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What is a domain name and domain name registration?

What is a domain name? What is domain name registration? How do domain names work?  Are just some questions clients ask us. Let’s start by answering, “What is a domain name?” …

What is a domain name?

Domain name, URL, web address. They are all the same thing.

A domain name is a human-friendly address for a computer, connected to the internet, anywhere in the world.

Computers can be identified by a series of numbers called an IP address. IP stands for Internet Protocol. Each IP address is unique to every computer. 12.7.130.90 is an example of an IP address. Imagine having to remember a string of numbers like that, for every website you visit. Hence, the creation of domain names to help humans easily remember web addresses.

The purpose of a Domain Name is to request the presentation of a web page to be viewed through your web browser, such as Internet Explorer or Firefox.

In essence, think of a domain name as an address for a house. Instead, a domain name is an address for a computer.

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What is domain name registration?

Domain registration is the process of registering a domain name, which translates an IP addresses into a human friendly translation, in words, which is easier to remember e.g 1.34.5.689 would equal www.example.co.uk.

The person or business that registers domain name is called the domain name registrant.

How to register a domain name?

In this section, we will quickly explain how to register a domain name. Here at OS12, we can register a domain name for you when we build your website. We can also work with any domain names you have previously bought.

Before registering your domain name, it is important to take time considering your brand / product / service. You need to choose a name that best reflects your business and is memorable and easy to remember.

It is possible to add hyphens to make it easier to read, like my-domain.co.uk, but there are pros and cons when using hyphens in domain names. Here are a couple of good articles you might want to read  before deciding to use them in any domain you purchase:

When registering a domain name, you also need to consider which domain extension best suits your business or project. A domain extension is the combination of characters following the period in a web address. For example, in os12.co.uk the .co.uk is the domain extension of the os12 domain name. If you are a UK business, a .co.uk domain name is the best option. Selling internationally may require a .com extension, today though there are many options, .net, .co, .biz and even  .photography and .guru! Always be sensible when choosing a domain name extension. Most people are unfamiliar with anything other than .co.uk or .com and by default type that extension at the end of any address. Take a look at this list of domain name extensions used in the UK and make a decision which suits your business best. Remember, you can register more than one domain name and forward that domain name to another; we will discuss this later in this article.

You may also want to register a few domain extensions in order to protect your brand, and we consider this later in this post.

What is a domain registrar?

Domains are registered with a domain registrar.  A domain name registrar registers the domain name for the public. Registrars sell domain names, but these domain names are actually owned by registries and can only be leased by the public. The domain registrar reserves the domain name you request and assigns an IP address to that domain name. Read a more detailed explanation of a domain registrar here.

Should I register more than one domain name?

Why should you register more than one domain name? The main reason is to protect your brand from competitors, but here are just some other reasons:
  • Keep your competition from registering a similar domain name, drawing customers to them instead of you
  • Cyber-criminals could manipulate your domain name to trick people
  • Promote the different products and services you offer
  • Create distinct advertising strategies reaching different target markets or geographical areas
  • Provide customers more ways to find you when searching the Internet
  • Capture common misspellings of your domain name and redirect to the correct address.
  • Protect your brand and online identity

What happens if my domain name expires?

When a domain registration expires, your options for renewal vary based on when your domain expired. Generally speaking, you are given a grace period to renew your domain, so if a mistake happens, such as an expired bank card, then the domain is still yours for a short period of time.  This prevents a competitor or other member of the public being able to buy it, either accidentally or maliciously, stealing your brand.  Read our article about what happens when a domain name expires for a more detailed explanation.

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