - everything is logically organized and, from what I noticed in the hosting Control Panel demo at their site, after we upgrade to a shared web hosting package, it will stay the same, just with many more features. This, thank God, will save me quite a lot of discomfort from having to administer my domain and hosting account separately. So, while waiting for the boss to determine at least what the web site should comprise, I was happy to discover that the domain name administration dashboard includes DNS management and domain name renewal options, and - a very useful feature (!) - a parked domain name template, which I resorted to in order to create a "Coming Soon" page for our domains.

Country-Specific TLDs

I was rather pleased to see that Exclusivehosting.net is offering many country-code top-level domain names, because the project the site is intended for is international. Country-code top-level domain names are delegated to domestic registry operators, which allow domain name registration suppliers to register domain names, usually at rates that are cheaper than those offered to the end customers. There are different country-specific domain names: .co.uk for the United Kingdom, .me for Montenegro, .nl for the Netherlands, .us for the USA, .ca for Canada, .com.au for Australia, and so on. This, I assume, will please my boss because we will be able to build a local version of the site for each country where the project will be presented.