A domain name is a unique name for one or more IP addresses. Domain names allow ease of use and relieve the users of the tedium of remembering long strings of numbers. For example the IP Address 220.127.116.11 will resolve to our targetwoman.com domain. Domain names are usually between 3 and 63 characters long and cannot contain spaces. A domain name must not begin or end with a hyphen.
Top Level Domain : Top level domain (tld) is the final part of the domain name - eg: com,net,org and so on. The Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA) specifies top level domains into 3 major categories:
- Country Code top level Domain - ccTLD - Used to delineate a country with a 2 letter extension. eg: .us
- Generic top level Domain - gTLD - as the name implies it signifies the generic nature. eg: com, mil, gov, edu and so on.
- Infrastructure top level Domain - like arpa
The significance of a good domain name cannot be ignored. Other things being equal, an eponymous name representing an idea, concept, process or business will be the ideal domain name for the particular business.
The Domain name industry is overseen by ICANN: Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers. This body takes on the onus of certifying companies as domain name registrars. The ICANN was formed in 1998 on the insistence of the U.S. government so as to regulate and oversee the Internet's functionality and operations. This body plays a regulatory role over most web sites on the Internet community. Check out how you can conduct a domain appraisal and the formalities involved in registering a new domain name.
Buying and registering a new domain name is akin to purchasing real estate. You need to conduct a thorough domain appraisal so as to estimate whether the price you are paying for a domain is fair. The popularity of the new domain name can be determined by querying some of the major search engines and looking for occurrences of the domain name or the keywords contained within the domain name. This gives a fair estimate as to the competition that you would probably face on that domain. A domain appraisal has to take into account many factors:
Recognition value: A domain appraisal includes a process of judging the recall factor of the domain name and its relevance to the business. The domain name needs to be compared with other competitive domains. Eponymous domain names that contain a high-ranking search term can give you an edge over others when it comes to search engines.
Commercial value for development: The domain name has to be evaluated for it's possible effectiveness in brand campaigns and marketing programs. Potential traffic
Extensions: Domain name extensions have their own significance. A .com extension commands higher value than others.
Trademark violation: Domain appraisal must also consider the critical issue of infringement on existing trademarks.
Linguistic considerations: The suitability of a domain name with respect to linguistics and phonetics is also considered when choosing a new domain name. This includes its length and ease of recall.
New domain name
Choosing an appropriate domain name can be an important tipping factor for your online presence. You need to first find out whether the domain name you have selected already exists and whether it has been taken. This can be checked against the whois server – one that keeps track of all registered domain names. Any new domain name must be registered with an online directory of domain names. Along with a domain name, you need to supply technical and contact information. This registrar maintains records of all information regarding the particular domain owner. This is submitted to a central directory or 'registry'. Any new domain name is registered with the registrar service for a specified period of time. No new domain name can be registered for a period more than 10 years.
Some examples of good domain names are catchy words or short phrases, acronyms or generic names. Some domain names are assigned country specific extensions. Country specific domains are generally governed by rules laid down by the individual countries as to their usage and ownership.
The first step in web site building and development is to register the domain. This registration of domain can be done with a domain registrar. Alternatively, some web hosts also provide the service of registering the domain, in addition to their other services. Most Internet Service Providers act on behalf of the customers and submit the domain names to the registry. A domain name registrar, who is accredited by ICANN can assign domain names for top level domains of .com, .info, .net and .org.
When you register your domain name, you become the legal holder or owner of that domain. Another aspect of registering a domain name is parking or reserving a domain name. This indicates reserving a domain name until such time that you activate it or sell it. Domain names can be resold or even leased or bartered. Resale of domain names has caught up in a big way and there is no dearth of people who have made profits by selling some popular domain names.