Domain registration process - details and tips on how to register domain names.

Domain Registration

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Domain registration is relatively simple process these days and can be taken care of for a small fee by a large number of domain registrars. Most hosting companies will also register domain names for you.

Before you start the domain registration process, you should understand exactly what it is, and why choosing the right name is so important. See Domain Names for more information.

The domain registration service is provided by domain registrars. These days there are literally thousands of them on the Web, all offering a variety of services, so make sure to shop around for the best deal.

Here are a few inexpensive registrars to start...

GoDaddy
No. 1 in new domain registrations and the second largest domain registrar in the world in terms of total names under management. The current price is $11.99 a year. It also offers a free Starter Web Page with every domain. If all you need is a 1-page site to establish an online presence, you can quickly create a professional Web page, using a simple wizard. No technical expertise or knowledge of HTML code is necessary. Each domain also includes 1 personalized email address (you@yourdomain.com) with powerful protection against viruses, spam and fraud.

Omnis
It offers low priced domains ($8.95 per year). Available TLDs: .com, .net, .org, .info, .biz, .us, .co.uk, .me.uk, .org.uk, .ws, .bz, .cc. Omnis also offers inexpensive Unix and Windows Web hosting.

iPower
It offers cheap domain registration ($12.99 per year). Available extensions: .com, .net, .org, .biz, .info, .ca, .name and .us.
iPower is also one of the best hosts for standard and small ecommerce sites. It provides much more disk space and bandwidth than an average site needs, free domain name, daily tape backups and a powerful website builder.

1&1 Instant Domain
It provides cheap domain registration ($7.99 per year). Available TLDs: .com, .net, .us, .org, .biz, .mobi, .name, .info, .ws, .cc, .tv. Each domain comes with Starter Website Builder (5 Web pages) and email account with 2GB storage. 1&1 also offers a wide variety of hosting plans which include one or more free domains and a free website builder.

In the box below, you can check whether the name you want is taken...

Name server (DNS server)

A name server is a computer that contains a list of domain names and the associated IP addresses. When a name is typed in a Web browser, the name server associates that with the IP address and the correct website opens in the browser.

The DNS information from the hosting company is required at the time of domain registration. If you don't have a hosting provider yet, you can register domain name, that will not be hosted anywhere. After that, you can notify your hosting provider about your domain so it can set up its computers, and then you can log into your registrar and enter the DNS information.

Domain transfer

There are two different types of transfers...

  • From one hosting provider to another
  • From one domain registrar to another

Transferring your name from your current hosting provider to another is a relatively simple task, and can usually be performed for you by your new hosting provider. Name server updates usually take somewhere between 24 and 72 hours to fully propagate throughout the Internet.

If you want to get your existing domain name to work with your new hosting account, you need to update the name server information. This is done through your registrar, or the company that you purchased the name through.

If you've decided to transfer your domain to a new registrar, you should know that while no registrars will refund any fees you have already paid, some registrars will give you a credit for any remaining time when you transfer a name to them.

For example, suppose you performed 1-yr. domain registration with registrar 1 on January 1, 2002. If you transfer your name to registrar 2 on June 1, 2002, registrar 2 will require you to pay an additional year's registration fee, but will extend your new registration until January 1, 2004. To see whether a particular registrar offers this program, check the registrar's website.

If you do decide to change, many registrars have an on-line system, which allows you to transfer your name to a new registrar in less than two minutes.

Conditions for changing domain registrars...

  • No outstanding bills or payments to original registrar.
  • Domain is older than 60 days.

Domain parking

This is having two or more domains point to the same IP address.

Suppose you already have a hosting account and the domain name "something.com." If you register the .net and .org versions and park them to your main account, you would have "something.com," "something.net," and "something.org," pointing to the same IP address, so that no matter which one you typed in, it would still go to the same site.

Renewal of domain name

During the domain registration, you have to select the length of time you want to register it. To continue the registration after the original expiration date, you should pay the renewal fee.

Some registrars offer a discount if you register domain names for a multi-year period. That way, you don't need to reregister them as often, but if your current registrar goes out of business, you'll probably have to move them to a different registrar and pay a new fee.

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