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What is a Domain Name?

A Domain Name is a human-readable address on the web. Think cnn.com, craigslist.org, facebook.com. These are the names that organizations have on the web.

How do I buy a Domain Name?

You really don't. You rent them by the year. A typical contract is about 3-5 years and goes for about $10 - $15 per year.

Do I Need A Domain Name?

Technically, no. But it's a branding and corporate identity issue. This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. doesn't communicate your brand as well as This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. In the first case, you're promoting Yahoo, in second, you're promoting your business.

Where Do I Get a Domain Name?

 You get a domain name from a registrar: a company set up to rent out domain names. Examples are Name.com, NameCheap.com, GoDaddy.com, Dreamhost.com, Register.com, Domain.com, etc. Each company has competitive prices and a wide range of offerings and price structures. You really won't go wrong by using any of them, as they're a well-regulated industry.

It Says the Domain Name I Want Isn't Available!! What Now?

Right. Rule #1 of registering a new domain name is: All the Good Ones are already gone. You'll have to get creative and think of another one.

Once I get a Domain Name, how do I use it?

You use it everywhere. It becomes the address of your website. It's what should be after the @ sign in your email address. It should appear on your business card, print ads, sales collateral, everywhere.

So my website will be www.myDomainName.com?

I tell folks all the time to leave off the 'www' part. It just takes up space on your business card, and is more for people to type. Look at ads and you'll see that CNN says go to cnn.com, not www.cnn.com.

Somebody has already registered my exact business name as a domain name. What do I do now?

If you've registered your business name as a Trademark, you may have recourse with the international body that regulates name registrars, ICANN. If you're just a local business that has registered with your Secretary of State, there may be other businesses with the same name in other states. In that case, you probably have no recourse. You'll have to pick another domain name.

What kind of website does my domain name have by default? 

None, actually, you'll need to decide what web page your want your domain name to point to. 

Homework

Do you have a domain name?

Do you actually own it, or does your webmaster? Check with where you purchased your doman name and look at the WhoIs link. It should have you listed as the registrant/owner.

Do you have your login name and password for where you purchased your domain?

When does it expire? Is it set up so you'll get the renewal notice?

 

 

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