Getting Started


Understanding Domain Names

Read this and the next unit on Hosting then read the Unit Registering your Domain Name and Buying Hosting BEFORE buying your domain and hosting.

A domain name is similar to a shop or business name. It is the address you enter into a web browser to view a website e.g. so it’s really important that either the name you choose is relevant to your business or easy to remember (ideally both!). How many times have you tried to remember that domain name you saw on the side of a truck ?? What was it again? Was it dot com at the end??

Choosing the Right Domain Name for You

Your domain name should be as many of the following as you can achieve:

  • Easy to spell
  • Easy to remember
  • Relevant to your business

Depending on the markets you are aiming for, you will need to decide on the type of domain to register i.e. the correct extension, such as for Australia or for UK etc. or simply .com as commonly used in the USA or for websites that are not specifically for one country.

Why Does a Domain Name Have to be Registered?

Just as you would register a business name with the relevant authority, you need to register your domain name with a domain name registrar. This is so your domain name is unique and also ensures that you have ownership over that particular domain name (as long as you keep paying the registration fee).

How Does a Domain Name Work?

In simple terms, a domain name, via a Domain Name Server (DNS), is told by a series of records where to look for the website it’s meant to display. This is called Domain Name Delegation.

If you register your domain name with the same company you buy your hosting from, your domain name delegation will most likely have already been set to the correct address and there will be no need to do anything further.

However, if your domain name is registered with a company different to your hosting company, you will have to change these settings. You will have to point the domain name to the hosting company’s DNS as explained in the section called Domain Name Delegation in this module.

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