What is a domain name?
Have you heard people talking about domain name, web address or web URL? If you are an advanced internet user, you will hear these terms all the time. When you ask someone to give you his/her website you probably ask something like "what is your domain name?", or "what is your web address?", or "what is your web url?" When a client rings us enquiring about our web design services, he/she always asks "what is the domain name?". In this article, we will discuss how to register a domain name.
So what exactly is a domain name?
According to Wikipedia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Domain_name), a domain name (for instance, "example.com") is an identification string that defines a realm of administrative autonomy, authority, or control on the Internet. Domain names are formed by the rules and procedures of the Domain Name System (DNS). Any name registered in the DNS is a domain name.
The domain name is like your home address for the post office to deliver your mail. If you do not have a home address, you will not be able to receive mail from your local post office. The same thing applies to a domain name. if you do not have a domain name then people will not be able to find your business on the internet. The domain name is a unique personal or business address that identifies a website on the internet - people use this address to find your business on the internet. For example, the domain name of Desena Web Design is www.desena.com.au. Without a domain name (url or web address), you will not be able to access and view a website.
Every domain name has a suffix (extension) that indicates which top level domain (TLD) it belongs to. The domain suffix (extension) helps identify what type of website the domain name represents. For example, international domain names such .com (used by commercial website), .org (used by by non-profit organisations), .info, .mobi etc. There is also an extension for your own country domain name. For example, for Australia .com.au, .net.au or .org.au. When you visit a website, the domain name appears in the address bar of your web browser.
DNS (Domain Name System)
Computers can only read numbers, so for computers to be able to read your website domain name such as www.desena.com.au, you have to translate the domain name into an IP address e.g. Name Server IP 18.104.22.168. When you type in your web browser http://www.desena.com.au, the computer does not immediately know that this is desena's website - instead it sends a request to look for DNS server and if the computer finds the server with that IP number then the web browser will display the website.
When you register a domain name, your domain name registrar automatically assigns your domain name with DNS, so you do not need to buy separate DNS service. I have a few clients that registered domain and also purchased DNS.
Domain name and web hosting is related to each other so we recommend you register your domain name and purchase web hosting with the same company. For example, if you register your domain name with goddady and host your website with us, then you will need to change the domain name server on your domain name on goddady's website to point to our name servers. Most people do not know how to do this.
There are thousands and even millions of domain name service providers around the world. If you are an Australian business, we recommend you register your Australian business domain name with an accredited registrar of Australian domain names because some of the international domain name registrars might prohibit you from transfering and updating your domain name. If you do not like their services, you cannot transfer your domain name to a different registrar and as a result you will lose your domain name and will have to register a new name.
Protect Your Identity
In order to prevent other people to register the same domain name with different suffix (extension), you can register more than one domain name. For example, I registered www.desena.com.au but someone else might register www.desena.net.au or www.desena.com. You can then redirect the other domain names to the main domain name - for example, if you type www.cheapwebdesigns.net.au it will come up as www.desena.com.au.
What do I need to register .au domain?
The .au domain name extension is a country code Top Level Domain (TLD) restricted to use by individuals, organisations and companies registered and/or residing in Australia. The .au domain names are controlled by the Australian Domain Name Authority (auDA). According to auDA's regulations, you must have an Australian Business Number (ABN) or Australian Company Number (ACN) to register .com.au or .net.au and those who want to register .org.au domains must also meet the same registration requirements and restrict to only Australian non-profit organisations and registered charities. If you do not meet these requirements, then you should register .com, .net, and org.