So, you have an idea for a website, or your company needs to have an online presence. You need a website and a domain name, but you don’t know where to start. It’s important to know the basics of domain names and websites. The guide below was written with the first time domain buyer in mind, and will give you a starting point for further research into the matter.
Domain Vs. Website
A domain name is what users will type into your browser to get to the website. This may seem basic, but the difference is important. The domain name itself is registered in a huge database overseen by a corporation called ICANN. When you register a domain name, you’re not actually buying the domain but purchasing the right to use the domain for a set amount of time. This domain name then redirects to your website whenever it is accessed.
A website, on the other hand, is hosted either on your own servers or more likely on someone else’s servers. It is a collection of pages and content that people access every time they go to your domain name. This is a separate process, although many website hosts will also register your domain for you.
When Your Domain Is Taken
Whether you’re an individual or acting on behalf of a company, it’s very possible that the domain name you want has already been registered. In this case, many people will choose to buy domains off of the person who holds the registration currently. There are many ways of doing this, including approaching the person directly, acting through a domain broker, or participating in a domain auction. In any case, it’s important to keep in mind the true value of the domain you wish to use. Many domain sellers will ask for a much higher price than they’re actually willing to take, so it’s important to negotiate with the seller to get a good price.
Alternately, you may wish to choose a different Top Level Domain, or TLD. For instance, if example.com is taken, it would be a good idea to check example.net and example.org to see if those are available instead. Some TLDs have specific requirements to register them, though, so keep that in mind. For example, to register example.asia, you have to have a presence in Asia to justify your registration. Many domain brokers can assist you with this process and act as your representatives in whatever capacity is needed.
You Have A Domain…Now What?
Once you have purchased or registered your domain, you can set up a website for that domain name. Often, website hosting services will register a domain name for you and link it to the website. Otherwise, you’ll need to find a hosting service separately. Either way, using your domain name for the website is a relatively simple process once you know what you’re looking for.
Registering a domain for the first time can seem like a very complex process, but in actuality it’s quite simple. Now that you know the definitions and processes, you’ll be able to start the process of registering a domain and getting your dream website underway.