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All about Domains

written by: AenimaTN•edited by: Michele McDonough•updated: 10/16/2009

Before you can get your new web site online, you need a domain. Read on to find out more about what a domain is and how to secure one so that you can finally get that web site online for everyone to see and use.

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    We all know when we visit a website, we type in an address in our favorite web browser. These are commonly known as domain names and are owned by a specific company or person. In this article, we will be explaining how to obtain a domain name for yourself and what the extensions (.com, .org, etc) mean so you have a better understanding of what will work for you.

    Domain Registrar

    What is a domain registrar? Simply put, this is the company that you pay in order to have the right to use the domain name. This company takes X domain name that someone wants, and will give it to you as long as you pay the necessary fees. Think of the domain registrar like a big search engine for domain names. They will hold your domain choice for you (if available) when you pay them.

    Domain Extensions

    A domain extension is an acronym for the type of domain you register. A .com means commercial because it will pertain to a commercial audience. The extension is very important to what you are trying to obtain a domain name for; and, it can also determine whether or not the domain name you want is taken or not. may be taken as where may not. Domain extensions may also pertain to a particular country like This tells the user visiting Andy's site that his site is based in the United Kingdom or his domain registrar registered him for a United Kingdom domain. Listed below are several variations of domain extensions.

    .com - Commercial

    .org - Organization

    .gov - Government

    .edu - Education

    .biz - Business

    How Do I Register a Domain?

    When it comes to registering a domain, you need to know what companies sell domain registrations and for how much. Most of the time, domain names are a fairly cheap part of your web site, but they are important because the make you unique. A well known domain registrar is Go Daddy. Go Daddy has been in business for years, providing domains and hosting packages to both business and individual customers. Depending on if you need to register a domain for the first time, or if you are transferring it over to them, you'll pay $6.99-$9.99 per domain. These costs will vary based on the extension you choose and the length of time you purchase the domain, as well. Registering a domain name is easy once you choose a domain name and the registrar, or company, you want to purchase it through. Their systems will guide you through the registration process and the domain will be yours just minutes after you buy it.

    Free Domain Providers

    If you are not quite in the market to purchase your own domain yet, you may be able to find a free one to use until you are ready. Instead of having a domain exclusively to your yourself, you are going to get a subdomain ( of the domain providing the free domain to you. The list below represents just a small cross-section of options for you.

    • Yahoo
    • Google MSN Geocities Remember that in order to get your web site online, you will also need web hosting service. This will be detailed in future articles, but for now, check out: Choosing a Web Hosting Service. Now that you know about domain names, take a look at this article, How to Choose a Domain Name. Stay tuned for more information on domain names, including reviews of some of the popular web hosts you can use to get your web site up and running!