What is a domain name?|
A domain name is an internet address by which people reach a specific website or send email to a specific person or company.
Every domain name consists of two parts: a top level domain (TLD) and a second level domain. As an example, in the domain name "YourDomainName.com", the ".com" is the top level domain and the "YourDomainName" is the second level domain.
There are also country specific Top Level Domains, such as .ca for Canada, .mx for Mexico, .fr for France and .de for Germany. When a domain name is used for a web address, "www" is usually put in front of it to indicate that typing that name into your web browser will take you to a website.
The same second level domain name can be used with different TLDs, such as .com, .org, .net, .info, etc. For instance, there can be dogs.com, dogs.net, dogs. info, dogs.ca, etc.
A domain name can be up to 63 characters long, and can consist of letters, numbers and hyphens/dashes. There can't be any spaces or special characters in a domain name.
A domain name is unique... once it is registered, no one else can register the same name as long as you continue to own it. When you want to register a domain name, the registration system first checks to see if the name is available. If no one else has already registered it, you can.
When someone types a domain name into a web browser, the website located at that address will be shown. Behind the scenes, the domain name is actually pointing to a physical location on a computer server that holds the website files. It knows where to find the website by using special DNS computers called "name servers".
As it relates to an email address, the domain name is what comes after the @ sign in the email address. You do not have to have a website in order to have your own personalized email address like you@YourDomainName.
There's more detailed information on domain names below - including hints on creating your domain name - but if you're ready to see if the domain name you want is available, clickon the Check Availability button.
Hints on Creating Your Domain Name
- You can register domain names that are a word, a name, a phrase... virtually any combination of characters
- Your domain name can be as short as 3 characters or as long as 63 characters - plus the ending extension like: .com, .net, .org, .info, .biz, .us, .ws
- Your domain name can not include any spaces and must only use letters, numbers and hyphens ( dashes "-" )
- Your domain name cannot begin or end with a hyphen (dash)
- Domain names are not case sensitive, so there is no reason to use capital letters when registering them. If in the registration process you see the domain name given in all capital letters, that is OK. The actual registration is made in all lower case letters. However, when you tell people your domain name, it's OK to use capital letters to make it easier to read-- for example: you can use BeyondBeautifulWeddingGowns.com instead of beyondbeautifulweddinggowns.com
- Your domain name must be unique. There can't be more than one website with the same address. We provide you a search tool to find out if a domain name is available.
- If the name you want is already in use, you may want to check for variations. For example, if you wanted "www.myname.com", variations of the spelling or word order may help you choose a new domain name. Check availability of "my-name.com" or "mynameonline.com" or "shopmyname.com". And don't forget to check the name with the other extensions like: "myname.NET", "myname.ORG, myname.INFO", "myname.BIZ", "myname.US or "myname.WS"
Here's another thought: most businesses want their domain name to be the name of their company, which is perfectly understandable. However, if you can have your domain name include keywords that people might be searching for when looking for the products or services you provide, you'll give your site an edge with the search engines.
For example, if the name of your company is Beyond Beautiful; and you purchase the domain name beyondbeautiful.com, you're not using any keywords in the domain name. Someone seeing it won't have any idea what your site is about. So why not use beyond-beautiful-wedding-gowns.com, which will give the search engines (and your visitors) a keyword phrase that describes your site: wedding gowns.
The best of all worlds, is to register more than one domain name -- one as your company name, and others which have key words or phrases that describe your product(s) and/or service(s).
- Here are a few other ideas to use for creating domain names:
Add in front of
Add at end of
Use with Family Name
If your family name
Two more suggestions: try adding hyphens (dashes "-") between words (my-domain-name.com). And don't forget to check availabilty of the name with the ".net", ".org", ".info", ".biz",".us" or ".ws" extensions (domainname.us or domain-name.us, etc).
- One last naming suggestion: consider registering common misspellings of your domain name in case people make an error when entering it. Then using our free domain forwarding service, you can still bring visitors directly to your website. For example, if your domain name is gold-jewelry.com, also register gold-jewelery.com and gold-jewellery.com because the word "jewelry" is frequently misspelled. Same for names which include the word "restaurant" -- it is often misspelled as resturant, resterant or restorant. Think of how someone might misspell your name, register that domain name, and use our free domain forwarding service to bring visitors directly to your website.