What is a domain
name? If you're thinking about a web site, you are
more than likely familiar with domain names. They are
the public reference to each and every web site.
Each one is unique, and each one is a form of short hand that
points to where a web site is located in the digital world.
Without digging too deeply into the hyper-tech of all this
just realize that the Internet...
the World Wide Web... the net... whatever you call it, uses
IP (Internet Protocol) as the foundation of its
communication. Each public connection on the internet
is identified by a unique public IP address. It's a
number... actually a set of numbers that might look like
188.8.131.52. A domain name is simply an easy to
remember abbreviation of that address that accomplishes two
things. First... you don't have to remember a bunch of
long complicated numbers to reach your favorite websites.
Secondly, that IP address can change from time to time for a
variety of reasons but the use of a domain name will still
get you where you need to go. So in this example,
instead of trying to remember the number
to reach www.amazon.com, you just have to remember amazon.com.
Amazon.com is the domain name. You need to decide on
a domain name for your web site so that your intended
audience can find you among the millions of IP addresses that
make up the Internet. And because it is such a crowded
neighborhood, you need to give some thought to what you will
use as your address on this vast landscape. You need
to pick a good domain name. If you've already got one
click here to get it registered, otherwise read on.
How do I pick a
good domain name? Here are a few basic
guidelines as you think about the domain name you want to
use for your venture in to the world wide web.
- Your domain name should be easy
- Hopefully the domain name implies
the content or purpose of your website
- Make sure your domain name
doesn't infringe on the rights and trademarks of others.
- Ideally the name will be unique
enough so that competing products or services can't use
a similar name to snag away customers that should be
getting to your site.
- Try not to let the name get too
- Think about search engines as you
pick your name
- Consider registering multiple
names that will all point to the same place.
With so many websites already
populating the Internet, locking on to the ideal name may be
difficult, but give the process some prompt but serious
thought. At the same time, you also have to think
about the second part of the domain name. It's
called the TLD or or Top Level Domain. As we've seen,
a domain name consists of text, called labels, that are
seperated by dots. In our example of
www.amazon.com, the "com" portion of the domain name is
the TLD. Back in the 1980's when the World Wide Web
(www) was getting off the ground, those governing things at
the time established seven TLDs: com, edu, gov, int,
mil, net, and org. The com, net and org TLDs were
pretty much fair game, but the others were only useable by
specific entities. As the internet grew, more TLDs
have been added, and undoubtedly more will continue to be
added. For a complete list of TLDs, you can
click here, but for the purposes of getting your website
up and running stick with com, net or org. And within
that framework, use these general guidelines:
Originally, the com TLD was for business, the net TLD was
for entities providing Internet services and the org TLD was
intended to serve the non-commercial community, but anyone
can register in all three of these TLDs. In reality,
com is the most desirable TLD whether or not you're doing
business on the web or just speaking your mind, sharing
pictures or whatever. If you can't find the domain
name you want in the com TLD, opt for the net TLD as a
second choice. If neither of those are available, then
try for a org TLD name. Of course, this recommendation
is subject to revision based on what your primary purpose
will be on the web. If, in fact, you are a
non-commercial organization, opt for an org domain
name as your first choice. But also remember that many
people might be searching for you under a com TLD even if
you are not a commercial venture. If the primary
purpose of your site will be to provide some sort of
Internet related service, the net TLD might be a good
choice, but again, many will be looking for you under the
com TLD. Ideally, you may want to
register your name under all three TLDs if they are
available. The Web Kings cost of domain names is so
reasonable that this tactic can easily be employed.