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If you wish to have a website, this means that you require a domain. A domain is a human-identifiable name that you write in your web browser's location bar when you wish to see a specific web portal.

Why Do You Need a Domain Name?

This is a subject I introduce because of the fact that one week ago my boss proposed the idea of launching a web page for our new project. That itself is not an issue, the issue is that he needs a site, but has not decided yet what it should look like, what it should contain, and so on. All that he mentioned to me was the name of the web site - its domain. Thus, we now have an address for a yet-to-be-created website and nothing more.

The Domain

Each website is hosted on a physical machine. That physical machine has its own physical address, popular also as an Internet Protocol address. Reaching a web site by writing the IP address of the physical server in your browser, though, is not the best and most convenient thing to do, so that was how and why domains came into being. Therefore, a domain pertains to an IP on the World Wide Web. Once it has been registered, that is.

Registering a Domain Name

To register a domain, you first need to find a domain name registration provider. Lonex Web Hosting has an optimal solution for my present and future projects - they have a Domain Manager plan, which can be easily upgraded to a web hosting plan at a later time - when my boss finally makes up his mind about what objective the website will serve.

Thus, to register a domain name, you need to select a name for your web site. After that, you have to pick a TLD - this is what follows the dot. For instance, in 'youtube.com', '.com' is the top-level domain name (TLD). Apparently, '.com' is an abbreviation for 'company', '.net' is an abbreviation for 'network', '.org' is an abbreviation for 'organization', and so on.

After you've selected your domain name and your future domain registrar, you need to verify whether the domain name you would like to register is free, since someone else might have grabbed it before you, no matter how annoying it might be. Each registrar, including Lonex Web Hosting, offers a search functionality at their signup page, which ascertains the availability of a particular domain name. To continue with the registration of a domain, you need to fill in certain domain registrant information - the personal name, the place of residence, the e-mail and the telephone number of the domain name's registrant.

You've Registered a Domain... Now What?

I registered .com, .net, .info and .eu domains for our project, as per the desire of my still-unsure-about-the-purpose-of-the-future-site boss. I tried out the domain management dashboard Lonex Web Hosting is offering and found it extremely easy to use - everything is coherently arranged and, from what I saw in the hosting CP demo at their web site, once we upgrade to a cheap web hosting package, it will stay the same, just with a lot more functionalities. This, thank God, will save me quite a bit of discomfort from having to administer my domain and web hosting account separately. So, while waiting for the boss to make up his mind about at least what the web site should contain, I was happy to find that the domain administration interface contains DNS management and domain renewal options, and - an extremely valuable functionality (!) - a parked domain template, which I used in order to set up a "Coming Soon" page for our domain names.

Country-Code Top-Level Domain Names

I was pretty glad to see that Lonex Web Hosting is offering plenty of country-specific Top-Level Domains, as the project the web site is aimed for is multinational. Country-specific Top-Level Domains are delegated to local registry operators, which enable domain registration vendors to register domain names, typically at prices that are lower than those offered to the end customers. There are various country-code TLDs: .co.uk for the United Kingdom, .nl for the Netherlands, .se for Sweden, .us for the USA, .ca for Canada, .com.au for Australia, and so on. This, I am confident, will please my boss because we will be able to create a local version of the website for each country where the project will be introduced.