If you want to own a web site, this means that you need a domain. A domain name is a human-memorable name that you type in your browser's address bar when you desire to reach a certain web portal.
Why Do You Need a Domain?
This is a subject I approach because of the fact that last week my boss proposed the idea of developing a site for our brand new venture. That itself is not an issue, the issue is that he needs a website, but has not made a decision yet about what it should look like, what it should consist of, and so on. All that he mentioned to me was the name of the web site - its domain. Thus, we now have an address for a yet-to-be-created web site and nothing else.
The Domain Name
Each web site is located on a physical server. That physical server has its own physical address, popular also as an IP address. Paying a visit to a website by typing 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 domains appeared. So, a domain name pertains to an IP address on the World Wide Web. Once it has been registered, of course.
Registering a Domain
To register a domain, you first have to discover a domain name registration provider. Lonex Web Hosting offers an optimal solution for my present and prospective projects - they have a Domain Manager package, which can be easily upgraded to a web hosting package later on - when my boss eventually reaches a decision about what function the site will serve.
So, to register a domain name, you have to choose a name for your site. Then, you have to choose a Top-Level Domain - this is what follows the dot. For instance, in 'chase.com', '.com' is the top-level domain name (TLD). Clearly, '.com' denotes 'company', '.net' denotes 'network', '.org' denotes 'organization', and so on.
After you've selected your domain name and your future domain name registrar, you need to find out whether the domain name you want to register is free, because someone else might have registered it before you, however unpleasant it might be. Each domain name registration company, including Lonex, has a tool at their sign-up page, which verifies the availability of a specific domain. To continue with the registration of a domain name, you need to fill out certain registrant information - the personal name, the physical address, the email address and the phone number of the domain name's registrant.
You've Registered a Domain... Now What?
I registered .com, .net, .org and .biz domain names for our venture, as per the wish of my still-hesitant-about-the-function-of-the-future-website boss. I tested the domain name management interface Lonex is offering and found it extremely useful - everything is neatly ordered and, from what I noticed in the web hosting CP demo at their website, once we upgrade to a cheap web hosting plan, it will remain the same, just with many more functionalities. This, thank heavens, will spare me quite a bit of inconvenience from having to administer my domain name and web site hosting user account separately. So, while waiting for the boss to decide at least what the web site should contain, I was happy to discover that the domain administration tool contains DNS management and domain name renewal options, and - a very valuable functionality (!) - a parked domain template, which I used in order to set up a "Coming Soon" page for our domains.
I was rather glad to find that Lonex is offering multiple country-code top-level domain names, because the project the web site is intended for is international. Country-specific Top-Level Domains are handed over to domestic registry operators, which enable domain name registration companies to register domains, typically at rates that are lower than those offered to the end clients. There are plenty of country-code domain names: .co.uk for the UK, .it for Italy, .nl for the Netherlands, .us for the USA, .ca for Canada, .com.au for Australia, and so on. This, I am confident, will please my boss since we will be able to create a local version of the web site for each country where the project will be presented.