Obtaining Your Domain
January 25, 2012 at 10:32 AM
Your Concrete5 site needs a way for people to find it on the internet. On the world wide web you access websites through the Domain Name System. While you could access a website by typing the IP address, it would be impractical to memorize IP addresses for all the sites you regularly visit. To overcome this problem, the Domain Name System cross references domain names to IP addresses and does all the hard work for you.
An important initial decision when developing a website is to come up with a good domain name. This is something that you should invest a little time in and come up with name that fits your site since your domain name defines your brand. Some people may feel that the expense of a domain name and hosting is a waste when their Internet Service Provider gives them some free hosting with their internet service. A domain name provides an appearance of professionalism and an established company. Just ask yourself, would you rather do business with someone with an email address such as email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org?
There are several ways to obtain a domain name, all of which are fairly easy to accomplish, even for new webmasters.
The first way to obtain a domain name is through your web hosting company. Most web hosts will provide this service for you when you acquire a hosting package. While this is the easiest way for you to get your domain name, I do not recommend this method for several reasons. Sadly, there are unscrupulous web hosting companies out there that will not transfer your domain name if you move your site to another web host. Additionally, if your web host were to go out of business, there is a possibility that your domain name will not get transferred to you. Either way, losing control of your domain can cause you real problems, especially if your site becomes popular. In the end, someone else could end up with your domain and cash in from your hard work.
The second method is to acquire your domain name through a domain name registrar on your own. A domain name registrar will register your domain name on your behalf and also provide you with some management tools. I\'ll go into more detail on management tools in a future blog on web hosting and making the connection between your domain name and your web host. There are numerous domain registrars you can use, here is a list of the top domain registrars. My personal preference is Go Daddy, but I recommend you visit several and take a look at their services and management panel to determine what registrar is right for you.
The final method I\'ll cover is buying a domain name that someone already owns. Many people make a living by creating domain names and speculating that the name will become more valuable. These "Domain Squatters" control many desirable domain names that might be the best fit for you. Sometimes you can get these domains very cheap on different auction sites, other times you may have to pay a premium price for a domain name that will attract a lot of traffic.
Good luck finding that perfect domain name, remember that this is a critical step to brand your site and can set the tone for a successful venture.
If you want to know more about the nuts and bolts of domains, check out these Wikipedia sites...