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What is a Domain?
By Andrew LaPointe

What is a domain name? A domain name is your unique address on the web. Just as in real estate, each piece of real estate has a unique address, each site has a unique cyberspace address.

Once you have decided on creating a web site, the next step is to decide what domain name you want.
Here are three tips to use when selecting a domain name:

1. Indicates what type of business your site provides

2. Easy to remember

3. Easy to spell

As mentioned before, a domain is your unique address on the web. In real estate, each location serves a specific purpose. For example, a commercial building provides space to offices, shops, and restaurants. A residential home can provide space for a family to live.

Thus, if you were looking for a place to live, you would not look to live in an office complex, would you? Of course not, you would want to live in a residential neighborhood. So when you select a domain name, your name should reflect what type of business you are in. For example, if you operate a web hosting business, you would not want the domain name www.youronlinecasino.com

On the other hand, if you decide to create an online shopping mall a good domain name may be www.shopinyourpajamas.com. As you can see, this domain name tells everyone what line of business it is and it is simple to remember.

If you visit www.shopinyourpajamas.com you would expect to see an online mall or something related to shopping.

Another example may be www.planningforretirement.com. Just by reading the domain name, you could conclude that the information on this site offers information regarding retirement planning strategies and techniques.

You wouldnÂ’t want a domain name www.ecollegeplanning.com if you owned an online casino, would you? Of course not, you would want something like www.luckypayoff.com. As you can see, selecting the right domain name can help ensure success on the Internet.

When selecting a domain, your name can be 62 characters in length, not including extensions. Domain extensions are .com, .org, .edu, etc.

Now that you have selected what type of business you want to start and have several possible domain names for your business, where do you go to register your name. Dozens of domain registration services exist on the Net.

Thousands of domain registration services exist. The charges for these services can range from free to $50 or more per name to register your domain name with InterNIC. InterNIC is the organization responsible for domain registration.

To avoid any domain service registration fees to register your domain name, you can contact InterNIC directly at www.internic.net.

However, no matter, who you register your name through you still need to pay InterNIC at $70 registration fee for the first two years and $35 per year thereafter for U.S. domains. Each country has a separate cost for domain registration. (This cost may have changed since this article was first published. Contact InterNIC to determine what the current cost is.)

When selecting an domain name the extension is vital. The extension is the .com, .net, or .org. Below is a list for the proposed purposes for each United States extension:

.com to be used for for-profit business
.net to be used for a not-for-profit business
.org to be used for an internet/network related business.

In addition to the above three, dozens of new extensions have been and will be created to keep up with domain demand. In addition to purchasing U.S. domains you can purchase domains from other countries
Before you go out and purchase domains from other countries you need to consider what you hope to accomplish.

If you are a U.S. for-profit company, the .com extension is probably the best one to own. However, it doesnÂ’t mean that if you cannot have another countries domain extension. As a rule of thumb, if possible, the best domain extension to own is the one used by your country where you will do most of your business. The reason is the residents of a particular will be most familiar with their own domain extensions.

Below is a brief list of domain extensions by country:
.com, .net, .org United States
.co.uk, .org.uk Great Britain
.co.nz, .org.nz, .net.nz New Zealand
.cc Cocos Island
.ac Ascension
.gs South Georgia & South Sandwich Islands
.md Moldova
.ms Montserrat
.sh St Helena
.tc Turks & Caicos Islands
.tf French Southern Territory
.vg South Virgin Islands

The above list is only a sample of what is currently available. Additional domain extensions are created constantly.

One of the reasons that domain names are exploding in popularity is because they represent a piece of cyber real estate. Only one can exist.

That is why enterprising individuals have been purchasing domain names in an attempt to resell them. As the Internet becomes more involved in our daily lives and available names shrink, market prices will probably increase for names. Addition to purchasing domain names to resell, you may also be able to lease them. Thus, allowing you to create a steady stream of income.

As mentioned earlier, a domain name is a piece of cyber real estate. However, unlike real estate in the traditional sense, you can take a domain name with you where ever you go. For example, letÂ’s suppose you decide to move from the United States to Sweden. To make the move you would need to sell your house and find a place to stay in Sweden. However, your domain name would stay with you. The only element that has changed is where you are doing business and possibly who hosts your web page.

If you want to start a business on the web, purchase your domain name today. Most of the short and well-known phrases have already been purchased. If you wait much longer, that name you thought would make a great theme for an online business it may already be purchased. So buy your names sooner rather than later.

Andrew T. LaPointe is President and CEO of www.youronlinebusiness.com. He is also the author of the Internet book Your Online Business.com - A step-by-step Guide to Building an Online Fortune. His site http://www.youronlinebusiness.com is dedicated in assisting web entrepreneurs generate an income from the Internet.


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