Domain Names - What You Need To Know

A Domain name is a name that identifies a particular website, technically speaking, one or more IP addresses and is used in URLs to identify particular Web pages.

It is important that you choose a a name that will help identify what your website does or is about!  Here are three rules to keep in mind when choosing a domain name:

  1. It should be relevant (to your site);
  2. It should be memorable: a short word or phrase;  and
  3. it should not contain any trademarked terms or phrases for which you could be later sued!

Type of domain name - extensions

Generally, you will want to use .com for your web business, but sometimes one of the others is a better fit.

  • .com - commercial business
  • .edu - educational institution
  • .gov - government agency
  • info - informational, non-commercial websites
  • .org - organizations (non-profit)
  • .mil - military
  • .mobi - websites for mobile devices, like smartphones
  • .net - network organizations
  • .us - United States
  • .co.ca - Canada
  • co.uk - the United Kingdom
  • .XX - there are 2 letter combinations for almost every country in the world, but you usually must be a resident of the country to obtain a name with that extension

Registering your chosen domain name

After picking a name, you need to register it through an official ICANN-certified domain name registrar.  The prices vary: currently, our top choice is 1and1.com

Another good registrar is cheap-domainregistration.com

Some web hosting companies will register the name for you, either included in their hosting plans as a free service, or for a fee. Be sure that you own the domain name the web host gives you; that you can continue using it, even if you change hosts later.

Just to provide a number of alternatives; here is our top 7 best value and performance domain registrar list:

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  1. 1and1.com - by far, the best value and lowest prices!
  2. GoDaddy.com - good, but more expensive than 1and1.com. Becoming less competitive. Occasionally there are discount codes: Enter the promotion code "Alex" or "DIIG" to get a discount; the latter 10%!  If these codes don't work, try this page for the current set!
  3. cheap-domainregistration.com - very similar to GoDaddy.  Slightly more expensive than GoDaddy.
  4. AIT Domains - ICANN-accredited registrar, charges $7.99 per domain per year. 
  5. GKG.net - Charges $10 per domain per year. Free Parking.
  6. Joker - German company,$10.50 ($12 inc. VAT).
  7. Registry  at Info Avenue - Ranges from $13 to $24 per domain per year.  They have a partner program for multiple registrations. Free parking. 
  8. ItsYourDomain $15 per domain per year. reliable, easy to use, but not the cheapest for the same service.

Typical Domain Name Pricing

This is just a snapshot from one registrar, merely t give you an idea.  Dated February 2009.

 

Extension

1 year

2 year

5 year

10 year

.com*

$9.99

$9.99

$9.99

$9.99

.net*

$9.99

$9.99

$9.99

$9.99

.org*

$9.99

$9.99

$9.99

$9.99

NEW!
.me*

N/A

$19.99

$19.99

$19.99

NEW! .mobi*

$14.99

$14.99

$14.99

$14.99

.biz*

$8.99

$8.99

$8.99

$8.99

SALE!
.info***

$1.99

$4.99

$5.99

$7.39

.us

$9.99

$9.99

$9.99

$9.99

SALE!
.tv

$19.99

$19.99

$19.99

$19.99

.ws

$10.75

$9.88

$9.55

$9.05

.name*

$8.75

$8.74

$8.74

$8.74

.co.uk

N/A

$19.98

N/A

N/A