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 in 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

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 "" The third level would be ""

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 (gTLD)
  4. Sponsored top-level domains (sTLD)
  5. Country code top-level domains (ccTLD)
  6. Test top-level domains (TLD)

Among the above, we will be interested only in 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 the country of the website. For instance, in the URL, 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 extension will represent an Indian Government website. Like  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 up to 63 characters maximum, excluding the extension. The characters can include any combination of letters, numbers or hyphens. The first and last characters cannot be a hyphen. Domain names are not case-sensitive. i.e. "" would be the same as ""

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 different contact details like billing, administrative, and 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, You can also choose 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. This means, if litigation between you and them arises 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 your 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 an ICANN-accredited domain registrar and choose Domain Transfer from their list of services. From 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 for its client ABC. Now ABC wants the domain to be released to them. So ABC has to go to an ICANN-accredited domain registrar and open an account and initiate the transfer of the domain XYZ will provide ABC with a secret code that has to be entered for a successful transfer.

What is the minimum period of domain registration?

The minimum period for 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 an 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 litigation arises due to trademark and copyright. For example, you may be able to register at 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, and 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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