Brief Introduction to Domain Names
Domain names are basically identifiers for different internet resources. For all practical purposes it is just a combination of letters and numbers. The internet resources could be anything from personal computers, networks, server machines or services. They also represent websites. Each domain name is created taking into consideration the rules laid down by the Domain Name System (DNS). Many a times organizations choose domain names that are close to their names or unique identities. This helps people on the internet to reach them faster.
Domain Name Syntax
The general domain syntax consists of one or multiple parts called labels. These labels are separated by dots e.g.: example.com. The ‘.com’ is a top-level domain (TLD). Edu, org and info are other examples of TLDs. The ‘example’ denotes a node or a sub-domain of the domain.
Domain Name Registration
There is a registry responsible for maintaining all the domain names that users register. The users/owners of the domain names have to pay an annual fee for the maintenance of this registry which is basically like a database of domain names. The authorized users are also called as ‘domain holders’ or ‘registrants’.
Use Of Domain Names In Hosting a Website
A domain name is a part of the identifier called uniform resource locator or URL. URLs are used to access websites. A URL is made up of the TLD, SLD or second-level domain and the host name. For example: www.helloworld.com. Here, net is the TLD, helloworld is the SLD and www is the host name.
Web hosts use servers that own one or few IP addresses and serve multiple websites. This is called virtual web hosting. For this each request needs to identify the domain name for that particular website. This is usually done using Server name indication or by using the HTTP request header field.
What Is Good Domain Hosting?
Good domain hosting services generally have the following important features in common.
Easy To Transfer Domain Names
Getting a good domain name of your choice will be the first step in the process of hosting your website. Your web host should help you secure this domain name easily. Some people already have a domain name for a website with some other web hosting service.
That domain name will have to be transferred to the current preferred web hosting service. All the contents hosted at the previous host will have to be migrated. A reputed domain hosting service will make this process smooth and easy for you. Leaders in the web hosting industry like iPage and BlueHost also give a domain free of charge for the first year while the migration process is on.
Efficient and Free Website Builders
Beginners in the world of blogging and web development are usually not very confident about their website building skills. Along with a free domain given to them by the web hosts they also need help designing and building the website.
This need has been noticed by the web hosts and most of the well-known companies now offer easy to use web development tools or website builders as a part of their package. These are all drag and drop based due to which the user does not need to be tech savvy in order to use them efficiently.
Boosting The Domain’s Search Rankings
A well designed and built website can only be successful as long as it attracts a decent number of visitors. Top web hosts provide their customers with marketing credits to increase the overall rankings of the websites on search engines like Google, Bing and Yahoo!. IdeaHost provides customers with $200 in marketing credits that can in turn be used to make the website appear higher in the list of results delivered by search engines. The higher a website appears the more likely it is to receive a visit. BlueHost and IPage also offer about $100 worth of marketing credits to their customers for the same purpose.
Unlimited Domain Hosting
Offering unlimited resources is one of the strategies used by web hosting companies to make their packages attractive. It could be unlimited email, domains or storage space. Different hosts offer different resources. Some of them even provide unlimited databases. All this included in the hosting price for the customers. According to reviewers, in the current scenario, eHost excels at this kind of unlimited hosting.
Lifelong Free Domain
Last but not the least! This can easily be called the most important feature of a great domain host – A free domain registration for the customer as long as he/she uses the web hosting plan.
This is a super deal if it is a reputed hosting company and the service provided is fulfilling all of the customer’s web hosting requirements. However, if this turns out to be a bad web hosting service, the free lifelong domain registration won’t be much of a good deal.
To summarize, unlimited hosted domains and email, marketing perks, website building tools and lifelong domain registration are the factors that play an important role in choosing the right domain hosting provider.
Top 10 Web Hosting Providers For Domain Hosting
- eHost – This is considered the best web host in for domain hosting. Along with a lifelong free domain it offers cPanel and WordPress access to its customers. It is also a good website builder.
- SiteBuilder – At #2 it comes very close to the eHost hosting service. Large number of templates for websites are provided along with good site editing and lifelong free domain name.
- SiteBlog – Considered a great blogging platform. This comes in addition to the free domain, email and templates.
- IdeaHost – Known for its excellent tech support. It provides cPanel and WordPress along with the lifelong free domain.
- WebsiteBuilder – Easy to use with free domain name and many templates. Hence, a great choice for beginners and bloggers.
- iPage – Very low cost. Free domain name along with unlimited bandwidth and storage. One of the most cost effective options.
- BlueHost – Well known for cPanel and WordPress. Free domain name provided.
- HostClear – Easy to use. Free domain name and email. Unlimited bandwidth provided.
- HostGator – Very reliable due to good uptime reputation. Good support and free domain name provided.
