In very simple terms, an internet domain is an intellectual property. An example of an internet domain is ebwebwork.com. The internet domain ebwebwork.com is associated with the web site www.ebwebwork.com and various email addresses @ebwebwork.com.
An internet domain is registered through an accredited domain registrar. Commonly, an internet domain (like ebwebwork.com) is associated with a web site (like www.ebwebwork.com) and email addresses (like my email address @ebwebwork.com).
There is a difference between an internet domain and a web site. The domain ebwebwork.com and the web site www.ebwebwork.com are different.
How are they different?
The domain ebwebwork.com is an intellectual property that is registered with the domain registrar hosting.com, which provides very simple, straightforward domain registration and management services, and does not bother me with marketing gimmicks or upselling, unlike other domain registrars out there.
The web site www.ebwebwork.com is a collection of files and data on an internet server that are associated with the domain ebwebwork.com.
Why is an internet domain useful?
An internet domain allows web users to access a web site by a common name like yahoo.com or microsoft.com, rather than by the IP address of the internet server that hosts the web site. An internet domain also allows a server administrator to create email addresses such as email@example.com.
How do I register a internet domain?
Before you can use an internet domain, you must register it with a domain name registrar.
Internet domain registration is a big business. Many domain name registrars compete to get you to register your domain name with them. Popular registrars include networksolutions.com, godaddy.com, dotster.com, register.com, and many, many others. Many internet service providers (ISPs) partner with established domain registrars to offer domain registration service.
Internet domains are often registered en masse by entrepreneurs and resold to high bidders. Some foresightful entrepreneurs have successfully predicted marketable domain names and have made a lot of money by reserving and selling them. This practice of domain squatting is morally dubious and subject increasingly to regulation.
Choose a registrar that charges a flat, simple yearly fee for domain registration. Watch out for upselling of products or additional domains that you don't need. Do you really need .net, .com, and .org versions of your internet domain? In most cases, you don't.
Often, the simplest way to register a domain is to register it with your ISP.
I use the domain registration and management services offered by my longtime ISP, Hosting.com, who partners with the domain registrar OpenSRS. Domain management at Hosting.com / OpenSRS is simple and cost effective. There is a simple yearly fee; no attempt at upselling; and no shenanigans like using your parked domains to host pay-per-click marketing links.
Some domain registrars use professional models or dancers to entice people to buy domain services. For example, Godaddy.com employs "GoDaddy girls" -- bikini models -- to sell you internet services. I do not necessarily object to models or bikinis, but I do not choose to buy internet services from them.
Large, corporate registrars have been known to engage in shenanigans like using your parked domains to host pay-per-click marketing links. Some registrars offer domain registration at a very tempting, low cost for the first year, but charge much more in years subsequent.
You have options with domain name hosting. You can always move your domain names to a new registrar, if you do not like your current registrar. You should not pay more than $15 per year to register a domain name. You should be careful of first-year deals that offer domains for $5.99; these deals can come with fine print that locks you in to a higher rate in years to follow.
I encourage people to not do business with large, corporate, automated domain name businesses, but to deal with small, earth friendly internet businesses and to develop a working relationship with a reliable, established consultant.
I encourage people to not do business with large, corporate, automated domain name businesses, but to deal with small, earth friendly internet businesses and to develop a working relationship with a reliable, established consultant. (I have been doing this work since 1995.)
Registrars charge a fee to implement a domain registration. A competitive registration fee is $15 or so for a single year. Usually one has the option to register an internet domain for 1, 2, 5, 10, or 20 years.
When you register an internet domain it becomes your property so long as your registration is valid and kept up to date. You should keep careful records of any internet domains that you have registered. Your registrar will issue login credentials (username and password) to you, so that you can log in to your account at the registrar and manage your domain names. You should always keep this registrar login information on file, and secret.
Don't let your domain registration lapse, or you risk losing your domain name. Most registrars implement a system to remind you when your domain name registration is close to expiration, and some offer a protection plan to keep the domain in your ownership for a limited time even after your registration expires.
This is a very basic discussion of the complex topic of internet domains. If you wish to learn more, I suggest the links below. As always, please contact me if you have questions about registering an internet domain.
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