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If you wish to set up a web site, this means that you need a domain name. A domain name is a human-recognizable name that you write in your web browser's address bar when you desire to see a certain website.

Why Do You Need a Domain Name?

This is an issue I broach because of the fact that a week ago my boss brought forth the idea of building a web site for our brand new venture. That itself is not an issue, the issue is that he wants a site, but does not know yet what it should look like, what it should contain, etc. All that he revealed to me was the name of the web site - its domain. Thus, we now have an address for a yet-to-be-established web site and nothing more.

The Domain Name

Each web site is hosted on a physical machine. That physical machine has its own personal physical address, popular also as an Internet Protocol address. Reaching a website by writing the IP of the machine in your browser, however, is not the best and most convenient thing to do, so that was how and why domains appeared. Thus, a domain name pertains to an IP on the Internet. After it has been registered, of course.

Registering a Domain Name

To register a domain, you first have to select a domain registration provider. Lonex Web Hosting has an optimal solution for my present and prospective projects - they have a Domain Manager package, which can be easily upgraded to a web hosting package at a later time - when my boss eventually makes a decision about what purpose the web site will have.

Thus, to register a domain, you need to select a name for your web site. After that, you have to choose a TLD - this is what comes after the dot. For instance, in 'stumbleupon.com', '.com' is the top-level domain name (TLD). Apparently, '.com' is short for 'company', '.net' is short for 'network', '.org' is short for 'organization', and so on.

Once you've selected your domain and your future domain name registration provider, you need to examine whether the domain name you wish to register is available for registration, since somebody else might have registered it before you, however unpleasant this might be. Each domain name registrar company, including Lonex Web Hosting, offers a search functionality at their signup page, which ascertains the availability of a specific domain name. To continue with the registration of a domain name, you have to specify certain registrant information - the personal name, the physical address, the e-mail and the phone number of the owner of the domain name.

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

I registered .com, .net, .biz and .name domains for our project, as per the wish of my still-unsure-about-the-purpose-of-the-future-site boss. I tried out the domain management tool Lonex Web Hosting is offering and found it very user-friendly - everything is logically arranged and, from what I noticed in the web hosting Control Panel demo at their site, once we upgrade to a budget hosting plan, it will remain the same, but with a lot more features. This, thank heavens, will spare me quite a lot of inconvenience from having to manage my domain and web hosting account separately. So, while waiting for the boss to make up his mind about at least what the web site should comprise, I was glad to discover that the domain name management interface offers DNS administration and domain renewal options, and - a very convenient feature (!) - a parked domain name template, which I resorted to in order to set up a "Coming Soon" page for our domain names.

Country-Code TLDs

I was pretty glad to discover that Lonex Web Hosting is offering multiple country-code Top-Level Domains, because the project the website is intended for is multinational. Country-code Top-Level Domains are entrusted to local registry operators, which enable domain name registration suppliers to register domain names, typically at rates that are cheaper than those offered to the end clients. There are plenty of country-specific Top-Level Domains: .co.uk for the United Kingdom, .it for Italy, .nl for the Netherlands, .us for the USA, .ca for Canada, .com.au for Australia, etc. This, I am assured, will make my boss happy since we will be able to prepare a local version of the website for each country where the project will be presented.