If you want to set up a web site, this means that you need a domain name. A domain name is a human-identifiable name that you type in your browser's URL bar when you desire to look up a given web portal.
Why Do You Require a Domain Name?
This is a topic I bring up because a week ago my boss brought forth the idea of creating a website for our brand new project. That itself is not an issue, the issue is that he needs a website, but has not reached a decision yet about what it should look like, what it should encompass, and so on. All that he mentioned to me was the name of the web site - its domain name. So, we now have a web address for a yet-to-be-built site and nothing more.
Each web site is hosted on a physical machine. That physical machine has its own personal physical address, popular also as an IP address. Reaching a website by typing the IP address of the physical server in your web browser, however, is not the best and most convenient thing to do, so that was how and why domain names came into existence. So, a domain pertains to an IP on the web. Once it has been registered, that is.
Registering a Domain Name
To register a domain, you first have to discover a domain name registration provider. Lonex Hosting has the best solution for my current and future projects - they provide a Domain Manager package, which can be easily upgraded to a web hosting package later on - when my boss eventually determines what function the web site will serve.
Hence, to register a domain, you need to pick a name for your site. Next, you need to choose a Top-Level Domain - this is what follows the dot. For example, in 'latimes.com', '.com' is the Top-Level Domain (TLD). Obviously, '.com' denotes 'company', '.net' denotes 'network', '.org' denotes 'organization', and so on.
After you've chosen your domain and your future domain registrar, you have to find out whether the domain name you wish to register is free, since somebody else might have grabbed it already, however embarrassing this might be. Each domain registration supplier, including Lonex, offers a search functionality at their sign-up page, which checks the availability of a particular domain. To proceed with the registration of a domain name, you need to fill out certain domain registrant details - the personal name, the physical address, the email and the phone number of the domain name's registrant.
You've Registered a Domain... Now What?
I registered .com, .net, .info and .org domains for our project, as per the desire of my still-uncertain-about-the-function-of-the-future-site boss. I tried out the domain name management dashboard Lonex is offering and found it extremely convenient - everything is neatly structured and, from what I saw in the hosting CP demo at their web site, after we upgrade to a cheap hosting package, it will stay the same, but with many more features. This, thank heavens, will save me quite a bit of discomfort from having to manage my domain and web hosting user account separately. So, while waiting for the boss to make up his mind about at least what the web site should comprise, I was glad to find that the domain name administration tool includes DNS management and domain name renewal options, and - an extremely useful functionality (!) - a parked domain name template, which I used in order to set up a "Coming Soon" page for our domain names.
I was pretty glad to discover that Lonex is offering numerous country-specific Top-Level Domains, as the project the site is meant for is multinational. Country-specific top-level domain names are delegated to domestic registry operators, which permit domain name registration vendors to register domain names, typically at rates that are cheaper than those offered to the end customers. There are different country-code Top-Level Domains: .co.uk for the United Kingdom, .de for Germany, .nl for the Netherlands, .us for the United States of America, .ca for Canada, .com.au for Australia, and so on. This, I assume, will please my boss because we will be able to create a local version of the website for each country where the project will be introduced.