Category Archives: ICANN

Website Basics: An Introduction to Important Terms and Concepts

PART I: DOMAIN NAMES (CONTINUED)

After choosing a domain name, you can purchase it either separately or as part of a package with your hosting service. Some hosting services, such as Blue Host*, offer a free domain name with the purchase of their hosting service.

3. How Do You Purchase a Domain Name?

Domain names are purchased by domain name registrars that are authorized by ICANN for such purposes. “ICANN” is an acronym that stands for the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers.

“The mission of The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (“ICANN”) is to coordinate, at the overall level, the global Internet’s systems of unique identifiers, and in particular to ensure the stable and secure operation of the Internet’s unique identifier systems.” (BYLAWS FOR INTERNET CORPORATION FOR ASSIGNED NAMES AND NUMBERS, Article 1, Section 1, January 25, 2011, according to their website at http://www.icann.org/en/general/bylaws.htm#I ).

To learn more about ICANN, visit http://www.icann.org.

To purchase a domain name directly from a domain registrar, you can use the below registrars:

Other registrars may be found at http://www.icann.org/en/registrars/accredited-list.html

You can also purchase a domain name from companies that work with a registrar, such as:

If your desired domain name is in use, you may try to work with the owner, hope you get lucky and it drops off quietly when it expires or try one of the following companies to purchase it:

These companies or the owner of the domain name may use a domain name appraiser similar to what appraisers do in real estate for homes. The appraisers evaluate and put the numbers of what they think the “property” is worth.

The domain appraiser estimates the value of a domain name based on certain criteria such as:

  • Easy to remember
  • Good for branding
  • Contains good key words for a company
  • Short, preferably 16 characters or less
  • Purity of the name, no hyphens, deliberate misspellings

If there is a functioning website associated with the domain name, the appraiser may look at the following:

  • Website age
  • Website traffic/followers
  • Existing website revenues (advertisers, sponsors, affiliate members or partners)
  • Website quality
  • Other related developments (related social media, etc.,)

Please note that some of the above links are marked with an asterisk. These are affiliate links and those companies may remunerate Little Mountain Web Design as part of a partner or affiliate referral relationship.

Please return later or read on for the continuation of this series to include information on Part II, Web Design, from our website blog.

All rights reserved. This article and all articles, images, content, etc., are copyright Little Mountain Web Design.

Website Basics: An Introduction to Important Terms and Concepts-Domain Names

PART I: DOMAIN NAMES

Choosing a domain name is a starting point for many when beginning their first website or creating a new website. It is important to consider and understand the nature of a domain name, the factors in choosing a domain name, where is best for you to purchase one, and what might be the best domain name for your business or organization to maximize your website’s potential.

1. What is a Domain Name?

A domain name is the locational information that appears in the URL* (Uniform Resource Locator) such as “402webpage.com” for this blog at “http://402webpage.com” and “littlemountainwebdesign.com” for “http://www.littlemountainwebdesign.com”. This tells others where to find your website and the exact address location of your directory or file.

TLDs are Top Level Domains. These are domain names with endings such as the following:

.biz
.com
.info
.mobi
.net
.org

Among the most coveted are .com and .org. These were among the first TLDs and are easy to remember.

2. What Factors Should One Consider In Purchasing a Domain Name?

When you are considering your domain name, it is important to consider the following factors and strategies:

  • Company/Organization name
  • Functions/ action verbs associated with your company/organization
  • Nouns related to company/organization
  • Keyword relevance to what you are promoting
  • Distinctive name that is easy to remember
  • Branding strategy
  • Length of the domain name
  • Buying related domain names
  • Secrecy in selecting a domain name until purchase is completed
  • TLDs

Begin your search for that perfect domain name by brainstorming different names and ideas. You can use a thesaurus to help find synonyms to think of different but related names.

It is generally beneficial for your domain name to be short and easily remembered. This helps people find your business or organization quickly, even if they can’t remember it exactly when they look for it via the search engines. Some domain name appraisers will recommend you keep the characters down to sixteen characters or less for your domain name. Long domain names make for long URLs and email addresses. This can be difficult later for business cards, media and sending links.

Define you brand strategy and ask yourself if your domain name enhances or complements it. To help with this, your domain name should have a memorable name that embodies your company/organization and what you are doing. Prepare a list of several choices in case the domain that you want has been taken.

If your choice for a domain name has been taken, you can contact the owners directly or use a third party to contact the owner for you to make a offer. In those cases, it is unlikely that you will be able to purchase the domain name at cost from the owner. Be aware that there are many companies that purchase domain names with the sole intent to profit from selling it to someone like you who wants to own and develop it.

If that happens, you may work with a domain name appraiser. Domain name appraisers calculate how much they think your domain name is worth. Please note that it is their perception, not what your future domain name is actually worth. As mentioned earlier, many people buy domain names with the sole purpose of selling it to someone later. The real estate equivalent of this is “flipping” a house. Now while one does not need to develop the “property” or make repairs, some development can raise the asking price.

It is best to keep your ideas for a domain name secret and to not search for them online until you are ready to buy, to keep others from buying it first by watching your activities online with various programs. Having more than one choice for a domain name ready in case your desired domain name is not available is a good strategy to prevent persons wanting to buy your potential domain name before you purchase it.

When you purchase your domain name, you may wish to purchase WHOIS privacy. WHOIS privacy, depending on your particular company, can keep more than your email address off the main WHOIS Internet searches. WHOIS searches can tell you who owns a website and how to contact them. Having WHOIS privacy helps reduce spam and scams but can give the impression to some that you are hiding something. The decision to purchase or not purchase this should be considered carefully by a business or organization.

Please return later or read on for the continuation of this series and more on domain names, including registrars, ICANN and how to purchase one from our website blog.

All rights reserved.This article and all articles are copyright Little Mountain Web Design.