What is a domain name?
The development of the digital presence of a company, an individual or else an association generally involves the creation of its own website. Obviously, the goal is different. The goal of a website may be to share a passion, to grow sales, to provide information, etc. Ultimately, the process for users to discover the content of this website remains the same. The first step is to acquire one or more domain names.
A domain name makes it possible to locate a website. It is a set consisting of a character string respecting a defined syntax and an extension separated by a period « . ». You need to enter this element in your browser in order to access a website. For example: “myexample.com”.
What is the purpose of domain names?
The domain name is used to locate a website, it corresponds to an IP address in the Internet network. Indeed, the machines use the IP addresses in order to communicate. However, humans have difficulty memorizing this sequence of numbers, especially if they have to memorize the IP addresses of the websites they visit. On the other hand, they will not have difficulty with words. The domain name system was created from there to facilitate Internet browsing. An intermediary system called the DNS service matches the domain name to the IP address. The usefulness of domain names is felt even better in shared hosting. In this latter, several sites share the same server, therefore the same address. Servers use the domain name to find the exact location of a site within it.
The domain name also plays another important role, that of a company’s branding. The domain name is representing the company on the Internet. Therefore, a careful and informed choice of your domain name is essential, since it also counts in the referencing of a site.
How to get a domain name?
The acquisition or registration of a domain name is not free, it is usually done at a registrar or at a web host. In fact, it is not about acquiring a domain, but renting it out over a period of time. The chosen registrar usually provides additional services such as email forwarding, DNS management, domain forwarding to another domain, etc.
It is operated on a “first come, first served” basis. The first to buy a free domain name is the owner. Therefore, it is recommended to quickly register a desired and available domain name, at the risk of being duplicated by another person.
However, the resale of domain names is practiced. Hence, in some cases, we can buy back domains already taken (at a higher price of course). The information of the owner of a domain name, kept in the registry in charge, can be viewed using a WHOIS search tool. With this information, you can contact the owner of the domain or go through specialized sites.
What are the types of domain names?
There are several types of domain names depending on the extension they have. These extensions are called Top Level Domain (TLD).
- Generic domain names or gTLDs. These are the first and most known domains: .com, .info, .net, .org
- New domain names or NgTLDs. They are considered gTLDs, but they are subject to certain restrictions. Example: .ninja, .home, .tv
- National domain names or ccTLDs. National or regional registrar are managing this type of extensions. For example: .ma, .fr, .africa
These usually have more stringent naming rules than gTLD domains. For example, words such as the name of cities and public institutions are reserved for rights holders.
However, the general syntax of a domain name follows the following rules. The length of the domain name is at least 2 characters and at most 63 excluding the extension. Allowed characters are the letters “a” to “z”, the numbers “0” to “9” and the hyphen “-” inside the string. Some extensions offer the possibility of using accented characters with certain reservations.
How to transfer your domain name?
There may be times when the organization with which a user made the initial registration is no longer satisfactory. Or any other reason pushes to want to leave his registrar without giving up the domain name. Any owner has the right to request the transfer of his domain name to another provider. Usually you can execute this at the domain management interface at the registrar. Sometimes, it is enough to contact the latter to express the need. It will provide you the EPP Key that you can give to the next service provider who will take over the transfer.