Domain Name Registration
What is the domain name system?
The Domain Name System (DNS) is used to help users surf the internet. Every computer on the
Internet has a unique IP (internet protocol) address which is a string of 4 numbers (0-255) separated by decimal
points. So that a user looking for Altherr Web Design's web site doesn't have to type in 126.96.36.199, The DNS makes
it easy by allowing them to just type in AltherrWebDesign.com. Every web site has to register their domain name in
order to have it. These domain names are given out on a first-come first-served basis by ICANN, the non-profit Internet
Corporation of Assigned Names and Numbers. In order to register a domain name, a user has to visit a registrar,
which is a company approved to register domain names.
When you visit a registrar and go to purchase your domain name, you will be asked for various contact and technical
information that makes up the domain name registration. The registrar will keep the records and submit the technical
information to a directory that can be visited by anybody. This directory is called the Registry. The
Registry allows people to type in your domain name and find out all of the information about you that they
need to get in contact with you. This information is available to maintain control on the internet and is often used
to permit enforcement of consumer protection, trademark, copyright, and other laws. To search for the information you
simply can go to a registars site and do a "Whois" search. Some people would like to remain anonymous with their
site information, so there are services available to have a third party register your domain name privately. When
this happens, their contact information will show up on "whois" searchs. Registering privately costs more money,
since the third-party is willing to accept responsibility of the content on your web site.
Domain names can be registered in annual increments and the prices vary depending on the registrar. I have seen
domain names anywhere from $6.95 to $35.00 per year. You can get them even cheaper if you agree to register your
domain for long-term. Some companies such as Altherr Web Design offer you a free domain name if you agree to buy
other services from them.
If you are unhappy with your registrar it is possible to change. Some registrars may give you a free or cheap domain
name and then when your registration period ends they will try to charge you an outrageous fee for renewal. When this
happens you may think about changing registrars. In order to change your registrar you must first find out which
company that you want to change it to, and they will have domain name transfer information posted on their site.
This service is usually free or you may have to add a year of registration to the domain name being transferred. Just
contact them or fill out their online form and the change will begin. The change usually takes 4-7 business days and
you have to wait at least 60 days after the initial registration.
There are many different endings for domain names, such as com, net, org, biz and many country codes.For a list of
domain name registrars sorted by country, you can view it here.