If you want to look professional, you need your own appropriate domain name. If you are going to use my webservices, I can arrange the domain name or names for you.
If you want to know more, or you’d like to buy your own domain names, read further:
It is possible sometimes to piggyback off another domain name, where yours would be a subdomain from the main name. You would be using the main domain’s hosting services and would have limited functionality and control. For example for a personal blog, you could use the services of blogspot and end up with a domain name such as http://www.letgoofmyleg.blogspot.com/.
Choosing your own domain name
If you want to buy your own domain name, one of the first difficult steps is choosing the name. So much so I have written a whole separate page on it. See information on choosing your own domain here.
Choosing the suffixes
You also need to decide what suffixes (ie top level domains and /or country code domains you wish to use). Then before you spend too much time on any one name, always check if it is available – use the appropriate who is servers to check if your chosen name has been taken (see below).
The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) is responsible for managing and coordinating the Domain Name System (DNS) worldwide. Click on their name to access a list of frequently asked questions. They also have some interesting (to me anyway!) maps.
Register the name as soon as possible
http://www.icann.org/registrars/accredited-list.html provides a list of accredited registrars who are officially allowed to register a top level domain name for you. If a company is not on the list, then they may be selling domain names purchased through an accredited registrar. ICANN recommends dealing directly. You can take a peek at which domain name servers are most active for US domain names at http://dailychanges.com/
To check a domain name registration internationally, you could use the not that pretty looking, but useful www.completewhois.com
A good registrar will usually provide tools to determine what domain names are available and possibly suggest others, as well as other information about who is entitled to regsiter a domain name. For example in Australia, there are restrictions about who can register what domain name.
Please note that domain name sales can be misleading… look at the renewal price to get a more realistic idea about the cost of owning a domain. Prices can vary greatly between suppliers, a low price may not always be the best if they are going to charge you to transfer, or higher prices for renewals etc.
US or global domains names
If purchasing a .com domain name, either do it with your hosting (or I’ll do it for you)
Australian Domain Names
The Australian Domain Name administrator http://www.auda.org.au/ provides information on Australian rules and regulations and MelbourneIT also has a good description of the rules and regulations. AUDA also explains the difference between a registrar and reseller.
www.mywebname.com.au provides an australian “whois” to look up domain name ownership.
There are many australian accredited domain name providers now. Some of these australian accredited registrars are:
African Domain Names
- http://www.zadna.org.za/slds.html has a list of organisations managing the various south african country code (.za) domain names.
- http://co.za/ manages the *.co.za domain names and charges at last look about R50 a year for registration.
- http://www.org.za/ manages the .org.za domain. If you are a genuine non-profit organisation, then there is no fee (otherwise a charge of R200) is levied.
- http://www.nom.za manages the *.nom.za domain names, which are currently free. They are intended to be used by individuals only