Do you want to know how to register a domain name all by yourself? Do you already have a website but you are not sure whether or not it is really registered in your name? How do you check this out? How do you make sure that you have complete control over your domain name?
The answers to these questions are very important if you are ever serious about your website
Learning to manage a domain name is not very difficult, but I am a bit surprised at how many small business website owners I’ve met don’t even know how to do it. They just leave the job of handling the registration and maintenance to the web developer or the webhosting company without even being aware of the danger.
After reading this article, I hope that you will grow in confidence in being able to take
complete control your domain name.
What is Domain Name?
That’s an easy question to answer. Simply stated, a Domain Name is a descriptive name you use to reference your website from the global network called the Internet. Essentially, it is a unique name that identifies a specific server among the other interconnected servers. The uniqueness of domain names is maintained and coordinated by an organization called Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Number or simply the ICANN.
About Top Level Domains
You are most probably aware of .com, .net and .org. These are called top-level domains (TLDs).
Sometimes they are referred to as domain name extensions. A TLD basically helps people identify what kind of website you have by simply looking at the name. That is, .com is for commercial establishments, .net is for network infrastructures, .org is for Non-Profit organizations.
These three are the most popular generic Top Level Domains (gTLDs) and are unrestricted — meaning, just about anyone can register a domain name with these extensions.
Other generic top level domains include .mil for military units, .gov government agencies, .edu educational institutions, .biz for businesses, .coop for cooperatives, etc. More and more will be added soon as the Web matures.
If you are a small business, you are more likely to be interested with the three generic Top Level Domains mentioned, namely .com, .net and .org.
Domain Name Registration for Dummies
I know you are hot on this, so here are the steps to take to register a domain name:
1. Is It Available? Just because you have come up with an effective domain name for your website doesn’t mean it can be yours. Someone might have already thought about it in the past, moved his butt and actually registered it ahead of you. One of the ways you can find out is by using a whois service. You may want to use this one http://www.whois.net.
2. Find a Domain Name Registrar. A domain Name Register is a company that manages the process of domain name registration for you. They also provide a whois tool that allows you to check for the availability of the desired name right from their own website. Some Web Hosting Companies are also Domain Name Registrars. Check out from your locality which ones offer the best service. One of the most popular Registrars in the US is the GoDaddy.
3. Enter your contact details. If you have found a domain name that fits for your business and is also available, the next thing to do is to provide your contact details. There are three contact details that you need to fill out, namely:
- Registrant — is the one who registers the domain name.
- Technical — optional, but if you choose to work with a webhosting company, you might want to enter their contact details here.
- Billing — since you own the site, naturally the billing statements must be sent to you
- Administrative — you must put the contact details of the most important person here and that is YOU. This is the most important of all the contact information. It allows you to have complete control of the domain name. Don’t ever let any third party to take over this contact information. With this, you can possibly change the Domain Name Server (DNS) setting if you decide to move your site to another Web Hosting company.
4. Want to Keep It Secret? Have you tried the whois tool in checking for other people’s domain? You will notice that some domains will reveal the contact details mentioned on Step 3 while others will not show them at all. That is the difference between public and private registration. A private registration will cost you more, but the contact details will be protected against any authorized access.
5. Pay The Bill, Shut-up And Wait. At this point your domain name is ready to be activated. Activation should start as soon as the registrar receives your payment. An email should be sent to the Billing Contact Information and the Administrative Contact you specified on Step 3 with the instructions on how to proceed with the payment.
Easy right? The next time around, you should be the one to register your domain name. If there is someone who should take control of your domain name, that someone should be YOU. If you already have a website and your hosting company didn’t even put your name as the Administrative Contact, insist on getting it from them. In the first place, that is yours and you have paid for it.