What Exactly is a Domain?

If you would like to create a web site, this implies that you need a domain name. A domain name is an easy-to-remember name that you type in your web browser's address bar when you desire to see a specific web site.

Why Do You Need a Domain?

This is an issue I touch on because of the fact that one week ago my boss came up with the idea of building a web page for our new venture. That itself is not a problem, the problem is that he wants a web site, but has not reached a decision yet about what it should look like, what it should consist of, etc. All that he revealed to me was the name of the website - its domain name. Thus, we now have an Internet address for a yet-to-be-developed website and nothing apart from that.

The Domain

Each website is hosted on a physical machine. That physical machine has its own personal physical address, popular also as an IP address. Reaching a website by writing the IP of the physical server in your browser, however, is not the best and most suitable thing to do, so that was how and why domains came into existence. Thus, a domain pertains to an IP address on the Internet. Once it has been registered, that is.

Domain Name Registration

To register a cheap domain name, you first need to discover a domain name registrar. NTChosting has the best solution for my present and future projects - they offer a Domain Manager package, which can be easily upgraded to a web hosting plan later on - when my boss finally determines what objective the web site will serve.

So, to register a domain name, you need to choose a name for your site. Next, you need to choose a top-level domain name - this is what comes after the dot. For example, in 'wiki.com', '.com' is the Top-Level Domain (TLD). Clearly, '.com' is an abbreviation for 'company', '.net' is an abbreviation for 'network', '.org' is an abbreviation for 'organization', and so on.

Once you've selected your domain name and your future domain registrar, you have to confirm whether the domain you want to register is free, since someone else might have registered it before you, no matter how embarrassing it might be. Each domain name registration supplier, including NTChosting, has a functionality at their signup page, which verifies the availability of a certain domain name. To proceed with the registration of a domain, you have to specify some domain registrant info - the personal name, the place of residence, the electronic mail address and the telephone number of the owner of the domain name.

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

I registered .com, .net, .info and .biz domain names for our venture, as per the wish of my still-unsure-about-the-purpose-of-the-future-site boss. I tested the domain name administration dashboard NTChosting is offering and found it very user-friendly - everything is neatly arranged and, from what I saw in the web hosting Control Panel demo at their web site, after we upgrade to a VPS web hosting package, it will stay the same, but with many more functionalities. This, thank goodness, will spare me quite a lot of inconvenience from having to manage my domain and hosting user account separately. So, while waiting for the boss to decide at least what the website should include, I was glad to discover that the domain management dashboard contains DNS administration and domain name renewal options, and - an extremely convenient feature (!) - a parked domain name template, which I used in order to set up a "Coming Soon" page for our domains.

Country-Specific TLDs

I was pretty happy to discover that NTChosting is offering lots of country-code Top-Level Domains, since the project the web site is meant for is international. Country-specific TLDs are delegated to domestic registries, which enable domain name registration suppliers to register domain names, usually at rates that are lower than those offered to the end customers. There are many country-code TLDs: .co.uk for the United Kingdom, .de for Germany, .se for Sweden, .us for the USA, .ca for Canada, .com.au for Australia, etc. This, I believe, will make my boss happy because we will be able to build a local version of the site for each country where the project will be introduced.

Universal TLDs 1-year 2-years 10-years with Hosting
.COM (Commercial) $11.00 USD $22.00 USD $110.00 USD
.NET (Network) $11.00 USD $22.00 USD $110.00 USD
.BIZ (Business) $11.45 USD $22.90 USD $114.50 USD
.ORG (Non-Commercial) $11.00 USD $22.00 USD $110.00 USD
.INFO (Information) $12.00 USD $24.00 USD $120.00 USD