Below are some frequently asked questions about domains, domain names and websites:
What is a domain?
Domains are web addresses used to communicate on the Internet. Once you register a domain name, you can use it as your website address or as an email address. When visitors enter your domain name into a Web browser, the browser request uses your domain name to find the domain name’s associated IP address and, therefore, the website. People use domain names instead of IP addresses because it is easier to remember a name rather than a series of numbers.
What is the difference between a domain name and a website?
The domain is the web address. A website is a collection of web pages on the world wide web (what you know as the Internet), that lives on a certain domain name. Your domain name points to your web server where all of your files are hosted and those files are generated when a user types in your domain name to display your website.
What is the domain name system?
The Domain Name System (DNS) helps users to find their way around the Internet. Every computer on the Internet has a unique address – just like a telephone number – which is a rather complicated string of numbers. It is called its “IP address” (IP stands for “Internet Protocol”). IP Addresses are hard to remember. The DNS makes using the Internet easier by allowing a familiar string of letters (the “domain name”) to be used instead of the arcane IP address. So instead of typing 188.8.131.52, you can type www.internic.net. It is a “mnemonic” device that makes addresses easier to remember.
What does it mean to “register” a domain name?
When you register a domain name, you are inserting an entry into a directory of all the domain names and their corresponding computers on the Internet.
How do I register a domain name?
Domain names ending with .aero, .biz, .com, .coop, .info, .museum, .name, .net, .org, or .pro can be registered through many different companies (known as “registrars”) that compete with one another.
The registrar you choose will ask you to provide various contact and technical information that makes up the registration. The registrar will then keep records of the contact information and submit the technical information to a central directory known as the “registry.” This registry provides other computers on the Internet the information necessary to send you e-mail or to find your web site. You will also be required to enter a registration contract with the registrar, which sets forth the terms under which your registration is accepted and will be maintained.
Will my name and contact information be publicly available?
Information about who is responsible for domain names is publicly available to allow rapid resolution of technical problems and to permit enforcement of consumer protection, trademark, and other laws. The registrar will make this information available to the public on a “Whois” site. It is however possible to register a domain in the name of a third party, as long as they agree to accept responsibility — ask your registrar for further details.
How long does a registration last? Can it be renewed?
Each registrar has the flexibility to offer initial and renewal registrations in one-year increments, with a total registration period limit of ten years.
How much does a domain-name registration name cost?
Each registrar sets the price it charges for registering names, and prices vary significantly among different registrars. In addition, some registrars offer discounted or free registration services in connection with other offerings, such as web hosting.
Can I change registrars after registering a domain name?
Yes, you may change the registrar sponsoring your domain name (60 days after intial registration.) For details on the transfer process, contact the registrar you would like to assume sponsorship of the registration.
I have seen advertisements for domain-name registration by companies not in the accredited registrar directory. Are these legitimate?
Only registrars accredited by the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) are authorized to register .aero, .biz, .com, .coop, .info, .museum, .name, .net, .org, or .pro names. Some of these accredited registrars offer their services through resellers, which may provide assistance in completing the registration process. Your registration contract, however, will be with the accredited registrar and that registrar will maintain your contact information.
What is ICANN?
ICANN is the new non-profit corporation that is assuming responsibility from the U.S. Government for coordinating certain Internet technical functions, including the management of Internet domain name system. More information about ICANN can be found at http://www.icann.org.
If you have any questions about domain names, the buying or selling of domain names, websites, or the world wide web in general, we would be happy to provide you with further information. Please fill out the contact form below with any comments or questions: