Domain Naming Services are required to register an internet domain. Before creating a web site, it is important to register a meaningful and memorable domain name. This could be a company name, organisation name, or a personal name. Domain names that are local to a country (e.g. xyz.co.uk) are cheaper than USA or global domain names (e.g. xyz.com), but often there are restrictions on naming of domains that are local to a country. There are few restrictions on registering USA or global names. General information on registering domain names can be obtained by the www.icann.org link.
In order to protect a company or brand name, it is often wise to register many similar domain names. In the case of global companies, it is sensible to register a domain name for major countries in which business is done or will be done. Domain names are registered at a phenomenal rate, so it is key to register names as soon as possible.
Global domains - there were four main categories of global domain names, but other categories are emerging. The .com domain names are intended for commercial companies. The .net domain names are intended for internet or networking companies. The .org domain names are for non commercial companies only. The .edu domain names are for educational establishments. The .gov domain names are for organisations associated with government. The .biz domain names are intended for commercial companies. The .info domain names are intended for informational sites. The .name domain names are intended for sites specialising in name registration.
Country domains - there are at least four main categories of country domains, but other categories are emerging on a country by country basis. In the UK there are more categories than most countries. Similar to the global domains, there are .co.uk, .net.uk, .org.uk, and .edu.uk domains.
Registering a meaningful domain name will not be easy unless you are person or a company with an unusual name. Almost all the good names have been reserved before, so register your name well in advance before it is needed! This is termed parking a domain name. There is a cost to register a domain and an ongoing cost per year to keep a domain name. The normal initial period for retaining a domain name is 1 year, but often there are options to keep a domain name for 2, 3, 4, 5, or even 10 years.
Most of the sites that allow domain registration have the facility to check a name online, but there are others that will give a response by E-Mail only. It is sometimes possible to obtain details on who has registered a domain using the 'whois' facility, but this information can be difficult to obtain for global domain names. Try the www.internic.net/whois.html link for details. There is a growing market in buying and selling domains, but this could be an expensive process.
Domain Transfers - once registered, domains may be transferred from one registrar to another, but there will be a transfer cost.
Other services are often linked with registering a domain name. These can include forwarding of E-Mails, and hosting services. See the WebLocate Hosting Service pages for more details. It may be easier but not necessarily cheaper to register the domain name, develop the site and host the site through a single company.
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