What Is A Domain Name?

Each digital device (PC, laptop, mobile, tablet, router etc) connected to a network (home, work, internet) has an IP (Internet Protocol) address assigned to it. An IP address is like a phone number for internet enabled devices. It allows the devices to communicate with each other. A typical IP address will look something like 192.168.1.1.

IP addresses are lenghty and look random so it is hard for us humans to remember especially when we browse tons of websites. Imagine remembering IP addresses of your favorite sites: facebook.com, google.com, convertism.com, zomato.com, etc. It would be difficult and cumbersome. So the domain name system was created to make it human-friendly and easy to remember.

In the domain name system we get to create a unique domain name which others can’t buy or own. For example I own convertism.com no domain registrar (companies who sell domains) can sell this same domain to others, no matter how much you are willing to pay! It has to be unique for the system to work.

Types of domains

When the internet started off we had domains ending with .com, .net and .org. Now we have a huge list of domains we can pick from. Some say .com should always be used some don’t care. I leave it up to you to pick a domain. If .com is taken you can pick a fancy one like .io and there are many others to choose from. Including country specific domains, example .in for India, .de for Germany, .au for Australia. There is a domain for each country.

Domain payments

You can pay yearly or buy for more than a year. You can also auto-renew it or manually do it. Keep in mind if you forget to renew it and others can snag it. And you could lose it forever unless the new owner decides to let it expire or sell it to you. Yes you can sell domains to others for a high sum. sex.com was sold for $13 million on November 17 2010. I sold one of my domains for Rs. 13,000.00.

Buying hosting and domain separately

You can do this. Once you buy the domain name you can change its name server to your hosting’s name server or you can direct the traffic to your hosting by updating your A record in the domain account. Hosting packages typically offer their email service where you can create email addresses such as [email protected] etc. When you want this setup you can update the name servers of your domain to point the hosting company’s name servers. If you only want to use the hosting package to host your website you can update the A record of your domain instead.

What Is WHOIS

When you buy a domain your contact information is attached to the domain. Anyone can look up the information for any given domain. Your phone number, email address, and home/business address are attached to it. If you are not comfortable sharing this information publicly you can protect your info by signing up for WHOIS protection. Once you do that your domain registrar will offer their contact information to your domain.

Why is the contact information made public?

This is done so that businesses know how to get in touch with the domain owner. For example you may buy a domain name called facebookads.com. In this case Facebook will contact you about trademark violation and will ask you to bring down the website on this domain or face legal action. I recommend you get WHOIS protection to keep your contact details private from nutty people.

With WHOIS protection when people contact about your domain it goes to the domain registrar and they will forward the details to you. You can get in touch with party who is trying to reach you

Pricing

With so many domain registrars in the market it’s hard to keep track of prices when they get changed a lot by the companies depending on deals. You can typically pay around Rs. 600-800 for the domain and another Rs. 300-500 for WHOIS protection. namecheap.com generally offers free WHOIS the first year when you buy the domain through them.

Picking the perfect domain name

There is no such thing as a perfect domain. Pick something you are fairly happy with and stick with it. I used to obsesses with finding the perfect domain – not anymore! Convertism is not exactly a sexy domain name but I don’t care, all I care about is getting things done and getting PAYING customers! In the end that is the ultimate goal of any business no matter why you run a business. So pick something and move to next the task!

Since the internet is a couple of decades old, all obvious domain names will be taken, so don’t even bother with obvious names like cleaners.com hairstylist.com etc. What you can try is make it two part. The first part is the business and second a verb or the locality name, that customers find helpful. For example www.jpnagarcleaners.com, www.bengalurustylist.com etc.

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