Web hosting allows companies or individuals to avail their website by publishing it on the internet for other users to access. Most Internet service providers offer web hosting solutions where the website is put on a web server. The website requires a unique identification which is the domain name and the must be registered. All the information about the site is stored on the Domain Name System Server. This server informs all computers on the internet about the domain names.
Domain name registration is offered by several companies known as registrars. These companies have interfaces connected to a master database that search for all the unused and available names. If the first choice domain name has already been taken up, most of the registrars offer a list of alternatives. They also offer a variety of domain name extensions also known as suffixes. Some of these extensions need supporting documents in order to be registered.
The supporting documents are just to prove the validity of the entity seeking registration. The registrars usually charge for domain name registration. The fee includes an annual fee as well as administration fees. As soon as the domain name is registered, it has to be linked to the host hence the domain pointer has to be changed. The host would normally tell one what to change it to. One domain name can be transferred from one registrar to another and one must go through the procedures defined to go through with the process. One or more names can be registered which would then be directed or pointed to the same site.
Domain name registration has the option of keeping the domain name private. This would keep your information away from the global internet database. Some users prefer to register anonymously, hence can go for this option. It also doubles up as a security feature as it prevents spammers from getting you E-mail address.
Domain names consist of either numbers, letters or can be alphanumeric however it has to start and end with a number or a letter. Sub domains normally replace the www in the domain names. They represent the different directories in the domain. This is especially useful if the same host is used to host different sites from one user. If the domain name is not registered, the address of the website will most likely be an extension of the internet service providers registered domain.
Choosing a good domain name
One has to register a domain name that is not already in use hence coming up with a unique domain name is necessary. It should be easy to spell, easy to be conveyed and most importantly easy to remember. They cannot include any characters other than the hyphen or the underscore. However the best option is to use one word or a combination of words that form a sentence. Also one should check for any similar domains being used. This way one can uniquely distinguish themselves from others to avoid any confusion. Choosing a domain suffix is equally essential.
The .com suffix is usually commercial and can be registered by anyone. The .net is normally for networks while .org is for organizations; they can be registered by anyone but are mainly designed for non profit groups. The .edu, .gov, .mil are reserved for education, government and military respectively hence cannot be registered by the general public.