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If you would like to build a web site, this implies that you need a domain name. A domain is a human-memorable name that you type in your browser's location bar when you would like to see a specific website.

Why Do You Require a Domain?

This is a question I introduce due to the fact that this past week my boss brought forth the idea of establishing a website for our brand new project. That itself is not a problem, the problem is that he needs a website, but has not made a decision yet about what it should look like, what it should comprise, etc. All that he told me was the name of the site - its domain. So, we now have an address for a yet-to-be-developed website and nothing apart from that.

The Domain

Each web site is hosted on a physical server. That physical server has its own physical address, known also as an Internet Protocol address. Paying a visit to a site by typing the IP of the physical server in your browser, however, is not the best and most appropriate thing to do, so that was how and why domains appeared. Hence, a domain pertains to an IP address on the web. Once it has been registered, of course.

Registering a Domain

To register a domain, you first need to find a domain name registration provider. Exclusive Web Hosting offers an optimal solution for my present and prospective projects - they provide a Domain Manager plan, which can be easily upgraded to a web hosting plan later on - when my boss eventually makes up his mind about what purpose the website will have.

Thus, to register a domain name, you need to pick a name for your web site. Then, you need to pick a top-level domain name - this is what follows the dot. For instance, in 'ask.com', '.com' is the Top-Level Domain (TLD). Apparently, '.com' signifies 'company', '.net' signifies 'network', '.org' signifies 'organization', etc.

Once you've selected your domain name and your future domain name registration provider, you have to examine whether the domain you wish to register is available for registration, because somebody else might have grabbed it already, however annoying it might be. Each domain name registrar company, including Exclusivehosting.net, offers a search tool at their sign-up page, which confirms the availability of a particular domain name. To move ahead with the registration of a domain name, you have to fill in certain registrant info - the name, the physical address, the e-mail and the phone number of the owner of the domain name.

You've Registered a Domain... Now What?

I registered .com, .net, .info and .name domains for our venture, according to the wish of my still-hesitant-about-the-function-of-the-future-site boss. I tried out the domain administration tool Exclusivehosting.net is offering and found it very intuitive - everything is neatly arranged and, from what I noticed in the web hosting Control Panel demo at their site, once we upgrade to a VPS web hosting plan, it will remain the same, just with a lot more features. This, thank heavens, will spare me quite a lot of inconvenience from having to manage my domain name and hosting account separately. So, while waiting for the boss to determine at least what the site should contain, I was pleased to find that the domain name administration interface includes DNS management and domain renewal options, and - a very convenient feature (!) - a parked domain name template, which I used in order to set up a "Coming Soon" page for our domains.

Country-Specific Top-Level Domains

I was rather pleased to discover that Exclusivehosting.net is offering multiple country-code TLDs, as the project the website is intended for is international. Country-specific top-level domain names are entrusted to local registry operators, which permit domain name registration companies to register domain names, usually at prices that are lower than those offered to the end users. There are a lot of country-specific TLDs: .co.uk for the United Kingdom, .nl for the Netherlands, .es for Spain, .us for the United States, .ca for Canada, .com.au for Australia, etc. This, I am convinced, will make my boss happy because we will be able to set up a local version of the site for each country where the project will be introduced.