Super Simple Domains – Part 1

Posted Tuesday 28th Aug 2012 by Claire Jennings 1 Comment

Managing domain names can be a little bit of a mission if you are not completely confident in what you are doing. As a Web Designer having completed many projects, I have been transferring domain names for years now, and have most likely stumbled across the majority (if not all) of problems that could possibly go wrong during transfers, thanks to my early years!

Now it is my turn to share my knowledge in lamens terms. Hopefully this will make transferring domain names a tad easier!

I have put together a series of posts and diagrams which should hopefully make your life a little easier… This week kick’s off with Part 1!

Part 1 – Understanding domain names

What is a domain name?

A domain name is ‘www.domainname.co.uk’. This is a human-friendly name or mask of a unique IP address (192.168.268.1.1).

You can host on a Static IP address, or a Shared IP address

Shared IP addresses can have multiple websites hosted on the one IP address. To get to this website, you could only type in the domain name (www.domainname.co.uk). You could not reach the same website by typing in the IP address as there is more than one website available at that IP address.

If a website is on a Static IP address, to get to this website you could type in the IP address or the domain name. (This is mainly used for Website’s that use an SSL certificate) See Diagram below.

Types of Domain Names

.uk and .com domain names are the most common top level domains or (TLD)

You can also purchase .net, .org, .biz, .info etc. Most have been generated for specific purposes, for example, .info was created for information sites etc.

Choosing your Domain Name

Only one person/company can own a domain name at any time.

Therefore, if you want www.mydomainname.co.uk but someone else has it, you will need to either find another domain name, or try and buy it from them. You could also wait for it to expire and hope they don’t re-register it. Don’t wait for domains to become available as you could be waiting a while! (Possibly forever!)

A Few hints to help you buy a good domain name:

• Keep it Short and concise – Don’t make it too long,

• Since the Google released an unexpected algorithm update on Friday 28th September 2012, this now penalises sites with exact-match domain names. So ensure your domain name is brand related, and not keyword-rich.

Why use hyphens?

To help Search Engines separate words easily, we can use hyphens. Crearewebdesign.co.uk may be read as ‘cre are web de sign’ by google, however, when using a hyphen, it helps to separate words and make them more readable to search engines e.g creare-webdesign.co.uk.

.co.uk or .com?

If you want to attract UK only traffic, use .co.uk, only use a .com if your audience is worldwide, or in a number of countries. If you cannot do this, make sure you host your .com domain name on UK servers.

Search engines do take a lot of factors into consideration when ranking a site and deciding where a site should appear in search results. One of the main factors is the locality of the domain name. For example .ie or .co.uk. They will first of all look at the TLD, and then where in the world it is hosted.

Check Domain availability

Once you have decided on the right domain name for you, you can complete a check to see whether it is available to register or not. This is called a WHOIS check, there are many websites that can perform a WHOIS check, you can just type in ‘WHOIS check’ on google.

Domain name availability

Like number plates, short and sweet domain names are now extremely expensive to buy. See the list from Wikipedia of the recent top 5 most expensive domain names. (as of today – 28th August)

  1. Insure.com $16 million in 2009
  2. Sex.com for $14 million in October 2010
  3. Fund.com 2008 £9.99 million
  4. Porn.com 2007 $9.5 million
  5. Fb.com by Facebook for $8.5 million in November 2010

For more expensive domain names, visit: Wikipedia

Registering your Domain Name

You don’t ever buy your domain name, you register it or buy the right to register it. To register your domain name, this is done with a domain name registrar, Like 1and1 and Fasthosts. You can register a domain name for different periods from 1-10 years. Or you can set it in some registrar control panels to renew automatically. This prevents it from expiring and becoming available to someone else once it has expired.

Most people register domain names to put a website on, however there are also other reasons why people register domain names:

  • Forward to another domain name
  • Multiple email accounts
  • Sell it
  • Earn income – by putting adverts on it

Hosting a Domain Name

Now you have registered your name, to display your website you will need to arrange hosting. Most registrars offer hosting as well, or if they don’t you can update the DNS settings to point to another company who provide hosting.

When your hosting provider configures your website, they assign an IP address.

Once you have hosting, you can create access to the hosting space, to then upload your website. See diagram below for an example how your hosting space may look like (It is very similar to a computer folder structure…)

Next time … We will go into this in more detail next time on how to buy and transfer domain names

By Claire Jennings

Claire loves to design pretty website's all day long, she especially likes creating Magento and Wordpress based websites, and finding out new nifty tricks along the way. In her spare time likes to make Truffles, Think up new ideas whilst brushing her teeth, and change her hair colour. (On that note what colour shall i do next?)

See all of posts.

  • http://www.webtemplates-creare.com Gav

    Great post CJ, definitely one for the bookmarks. Love the design work for the blog also!