What is a domain name?
Posted by Adrian Grant on 27 January 2009 09:20 PM
If you want to establish a presence on the internet your domain name is one of the most important choices you will need to make. It is the name your customers will communicate with you through, and it is the address by which they will visit your website and interact with your business.
But what exactly is a domain name? How should you choose a domain name, and what do you need to know before you register?
Domain Names Explained:
Consider that every house in the world has a unique address. No other house in the world has the same address. The same can be applied to domain names. All domain names are unique. A domain name is made up of several parts. Look at the domain name below:
The name is made up of four parts:
NB: Many registries around the world do not include the type of name, instead opting for just the country code.
A domain name gives people a short and memorable address for your website and email. Your choice of address also reflects a level of professionalism and understanding of online business, which is often traded for lower internet costs.
You may see a lot of small businesses who advertise the email address their internet provider has given them. Compare the difference between "firstname.lastname@example.org" with "email@example.com" and you'll easily see the difference.
When choosing your domain, keep in mind that people need to remember it, so keep it short and memorable. Try to register the shortest name that your customers and visitors will associate with your site.
There are many different extensions available and it is always a good idea to register a few variations. Always try and register a ".com", ".net" or ".org", as well as a ".nz".
Also, since it is one of the oldest extensions, ".com" shows that your business has been around for a while and that you have a well-established presence on the web.
Ask people you know their opinion on your domain choices. Ask questions like:
A good Domain should be as short as possible, as well as easily identifiable with your business name, or descriptive of your product or service.
If the name you want is already registered try variations including numbers and hyphens if possible.
There are many types of Domain you can register. Popular suffixes include:
New Zealand Domains:
Records of all domain names registered are available through each country's national registry. The information generally includes Registrant, Administrator, Technical Contact, and nameserver information as well as record creation, update and expiration dates. This information is available through many publicly accessible interfaces.
If someone has registered a name that infringes your registered name or trademark you may be entitled to it. In this case you should seek the advice of a legal office.
You may or may not be entitled to a name if someone else has registered it. If for example, someone from your own country has registered a name that infringes your trademark or registered name it is likely you'll be able to take ownership of the name. However, if say you have a New Zealand company called "Joe Trader", and a person in the US registers "joetrader.com" you are unlikely to be entitled to it.
In the case where your chosen name is not available it is best to try variations on the name you wish to register, or try another word completely. Alternatively you can try registering with a different extension.