Domain Name Registration

Domain name registration

Domain names seem to be the most ignored aspects of a website. Most companies and individuals somewhat fail to understand the details involved about registering a domain name and how it differs from web hosting.

A domain name or URL (Uniform Resource Locator) is the designated address of a website on the internet. Example http://www.yourcompany.com

There are three “levels” of domain names. The first level, described in detail above, is the “extension” part of the name, i.e. “.com.” The second level would be “yourcompany.com.” The third level would be “www.yourcompany.com.”

Type of  domain names

The domain name extension is called a top level domain (TLD). As of 2015, IANA (Internet Assigned Numbers Authority) distinguishes the following groups of top-level domains:

  1. infrastructure top-level domain (ARPA)
  2. generic top-level domains (gTLD)
  3. restricted generic top-level domains (grTLD)
  4. sponsored top-level domains (sTLD)
  5. country code top-level domains (ccTLD)
  6. test top-level domains (tTLD)

Among the above, we will be interested only with 2 and 5.

Generic top-level domains

.com (generally represents commercial organizations but is available to anyone).
.net (generally when the .com is not available but is available to anyone).
.org (generally represents non-profit organizations but is available to anyone).
.co (generally represents a company)

Country code top-level domains

Country code top-level domains are the two letter country codes. These are used to designate a country of the website. For instance, in the URL http://www.telegraph.co.uk, the “uk” represents the United Kingdom. A listing of all country codes can be found on the IANA Web site. The extension for India is .in and co.in.

There are many other extensions like .edu for educational institutes or .gov for government organizations. For example, a .gov.in extension will represent an Indian Government website. Like www.indianrailways.gov.in.  These extensions are not available for the public and fall under 3 on the above list.

Rules for Domain Names

Domain names must be at least two characters long and can be upto 63 characters maximum, excluding the extension. The characters can include any combination of letters, numbers or hyphens. The first and last character cannot be a hyphen. Domain names are not case-sensitive. i.e. “yourcompany.com” would be the same as “YourCompany.com.”

Registration of domain names

In order to use a domain name, it must be registered with a valid domain registrar. ICANN maintains a directory of accredited domain registrars. To register a domain name you will be asked for for different contact details like billing, administrative, technical. This information is also public and easily accessible.

General preference for domain names

If you are trying to register a domain for your company, a .com extension is preferable. However, if your business is local you can go for the 2 letter country extension if the .com is not available. Like, www.yourcompany.in. You can also choose www.yourcompany.co which is a somewhat new TLD but effective.

What happens if the web design company registers the domain name for you?

When the web design company registers the domain name for you, technically they have the entire control of the domain. Which means, if a litigation between you and them arise at a later time, you are at the mercy of your web design company to release the domain to you. To avoid such situations, it is always advised to register your domain directly and if you opt for your web design company doing the service on behalf of you, then do have a written contract agreement clarifying the ownership and release of the domain anytime when asked.

How does a domain name is transferred from one registrant to another?

Once you are ready to accept a domain transfer, you have you go to a ICANN accredited domain registrar and choose Domain Transfer from their list of services. There on, you will enter the domain name and a secret code (known as EPP code). This EPP code will be provided to you by the current domain registrant. For example, web design company XYZ has booked a domain www.example.com for its client ABC. Now ABC wants the domain to be released to them. So ABC has to go to a ICANN accredited domain registrar and open an account and initiate the transfer of the domain www.example.com. XYZ will provide ABC a secret code that has to be entered for a successful transfer.

What is the minimum period of domain registration?

The minimum period of domain registration is one year. The maximum is ten years. Remember when you buy a domain it belongs to you as long as you continue to use it in a timely fashion.

What happens if I fail to renew the domain on time?

If you fail to renew your domain on time, you still get a grace period of 0-45 days depending on the domain extension. If you renew within this time, most domain registrars will not charge extra amount. Following that, the domain enters a 30 day Redemption Grace Period. During this phase, if you want to renew, you might have to
pay extra for the domain renewal. Beyond the Redemption Grace Period, the domain is released to the public and anyone can register it again. So it is advised to renew your domains always on time.

Intellectual property Rights

Registering a domain does not guarantee you as the owner of the domain unless you have enough paperwork to support the intellectual property rights –  if a litigation arise due to trademark and copyright. For example, you may be able to register www.ilovefacebook.com but if Facebook opens a case against you, you will lose it as the domain  – Facebook is a registered trademark of someone else and not you.

If you have a question about registering a domain, consult us anytime.

Hexadesigns is a web design company located in Kolkata, India. We design, redesign and develop websites. Build custom software, ecommerce, mobile apps and do digital marketing. This is our blog where we publish information for the general people and web developers for their knowledge enhancement.

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