- Sitey – Free domain name, exciting template designs and easy to use.
WordPress Domain Hosting FAQ
What is a domain name?
Domain names are part of the URL (Universal Resource Locator) that directs computer users to a web page.
Why do I need a domain name?
You might have a web page but without a domain name, no one can find it. The domain name points people to where your web page resides on the web.
Do I need to have a web page to get a domain name?
No. Getting a domain name can be separate from getting a web page.
Why would I want a domain name before I have a web page?
If there’s a definite domain name that you want, it is better to get it when it’s available and not wait until later when it might be taken by someone else.
What happens with my domain name if I don’t have a website?
Once you have a domain name, you own it. It is yours forever if you pay the renewal fee each year.
What is domain parking?
If you don’t have a website yet, a domain registration company may offer to “park” it. This means they will assign it to a dummy page.
Where do I get a domain name?
Some free hosting sites offer free domain names. Other hosting sites have a charge for providing a domain name. Or, you can purchase and register a domain name outside of the hosting site and bring it to your web page to the hosting site.
Is there a difference between a free domain name and one you pay for?
A free domain name usually is a subdomain of the site issuing it. If you decide later that you want to move your page to another site, the domain name Is not transferable. Additionally, if the hosting site that gave you the free domain name closes, you can’t use your domain name any place else. You don’t own the name. The hosting site does.
What is private domain registration?
Private domain registration will give you alternative contact information and e-mail masking.
Why would I want private domain registration?
Private domain registration costs a bit more but if you’re looking for web security it’s worth the extra money. When you post your contact information on the website, it becomes part of the WHOIS, maintained by ICANN, and can lead to receiving telemarketing calls and spam e-mail.
What is e-mail masking?
With e-mail masking, you’ll have a private e-mail address that changes frequently. The registrar of the private domain registry monitors the e-mail address, checks it for spam and then forwards it to your designated e-mail address.
What is the WHOIS (pronounced “Who is”)?
The WHOIS, maintained by ICANN, is a searchable database of domain names. In 2013, a proposal was put forth to do away with the WHOIS.
What is ICANN (Internet corporation for assigned Names and Numbers)?
ICANN is a non-profit organization, based in California, whose primary function is to monitor the companies that sell domain names to the public. They also monitor domain name disputes through their UDRP (Uniform Dispute and Resolution Policy). The person registering a domain name cannot get the name without agreeing to abide by the decision of the UDRP.
What do the endings at the end of domain names signify?
The endings like .com and .org indicate to the computer user what kind of person or entity owns the domain name. There might also be an additional suffix such as.com.us that tells what country the website is in.
What are the most popular suffixes for domain names in the United States?
Among the most popular suffixes for domain names in the United States are
These suffixes are all top-level domains (TLDs). Everything to the left of them is sub-domains.
What is the suffix .com used for?
Originally .com was reserved to be used by for-profit entities. Now, anyone can register it.
What is the suffix .org used for?
Originally .org was reserved to be used by non-profit entities. Now, anyone can register it.
What is the suffix .net used for?
Originally .net was used to pointing to a network of computers. Now, anyone can register it.
What is the suffix .edu used for?
The .edu suffix is reserved for post-secondary institutions. To register a domain name with this suffix, the school must be regionally accredited.
What is the suffix .gov used for?
The suffix .gov is restricted to national, state, and municipal government entities.
What is the suffix .mil used for?
The suffix .mil is restricted to use by the military.
What is the suffix .biz used for?
The suffix .biz is a newer suffix used for business sites.
What does the additional suffix .us stand for?
The suffix .us, at the end of a domain name, means that the website is in the United States.
What does the suffix .info stand for?
The suffix .info, in a domain name, is used for information sources.
What does the suffix .name stand for?
The suffix .name, in a domain name, is used for a personal name.
What is the suffix .me used for?
The suffix .me, in a domain name, stands for a personal website.
What is the suffix .tv used for?
The suffix .tv, in a domain name, stands for a television station.
What are subdomains?
The domain name, itself, has a hierarchy of parts (levels). In the example, mycompany.com, the top-level domain (TLD) is the .com part. The mycompany, the part you own, is a second level domain. If you add another section to the left of mycompany, such as blog.mycompany.com, the blog part becomes a third level domain.
Why do I need a subdomain?
You don’t necessarily need a sub-domain but there are several reasons you might want one. Subdomains are recognized by search engines as separate from the main domain name. Subdomains will then help push you up the list when a search is done. If your website covers a lot of different topics, you might want to have a subdomain for each of the topics.
If I have subdomains, what do I need to look at when deciding on a hosting site?
You want to make sure that the hosting site won’t charge you extra for the subdomains.