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How To Register Your Domain

Written By: Matthew Coers

Your sites domain is the yoursite in www.yoursite.com. Your sites domain name is the human friendly way computers find your site on the Internet.

Behind the scenes, there is an Internet Protocol (IP) address that looks like this: 216.239.37.99. The IP address is your websites real address that computers understand and is associated with the human friendly domain name you are already familiar with on a name server. Many times you can get to the same website by typing in its IP address in place of the domain name. Below is a chart with a few examples of this. Go ahead and try copying one of these IP addresses into your browsers address bar and see for yourself. You will go to the same place as you would if you typed in the domain name!

Domain Name IP Address
www.google.com 216.239.37.99
www.amazon.com 207.171.163.90
www.cia.gov 198.81.129.100
www.aol.com 152.163.142.184

When you type in www.yoursite.com, your request goes out on the Internet to large servers called routers. The routers contain databases of domain names and IP addresses. Your request moves up the chain of routers until it finds one that knows the IP address for the domain you are requesting. This process is known as resolving the domain name. Essentially, you are looking for a computer that knows how to match up the Domain name that you typed into the browser to it’s IP address.

Once your request is resolved (matched to an IP address), the request is sent through various routers to the server that contains your websites files. That server is the web server. The web server then processes the request and sends the results back to your web browser as a web page.

Of course, it isnt really necessary that you understand all the details of domain resolution. What is important is that you understand that your domain is a unique name that is associated with your websites location on the Internet, and your websites location is a virtual location known as an IP address.

Registering a domain is exceptionally easy to do. When you register your domain, you specify the length of time you wish to reserve it for. Typically the longer the term, the less the annual cost to you. The most difficult thing for most entrepreneurs is determining which domain to register. Many of the best domains are already taken, so it takes some creativity to come up with a memorable domain that is not taken and is still applicable to your business.

As a general rule, if you are a U.S. company it is highly recommended that you pick a .com address. There are many more domains that are available in the .net and .org flavors, but if you are trying to establish a brand that will be perceived by your visitors as a leadership brand, you really need to have a .com address.

Back in the late 90s individuals and corporations began buying up all the good domains. They did this on speculation that the domains they were purchasing for $30 would one day be worth tens of thousands of dollars. Certainly a few lucky entrepreneurs made a quick buck this way, but generally speaking the cost of purchasing thousands of domains quickly outweighed the benefit of selling a few at an extraordinary profit. Many of these companies have since dumped a large portion of their inventory, and it is once again available on the open market.

In addition to recently expired domains, you can also do searches on the major registration sites such as:

If you need some ideas, there are a number of websites that allow you to search recently expired domains that you can purchase for just a few dollars. Some of these domains are already indexed in search engines or directories, and that can give you a certain benefit since it can be difficult to get indexed by search engines. A few are:

If your business is already established then you have less room to maneuver in selecting a domain. However, if you are just now establishing your business, and havent yet decided on a name for your company, you may want to wait until youve found a top-level domain that is available and name your business after that.

A few considerations when picking a domain name:

  • Make it descriptive Visitors should be able to tell what your site is about by looking at your domain name
  • Keep It Short and Simple Yes the KISS theory applies to domain names. Remember, your domain name will also be your email address. Your email address needs to be simple enough that you can easily give it over the phone to a prospect without having to repeat yourself multiple times.
  • Dont use special characters and modifiers This means hyphens, -, underscores, _, or modifiers like inc or biz etc. It is next to impossible to explain to someone over the phone why your domain has a hyphen in it. Leader companies dont have such things.
  • If at all possible your domain should be: www.yourcompanyname.com. If that domain is not available, you should consider changing the name of the company to a domain that is available. Its that important.
  • Pick a top level domain for your geographical area (i.e. .com, .co.uk, .hk). Feel free to also purchase the .net, .org, .tv and others, but you should make sure you get the .com.

Once you have decided on a domain name, you can register it at one of the registration sites. Regardless of where you register your domain, the process is similar. You enter the domain you wish to register, and follow the steps to pay for it.

In conclusion, registering a domain is an easy process that can be difficult to execute properly. Your domain name should be descriptive of the site you are building, and it should also be simple to remember. You should make sure to have a top-level domain such as .com or .co.uk. Finally, purchasing a recently expired domain that is pertinant to your industry may be beneficial in that you may be purchasing a domain that is already recognized by the major search engines.

About the Author

Mr. Coers specializes in helping entrepreneurs build effective web businesses. His website, contains useful articles on how to build a website and website planning.

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