Domain Name Magic
Someone registers a new domain name with a domain registrar such as MyCompany.org. They then link the name with the host account of their website, sometimes it’s the same place, sometimes it’s not. Once everything is live and active, whenever someone enters MyCompany.org they are redirected automatically to the website host address but the browser still shows the same MyCompany.org address. Behind the scenes, the browser has hopped several servers and networks in seconds. All this done so that we don’t have to enter cryptic IP addresses such as http://184.108.40.206 which would stink.
Domain Name Police
Domain names are acquired through authorized Domain Registrars which are acredited by ICANN (Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers). Here’s the official ICANN website.
Here’s an important and useful site that monitors the top-rated registrars.
http://dailychanges.com follows daily activity for all of the official domain registrars. This service will display how many new names have been registered and how many have been deleted or removed for all of the top registrars.
Domain Name Information
WhoIs is a valuable tool for doing research on any domain name. Just go to any of these Name Search sites and perform a search for any domain you want more information on. It will tell you who owns the domain name, when they registered it, when it expires and their contact information. One of my favorites is http://whois.org but there are many to choose from.
CheapHostingDirectory’s Domain Name Price List performs periodic price checks of the top rated domain name registrars. While it is nowhere near all inclusive or as accurate as it could be, it is the best rough estimate to the best prices available for registering a new domain name available today.
Believe it or not, there are ebay like auction sites just for domain names! Yes, that’s right, people are treating domain names as if they were commodities on the stock market and they’re right. There are countless stories of domains selling for massive amounts of money. You never know which names will be worth something. However, most people don’t use these services just for the slim chance of striking it rich. Most of the time it’s just to buy or sell domains for fun or marginal profit. Here are some of these sites:
Useful Domain Tools
10 Free Domain Tools has several useful tools you can download and use for free
Free Domain Name Redirector lets you redirect your domain to a free web host or blog host
The Differences between Domain Registrars and Web hosts
In a nutshell, you can either buy a domain name without any web hosting account or you can buy a webhosting account that includes a “free” domain name with the package. The word “free” is highlighted because it isn’t really free because the annual cost is included in the monthly or annual fee that you pay for the webhosting account. The average cost for a decent hosting package runs between $5 to $10 per month and this includes the annual cost for the name itself.
Must-Have Domain Features
When it comes to buying a domain name, price should NOT be the only factor that you consider.
Sure, the annual cost is critical, but you must examine what the domain registrar offers for that package because it makes all the difference in the world. Here are the mind-numbing amount of features that come with domain accounts these days. The most important ones will be highlighted so do your best to make sure these are included with any domain name you register.
Private Domain Registration (Whois protection)
Host External Domains
Domain forwarding (without ads!)
URL Masking (without ads!)
Free Transfer of Ownership
Domain Contact Management
Domain Access with or without “www”
CNAME, A, MX, MXE Supported
IMAP & POP3 Support
Catch-all E-mail Addresses
24/7 Phone & E-mail Support
It’s become extremely economical to purchase domain names as well as webhosting so there’s really no excuse not to get your own domain name these days. However, because of this decrease in cost there has been a steady increase in domain name registrations. This makes finding an available domain name all the more difficult. This cartoon sums it up best.
P.S. Look for two live documents coming to this blog that will track the best deals for domain names as well as web hosting.