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Why Do You Need a Domain?
This is an issue I introduce due to the fact that this past week my boss brought forth the idea of setting up a site for our new project. That itself is not a problem, the problem is that he needs a web site, but has not made a decision yet about what it should look like, what it should consist of, etc. All that he mentioned to me was the name of the web site - its domain. So, we now have a web address for a yet-to-be-developed website and nothing else.
The Domain Name
Each website is hosted on a physical machine. That physical machine has its own physical address, popular also as an IP address. Visiting a web site by writing the Internet Protocol address of the server in your browser, though, is not the best and most suitable thing to do, so that was how and why domains came into existence. Thus, a domain pertains to an IP on the web. Once it has been registered, that is.
Registering a Domain Name
To register a domain name, you first need to choose a domain name registration provider. ResellersPanel has the best solution for my present and future projects - they offer a Domain Manager plan, which can be easily upgraded to a web hosting package at a later time - when my boss finally reaches a decision about what purpose the web site will have.
Hence, to register a domain, you have to select a name for your web site. Then, you have to select a TLD - this is what follows the dot. For example, in 'usps.com', '.com' is the top-level domain name (TLD). Obviously, '.com' is an abbreviation for 'company', '.net' is an abbreviation for 'network', '.org' is an abbreviation for 'organization', etc.
After you've chosen your domain name and your future domain registration provider, you have to see whether the domain name you want to register is available for registration, since somebody else might have registered it before you, no matter how annoying it might be. Each domain name registrar, including ResellersPanel, offers a search functionality at their signup page, which verifies the availability of a specific domain. To continue with the registration of a domain, you need to fill out certain domain registrant information - the name, the physical address, the email address and the phone number of the domain's owner.
You've Registered a Domain... Now What?
I registered .com, .net, .biz and .eu domains for our venture, according to the wish of my still-hesitating-about-the-purpose-of-the-future-site boss. I tried out the domain name administration tool ResellersPanel is offering and found it very easy to use - everything is logically structured and, from what I saw in the hosting Control Panel demo at their website, once we upgrade to a cheap hosting package, it will remain the same, but with a lot more functionalities. This, thank goodness, will spare me quite a bit of inconvenience from having to manage my domain and website hosting account separately. So, while waiting for the boss to reach a decision about at least what the web site should comprise, I was pleased to find that the domain administration tool contains DNS management and domain name renewal options, and - an extremely valuable functionality (!) - a parked domain template, which I resorted to in order to create a "Coming Soon" page for our domains.
Country-Code Top-Level Domain Names
I was rather happy to find that ResellersPanel is offering a lot of country-code top-level domain names, as the project the site is aimed for is international. Country-code Top-Level Domains are delegated to domestic registries, which allow domain registration companies to register domain names, usually at rates that are lower than those offered to the end users. There are various country-code TLDs: .co.uk for the UK, .me for Montenegro, .de for Germany, .us for the United States of America, .ca for Canada, .com.au for Australia, and so on. This, I am confident, will make my boss happy since we will be able to prepare a local version of the site for each country where the project will be presented.