There are many different ways to obtain a web domain for your new online business or informational website. Domains can only legally be sold or assigned by an Accredited Registrar who has been certified by Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN). Accredited Registrars agree to follow specific rules related to domain sales and to handle disputes in a prescribed way. Prices for website domains vary greatly, from under $10 all the way into the thousands.
The price can be dependent upon many factors such as services that you choose and the popularity of the name. For example, a domain name that is very close to a popular website’s name will fetch a higher price, as the owner may expect a certain amount of traffic to be sent their way from people who are actually searching for the other site. If you conduct an Internet search for website domain sales, you will find literally thousands of companies. Not all of them are Accredited Registrars.
Many are resellers who are affiliated with an AR. Some Web-hosting companies offer free domain names with their services, but of course there is a catch. Most free web addresses are very long and confusing. For example, if your business is called Fred’s Fine Cars, your website will not be fredsfinecars.com (a domain name that you may choose to purchase) but something like ‘fredsfinecars.happygowebhosting.com’. This can be a serious problem for your business, as it is neither memorable nor likely to be typed in without a search.
This type of domain name is called a SLD (second-level domain), as the domain extension is from a second party’s domain. Another thing that you may notice is that many sub-domains do not contain the familiar www. before the address. This is because the company has not registered an actual domain name for you-rather they’ve added an extra entry with your name to their own domain name service (DNS).
Again this can present problems for your company, as customers may not recognize the address. People will also recognize the website address as belonging to a free sub domain and may not take your business as seriously. It is not difficult to obtain a reasonably priced website domain name, either from an Accredited Registrar or a reseller. Before you sign up for any service, read the terms of service and determine if the AR meets your needs.
While many people may believe that they will need to get both their website hosting and domain registration from the same provider it is in no way required that you do so. This allows you to shop around and find the best deals for each facet of your service. You might also be able to forego some costly services that are duplicated by what you already pay for. For example, most ISPs (Internet Service Providers) provide email hosting with their basic service. Unless you will need substantially more capacity or advanced features, there is no reason to pay for hosting from your domain name service as well.