Staking your claim in Cyberspace - Domain Registration...

Question

How do I go about registering a domain name?

Answer

This question was answered on November 10, 2000. Much of the information contained herein may have changed since posting.

The first step in getting started with a new website is to register a “domain” name, which is essentially your websites name on the Internet (www.computerproblems.com is our domain name.)

Before you decide to register a domain name, you will want to thoroughly think about how you are going to us the domain name For instance, the longer a domain name is, the more the chance of a potential visitor spelling it wrong Also, long domain names are harder to fit on business cards, letterhead or classified ads in newspapers If your names site uses words like "for" or "to", you may want to register all variations of the word For instance, if you decide that your site's name will be meforyou.com, you would also want to register me4you.com and mefouryou.com to cover any potential users spelling of your site Also think about misspelled versions of your site, to catch those people that spell your website name wrong when they attempt to find you.

If you are registering a business website, the ".com" version is really the only desirable one Getting the ".net" or ".org" versions are ok, but most people will type ".com" without thinking about it This means you could end up spending a bunch of money marketing your site, just to drive traffic to someone else, because they have the ".com" version of your address.

You should also consider using as descriptive a name as is possible For instance, our domain name requires little explanation in order to understand what we do Unfortunately, the best single word generic domains, such as business.com or realestate.com are all taken Don't forget about foreign words that work for your site since they are more likely to be available at this point in time (For instance, QuePasa.com)

Start by making a list of every domain name that you might possibly want to register Once you have the list, you need to know which ones are available You can check to see if your desired name is available by going to a domain registrar My suggestion would be to stick with one of the major registration companies such as the creator of the domain name system, <a href="http://www.networksolutions.com"><font color="#003399">www.networksolutions.com</font></a> or with their major competitor <a href="http://www.register.com"><font color="#003399">www.register.com</font></a>

The main reason for using these services (and generally pay more than the discount registration firms) is for ease of transitioning once you have registered your name The most you will pay for a site is $35 per year

Both of these services give you an option to “park” your domain, which means they will simply display a page letting a potential user know that a website is forthcoming instead of them getting the “404” error.

If you don’t have plans to build your site in the near future, it may make sense to park it, but in most cases, you will want have it placed with the company that you plan to use for hosting the site.

If you find that one of your favorite names has already been taken, but when you actually type the address into your browser, no website appears, you may have a chance to buy the name from the owner.

If you would like to contact the owner of a domain name that has already been registered, go to

<a href="http://networksolutions.com/cgi-bin/whois/whois"><font color="#003399">>http://networksolutions.com/cgi-bin/whois/whois</b></font></a> to get the contact information In most cases, the original owner will demand a price that is beyond reality for most of us, but you never know!

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Author

Posted by Ken of Data Doctors on November 10, 2000