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If you desire to establish a site, this means that you need a domain name. A domain name is a human-memorable name that you write in your web browser's location bar when you wish to reach a specific web page.

Why Do You Need a Domain Name?

This is an issue I broach because one week ago my boss suggested the idea of setting up a web site for our brand new project. That itself is not a problem, the problem is that he wants a site, but has not made up his mind yet about what it should look like, what it should consist of, and so on. All that he revealed to me was the name of the website - its domain name. So, we now have an Internet address for a yet-to-be-established website and nothing else.

The Domain Name

Each web site is hosted on a physical machine. That physical machine has its own personal physical address, known also as an IP address. Accessing a web site by writing the IP address of the physical machine in your browser, though, is not the best and most appropriate thing to do, so that was how and why domain names appeared. So, a domain name pertains to an IP on the web. Once it has been registered, that is.

Registering a Domain

To register a domain name, you first need to discover a domain name registrar. NTChosting Web Hosting offers the best solution for my current and prospective projects - they offer a Domain Manager plan, which can be effortlessly upgraded to a hosting plan at a later time - when my boss finally makes a decision about what function the web site will have.

Thus, to register a domain, you need to pick a name for your site. Then, you need to select a TLD - this is what comes after the dot. For example, in 'americanexpress.com', '.com' is the Top-Level Domain (TLD). Apparently, '.com' is an abbreviation for 'company', '.net' is an abbreviation for 'network', '.org' is an abbreviation for 'organization', and so on.

After you've picked your domain and your future domain registration provider, you need to determine whether the domain you want to register is available for registration, because somebody else might have seized it already, however embarrassing this might be. Each domain name registration vendor, including NTChosting Web Hosting, has a functionality at their sign-up page, which ascertains the availability of a certain domain. To move on with the registration of a domain name, you have to specify certain domain registrant information - the personal name, the address, the mail address and the telephone number of the owner of the domain name.

You've Registered a Domain Name... Now What?

I registered .com, .net, .name and .info domains for our project, as per the desire of my still-hesitating-about-the-function-of-the-future-website boss. I tested the domain name administration dashboard NTChosting Web Hosting is offering and found it extremely easy to use - everything is neatly arranged and, from what I saw in the Control Panel demo at their site, after we upgrade to a shared web hosting plan, it will remain the same, just with many more features. This, thank God, will save me quite a bit of inconvenience from having to administer my domain name and website hosting account separately. So, while waiting for the boss to determine at least what the website should include, I was glad to discover that the domain management tool offers DNS management and domain name renewal options, and - an extremely valuable functionality (!) - a parked domain name template, which I used in order to create a "Coming Soon" page for our domain names.

Country-Code Top-Level Domains

I was pretty pleased to see that NTChosting Web Hosting is offering lots of country-specific Top-Level Domains, because the project the web site is intended for is international. Country-specific top-level domain names are delegated to national registry operators, which enable registrar companies to register cheap domain names, typically at prices that are lower than those offered to the end clients. There are plenty of country-specific TLDs: .co.uk for the United Kingdom, .nl for the Netherlands, .me for Montenegro, .us for the USA, .ca for Canada, .com.au for Australia, and so on. This, I am assured, will please my boss since we will be able to create a local version of the website for each country where the project will be introduced.