Domain Name Registration
The name of a website is called the domain name. This is what follows the www. It consists of two parts, the name and the suffix. In the case of this site, the name is circlewebworks and the suffix is .com.
There are a vast number of suffixes. In the United States most people use the .com (company), .org (organization) or .net (network) suffixes. Also available are suffixes for every other country in the world, and a quite a few new ones (.biz, .info, .us, .name, etc...).
A good domain name is easy to spell, easy to remember, and very easy to verbalize. If you have to tell someone the name of your site, it shouldn't be hard to do. Say you want a site named I love rocks. You find that iloverocks.com is taken. So is .net, and .org. You might think that i-love-rocks.com would be a good alternative. But that name is not easy to verbalize. You would have to tell people, "Go to I dash love dash rocks dot com." Probably most people are going to say, "What?" And the rest of the people are going to end up going to your competitor, iloverocks.com.
You cannot buy a website name. You register a name for a year or more at a time. It's called domain name registration. Domain name registration is coordinated by the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN). Many other companies act as registration providers. CircleWebWorks is an authorized registration provider, but we only provide that service for our clients.
Domain name registration reserves the name for your use. Your registration delineates a series of contact names. There's the name and the contact information for the registrant, the person or organization who is going to use the name. Then there are also listings for an administrative, technical, and billing contact person. Your registration also specifies the address of the server that holds your web page (this is the "Name Server").
Every web page is stored on a computer called a web server. When you type www.circlewebworks.com into your browser, or click on a link that takes you to our page, our domain name registration "Name Server" listing is what tells your browser to find the page on our server.
To find out if a domain name is available, you can go to any registration provider and enter the name you want in their search box. It will return information indicating whether or not the domain is already registered. You can also go to this page.
There are many companies on the web who will register a domain name for you. Prices range from less than $10 to $35 a year. There is usually a discount for registering a name for more than one year at a time.
At CircleWebWorks we prefer to provide registration services for our clients. That prevents any possible issues with your registration that might interfere with the availablity of your website. Their cost for domain registration is $20 a year for standard suffixes (.com, .net, and .org), and it includes everything needed. Costs for other suffixes may be higher.
Many registrars charge extra for necessary things like "domain privacy" (keeping the street addresses, phone numbers, and email addresses of your contacts private so they won't be added to mailing lists, call lists and email spam lists) and "domain locking" (meaning that changes cannot be made to your registration without you actually "flipping a switch" to allow it). So be aware that your "discount" registration may not end up saving you any money after these extra costs are added on.
If you would prefer you can register your own domain name. Please be sure to make a note of your domain registration account username and password. Losing this information can make for quite an irritating adventure when you need to update contacts or change nameservers.
Not all registration companies operate ethically. Some make it virtually impossible for you to move your registration to a different provider, so be careful.
Some scam companies send out what look like domain registration renewal notices, even though they are not your registration provider. Don't fall for it! Anytime you have any questions about anything having to do with your domain registration, call your web professional.
We suggest always letting your website designer or web professional handle your domain name registration. It wll still be in your name, you will still be the "owner" but you won't have to worry about anything going wrong.
CircleWebWorks provides domain registration services for all of our clients. Please contact us if you have any questions.