Domain Names

26 Jan

To publish a website you need 1) the website content, 2) a domain name, and 3) a host.  Let’s talk about the domain name. 

Think of the domain name as your website’s name/address.  This is how it is identified.  For example, the domain name for the wordpress blog home page is wordpress.com.  Domain names can end in com, net, org, edu and a number of other extensions.  It’s a good idea to make your domain name descriptive of your venue.

Once you’ve decided on a domain name, you have to register it with an ICANN registrar; ICANN is the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers.  You can register your name directly through a registrar or through you web hosting provider.  (Sometimes the web host providers will have a special deal when you purchase hosting for a discounted domain name.)

Personally, I prefer to register the name directly with the registrar.  A google search on ICANN registrar will give you a list of registrars.  Right now, Yahoo! is having a special deal.  http://smallbusiness.yahoo.com/domains

When you go to the registrar’s site to register your domain name, they will search and tell you if the name is available.  You may have to regroup and come up with a variation if your name of choice has been taken.  You will have to pay for your domain name, either with a credit card or PayPal.  The cost can vary from a few dollars to $35.

You should also consider making your information private.  (This will probably cost you an additional $10, but then your address and phone number, which is required by the ICANN when you register, is not publicly available.)

Next – Ok, I have a domain name, now what?

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