If you wish to own a site, this means that you require a domain name. A domain name is a human-recognizable name that you type in your browser's address bar when you wish to go to a particular website.
Why Do You Need a Domain Name?
This is a question I approach because one week ago my boss brought forth the idea of building a site for our brand new venture. That itself is not an issue, the issue 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 mentioned to me was the name of the website - its domain name. Thus, we now have an address for a yet-to-be-made web site and nothing more.
The Domain Name
Each web site is located on a physical server. That physical server has its own personal physical address, popular also as an IP address. Accessing a website by writing the Internet Protocol address of the physical machine in your browser, though, is not the best and most suitable thing to do, so that was how and why domain names appeared. Thus, a domain name pertains to an IP on the web. Once it has been registered, that is.
Registering a Domain Name
To register a domain name, you first need to settle on a domain registrar. Exclusive Hosting offers an optimal solution for my current and prospective projects - they have a Domain Manager package, which can be effortlessly upgraded to a web hosting package at a later time - when my boss eventually determines what purpose the website will have.
Thus, to register a domain name, you have to pick a name for your web site. Then, you need to select a Top-Level Domain - this is what follows the dot. For example, in 'walmart.com', '.com' is the Top-Level Domain (TLD). Clearly, '.com' stands for 'company', '.net' stands for 'network', '.org' stands for 'organization', and so on.
Once you've picked your domain name and your future domain registrar, you need to determine whether the domain you wish to register is free, because someone else might have seized it already, no matter how annoying it might be. Each domain registrar, including Exclusivehosting.net, has a functionality at their sign-up page, which checks the availability of a given domain name. To carry on with the registration of a domain, you have to fill out certain registrant info - the personal name, the address, the email address and the phone number of the domain's registrant.
You've Registered a Domain Name... Now What?
I registered .com, .net, .org and .name domains for our project, according to the desire of my still-unsure-about-the-function-of-the-future-site boss. I tested the domain administration interface Exclusivehosting.net is offering and found it very convenient - everything is coherently ordered and, from what I saw in the web hosting Control Panel demo at their web site, after we upgrade to a shared web hosting package, it will stay the same, but with many more functionalities. This, thank heavens, will spare me quite a bit of inconvenience from having to manage my domain name and web site hosting user account separately. So, while waiting for the boss to make a decision about at least what the site should comprise, I was glad to discover that the domain name management tool includes DNS administration and domain name renewal options, and - an extremely valuable feature (!) - a parked domain template, which I resorted to in order to set up a "Coming Soon" page for our domain names.
I was rather glad to find that Exclusivehosting.net is offering multiple country-code TLDs, as the project the web site is meant for is multinational. Country-code Top-Level Domains are entrusted to local registries, which allow domain name registration suppliers to register domains, usually at prices that are lower than those offered to the end clients. There are numerous country-code domain names: .co.uk for the UK, .nl for the Netherlands, .de for Germany, .us for the United States of America, .ca for Canada, .com.au for Australia, and so on. This, I am sure, will make my boss happy because we will be able to prepare a local version of the site for each country where the project will be introduced.