If you desire to set up a web site, this implies that you need a domain. A domain is a human-memorable name that you write in your web browser's URL bar when you would like to see a particular web portal.

Why Do You Need a Domain?

This is a subject I touch on due to the fact that last week my boss brought forth the idea of creating a website for our brand new project. That itself is not an issue, the issue is that he needs a site, but has not made up his mind yet about what it should look like, what it should consist of, and so on. All that he mentioned to me was the name of the website - its domain name. So, we now have an address for a yet-to-be-launched site and nothing more.

The Domain

Each website is located on a physical server. That physical server has its own personal physical address, known also as an Internet Protocol address. Accessing a website by typing the IP address of the physical server in your web browser, though, is not the best and most convenient thing to do, so that was how and why domain names came into existence. So, a domain pertains to an IP address on the web. Once it has been registered, of course.

Registering a Domain

To register a domain name, you first have to select a domain name registration provider. NTC Hosting has the best solution for my current and prospective projects - they provide a Domain Manager plan, which can be effortlessly upgraded to a web hosting plan at a later time - when my boss eventually makes up his mind about what purpose the web site will serve.

Hence, to register a domain name, you need to pick a name for your website. Then, you have to select a top-level domain name - this is what comes after the dot. For instance, in 'twitter.com', '.com' is the top-level domain name (TLD). Clearly, '.com' denotes 'company', '.net' denotes 'network', '.org' denotes 'organization', and so on.

Once you've selected your domain and your future domain registration provider, you need to confirm whether the domain you want to register is available for registration, since someone else might have snatched it already, no matter how embarrassing this might be. Each domain name registration company, including NTC Hosting, offers a search tool at their signup page, which checks the availability of a specific domain name. To move on with the registration of a domain name, you have to fill in certain domain registrant info - the personal name, the address, the e-mail and the phone number of the domain name's registrant.

You've Registered a Domain... Now What?

I registered .com, .net, .info and .name domains for our project, as per the wish of my still-uncertain-about-the-function-of-the-future-site boss. I tried out the domain name administration tool NTC Hosting is offering and found it very useful - everything is logically organized and, from what I saw in the Control Panel demo at their web site, after we upgrade to a VPS web hosting package, it will remain the same, but with a lot more features. This, thank God, will spare me quite a lot of inconvenience from having to manage my domain name and web hosting user account separately. So, while waiting for the boss to reach a decision about at least what the website should include, I was happy to find that the domain management interface offers DNS management and domain renewal options, and - an extremely handy functionality (!) - a parked domain name template, which I resorted to in order to create a "Coming Soon" page for our domains.

Country-Code Top-Level Domains

I was very happy to discover that NTC Hosting is offering numerous country-specific Top-Level Domains, since the project the website is aimed for is multinational. Country-code top-level domain names are handed over to national registry operators, which enable domain name registration companies to register domain names, typically at prices that are lower than those offered to the end clients. There are a lot of country-specific domains: .co.uk for the UK, .it for Italy, .se for Sweden, .us for the United States, .ca for Canada, .com.au for Australia, and so on. This, I am convinced, will please my boss because we will be able to create a local version of the website for each country where the project will be introduced.

Universal TLDs 1-year 2-years with Hosting
.COM (Commercial) $11.00 USD $22.00 USD
.NET (Network) $11.00 USD $22.00 USD
.BIZ (Business) $11.00 USD $22.00 USD
.ORG (Non-Commercial) $11.00 USD $22.00 USD
.INFO (Information) $11.00 USD $22.00 USD
.CO (Company) $26.00 USD $52.00 USD $26.00 USD
.TV (Television) $28.00 USD $56.00 USD $28.00 USD
Country Code TLDs 1-year 2-years Domain
with Hosting
.US (United States) $10.00 USD $20.00 USD
.CA (Canada) $14.00 USD $28.00 USD $14.00 USD
.COM.AU (Austraila) $29.00 USD $29.00 USD
.EU (European Union) $7.00 USD $14.00 USD
.CO.UK (United Kingdom) $15.00 USD $15.00 USD
.ME.UK (United Kingdom) $15.00 USD $15.00 USD
.DE (Germany) $10.00 USD $20.00 USD
.IT (Italy) $34.00 USD $68.00 USD $34.00 USD
.ES (Spain) $17.00 USD $34.00 USD $17.00 USD
.SE (Sweden) $40.00 USD $80.00 USD $40.00 USD
.RU (Russia) $7.00 USD $14.00 USD $7.00 USD
.CO.NZ (New Zealand) $18.00 USD $36.00 USD $18.00 USD
.JP (Japan) $55.00 USD $110.00 USD $55.00 USD
.CO.ZA (South Africa) $25.00 USD $50.00 USD $25.00 USD
.COM.MX (Mexico) $48.00 USD $48.00 USD

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