What is a domain name?
• A unique name that identifies a website
• intended to be a friendly and memorable
• Formed by the rules of the vv
domain name system
(DNS) and organizations like ICANN, IANA, ARIN
• A domain name points to a computer (host) –
similar to how a house address directs someone to a
designated plot of land
• A domain name is NOT the same as IP address
Top Level Domains
Every domain name has a suffix that indicates which
generic top level domain (gTLD) it belongs to. There
are only a limited number of such domains.
Let’s break down a URL!
http:// = protocol
www = subdomain
example = domain name
.com = domain extension, or top level domain
/planets/mars.html = path*
/planets/ = directory*
/mars.html = file name*
.com represents the word "commercial," and is the
most widely used extension in the world
.net was originally used to designate an intranet system
.org is commonly used by a non-profit or trade
.info signifies a credible “resource" website
Anyone can register a domain name using these
.edu signifies an educational institute
.gov means it’s a governmental website
.mil is used for the military
Not just anyone can register these gTLDS!
Trivia Note: Most American servers use three-letter top
level domains (e.g. ".com", ".edu"). Countries other
than the USA commonly use two letters, or
combinations of two letters (e.g. ".au", ".ca", ".co.jp")
Famous example Booking.yeah
Others (there are hundreds) .guru, .photography
Although newer domain extensions can be
reserved, many of them are unusable because they
are not recognized as valid extensions in certain
web browsers. This will change as time goes on.
So what domain extension
should I use?
.com will always be dominant because works across
all languages and borders, unlike English words such
as .company or .guru
• For branding purposes, .com is a nice blank and
• Major brand identities would be altered by
relaunching tomorrow as Microsoft.technology,
eBay.auction, Amazon.store etc.
Which domain name would
Domains and SEO
Domain names play a direct vv
role in search engine
indexing. When choosing a domain name:
• Avoid numbers and abbreviations, as search
engines do not know what they are
• Review domain name from different perspectives
for undesirable word combinations
Punctuation and length
Avoid being too lengthy
• Do not use a dash to separate words
Domain names are NOT case sensitive
No difference between CoolDomain.com and
Branding and Marketing
① What if someone else owns the domain you
② Registering potential misspellings
③ How many domain variations should be
Where to go to register a
A domain name registrar is an organization or
commercial entity that manages the reservation of
• A registrar must be accredited by a top-level
domain (TLD) registry
• Common registrars: Enom, GoDaddy, Network
• Only use reputable registrars
Domain resellers vs. registrars
• A domain name reseller is an individual or
organization that resells domain names through a
domain name registrar reseller program.
• Domains are still registered through the domain
name registrar, but resellers can offer domain
registration services at their websites and earn a
profit from each domain registered.
• Most, but not all web hosts are simply domain
Common domain resellers
• Hosting companies: Wordpress, Google, etc.
• These are not real domain registrars, they use a
Registering a domain name
Past: limited registrars Now: open reseller market
How much should it cost?
$10-25/ year for a basic domain
Register domain through web host or separately?
What information do you need to provide?
Admin, Technical contact info(address, phone,
email), nameservers (if custom) and IP information
Most transactions confirmed via email
Public versus private
• A domain name’s registration information is publically
listed in an internet directory called the WHOIS
database (like a phone book)
• subject to solicitations
• Private registration shields your information and puts
the domain registration in the registrars’ name instead
The name listed on the registration is the actual domain
name owner! Use caution.
Other “Enticing Offers” from Registrars
Do you really need any of them?
and IP Addresses
Nameservers act as distributed directories for
matching domain names with destinations
(specific computers, aka servers or hosts)
Destinations are usually IP Addresses;
sometimes they are other domains
Example of an IP Addresses: 22.214.171.124
A nameserver can be authoritative for one or
more domains. If it’s not authoritative for a
particular domain, it knows how to find the
authoritative source. (a smart phone book)
and IP Addresses
Which are the authoritative nameservers for a
Answer: The nameservers associated with the
domain’s registrar record vv
(this can be looked
up via WHOIS and at most registrars)
What if I don’t know what IP address to use for
my domain name?
Ask the person who build your web site
Ask the company that’s hosting your site
As the domain owner, YOU are responsible for
entering this information and for keeping this
information up to date!
and your registrar
It’s simplest to use your registrar’s nameserver, but that is
not always technically possible (ex. WordPress)
All registrars will give you the option of either using their
nameservers to record domain vv
setup information, or
entering the addresses of custom nameservers where that
information will be recorded.
Setting up both
www.self.com AND self.com
The www prefix is a common convention,
but not a requirement. It’s not important
WHICH you choose, vv
just THAT you choose.
Use your choice consistently in all of your
advertising, communication, etc.
Set up a redirect (not just an alias) from
the one you didn’t choose to the one you
did choose. Sometimes called a “301
redirect”. This is important for SEO.
Two recommended settings
Registrar-Lock: keeps other people from
transferring the domain away from your
ownership without your approval
Auto Renew: prevents domain from expiring
(requires current credit vv
Help! The domain I want is available, but listed as a
premium domain for $1000. Why?
If a domain name has been utilized in the past, it is
assigned a value. Based on this value, registrars will
declare certain domains as premium.
• Montana.com is a premium domain
Why is it so hard to make changes?
• Updates and changes require verification via email,
and can take 48 hours to vv
a week for the change to
• Lots of admin layers to go through (registrar + WHOIS
•Examples of changes you might make: Transferring a
domain to a new owner, moving a web site to a new
server or service (WordPress)
Someone hijacked my domain before it was due to
• How to tell if your domain has been hijacked
• How it happens
• What can you do?
I had a domain registered but it expired – what’s my
•Expired (40 to 45 days)
•The domain has expired and the Registrant’s rights have lapsed
•Domain is “on-hold” but can still be renewed
•Redemption (30 days)
•Typically begins between 40 and 45 days after the domain
expiry, sometimes immediately, it’s a last-ditch grace period
begins where the domain can still be renewed
•It costs a lot more to “Redeem” a domain than to initially renew
•Pending-Delete (5 days)
• It’s too late to renew or redeem a domain at this stage
•“Drop-catching” services like SnapNames will often grab the
name and auction it off to any bidders interested in it
• If your domain name is indeed expiring, you will
renew it with your current registrar NOT a new
• Each time you login to renew your domain, check
your account contact information to ensure that
your email address is current.
• Notifications regarding the domain will not be
received if the email listed on the domain
registration is not current.
Someone already has the name I want and is selling
it for $8000. How do they get away with that?
Avoiding domain scams
① Know who your web host is, and who your
registrar is (often separate).
② Know when your domain name expires.
Look up your domain name info: domaintools.com
③ Always keep the administrative email on your
domain name current.
④ When you get a notification about your domain
name expiring, go to your registrar and login. Do
not ignore it and let it expire! Set up auto-renew
if that works for you.
Treat your domain name like you would
your car title
Don’t rely on anyone to keep track of your domain
for you… not your web designer, not your children,
not your staff!
It can be easy to lose/forget your registrar user name and
password. WRITE IT DOWN and keep it in a known, secure place.
Owner says no to $310K bid for montana.com
Amazon Scoops Up the '.Buy' Domain for $4.6