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Tips from Tonna for your PC
How to Register a Domain Name
by Tonna Kutner

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Q: I want to setup a web site for my business.  What is the process for registering a domain name?  Who do you have to contact?

A: Up until a few years ago, all domain names were registered through Network Solutions.  Cost was $35/year and you had to buy 2 years to start.  In October 1998, Network Solutions’ monopoly was dissolved by the US government.  Today there are many companies that sell domain names ranging from $8.95-$35/year. 

Domain name registration is probably the least expensive part of your web site.  If you know where you want your site hosted, have them register your domain name.  If you want to hold a name, or find out if it’s available, here are a few places to start:

The first step is to select your domain name.  A Domain Name is a unique identifier with the following form: www.mycompanyname.com.  The .com part is called the TLD (Top Level Domain).  The most common ones are .com, .org and .net. 

  • .org is generally for non-profit organizations.  

  • .net is for network providers, but is used by businesses.

  • .com is for businesses.  It is also the most common – something like 23 million domain names are set up as .com.  

If you have a for profit business, choose .com or .net.  Some businesses buy both so no one else can use their name.  The “mycompanyname” part should, of course, be your company name.  It can be up to 63 characters and contain letters, numbers and dashes.  If your name is already taken, try using a dash or adding key words important to your business.  The domain registration sites listed above allow you to enter the name you desire and then tell you if it’s available.  Be creative and keep trying. 

Two new TLDs become generally available starting September 12th.  They are .biz for businesses and .info for information.  If you can’t find a good name using .com, try using .biz.  The new TLDs are ok, but .com is what people think of first.

Once you’ve selected your domain name, the rest of the process is typing information and selecting a password.  Be sure to keep note of the password as you will need it to make any changes to your information.

The last step is entering your credit card number.  Once you submit your credit card number, it’s a done deal.  Any time before that, you can bail out.

If you have a computer question you would like answered in this space, send it to tonna@computer-lynx.com.

For past columns of Tips from Tonna, check out the web site: www.computer-lynx.com.

Tonna Kutner, Computer LYNX, works with companies to list and develop their web sites.  Phone (206) 575-3979 or email tonna@computer-lynx.com. Visit Tonna’s website at www.computer-lynx.com.

Printed in "Verve" - September  2001. Copyright Tonna Kutner

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