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Archive forJanuary, 2008

Domain names

Right you read the title and think domain names yep I know what they are, all that .co .com. something that points to your site, well yes that’s right, but that wouldn’t make a good blog post, so lets delve deeper into the world of the .com

ok so we all know what a domain is, for you at the back that’s not sure it’s a way of helping people find their way around the internet, every computer on the internet has a unique address known as an ip address, which is just a long string of numbers, but like phone numbers its hard to remember every one, so using a domain name instead it makes it more memorable, after all take 66.234.564.118 we can have www.miradesign.co.uk instead.
So now we know that

  • When should I get one?
  • How do we get one?
  • What does it cost?
  • How does it work?

I am going to concentrate just on .co.uk and .com domains here, although there are many more extensions available, and much of the text will apply to all of them

First of all if we are going to obtain a domain name, we need to think of one and then see if its available, many many names are already registered, so be creative and get a few ideas together, then to find out if its available, many domain registrant companies have a handy search, like the one below, give it a go and see if your domains available
So in answer to when should you get one, I say as soon as possible, you can register it now and leave it parked until your ready to use it.

 Once you have found the domain of your dreams, you will need to register it, before somebody else has the same idea, and for that you need a domain registrant, these are companies set up just for the purpose and handle the registration and control on your behalf, the format is quite simple, once you choose to register, you will be asked for a few personal details for billing, then registrant details*, this can be the same as your billing details, or say those of your company, a good analogy at this point is when you buy a car, you maybe the legal owner, but the log book carries details of the keeper (registrant) which may or may not be one of the same

*Point to note here, the registrant details are available publicly although if registering a .co.uk on behalf of a uk individual, you are allowed to opt out of this display and only have a name on show, remember to choose that option when asked

The cost of a domain name can be as little as £2.78 a year for .co.uk and £8.99 for .com
at this point I better mention .co.uk has to be registered for a minimum of 2 years, and renewed in 2 year blocks, many registrants will let you register a domain name up to 10 years at a time.

Once you have registered your domain name, it is usually set to point at the registrants servers, until your ready to change it to point at your own, to do this usually involves changing something called name servers which will be supplied by your hosting company, for example ns1.amberhosts.co.uk you would then take that and log into your registrars members area and change the details of the name servers in there, this article cannot go into how as every registrar varies, but there is usually an option somewhere to do this

Once you have changed your name servers, the new information has to propagate though the system, so when you choose to point it at your site, it can take between 24-48 hours before showing as changed