This is for all those people pretty new to websites and domains.
Alright, everyone knows what a website is and that you put in mydomain.com… or something like that to get to a companies website.
But if you are new to actually having your own domain / website, then there is a bit of mystery to it all.
I want to take away some of that mystery with domains, and touch on website hosting as well.
The easiest way to think about it is that the domain is like your home address, and hosting is what you actually have on that plot of land (a house / condo, etc, with all the furniture, fixtures, etc.)
Your home address is in easy to read and make sense format, but, you probably know that behind that address, for maps and such, there are latitude and longitude coordinates. Then there are also municipal description of your home address (lot and plans, etc.).
With domains, is is similar, with what is called the DNS or Name servers.
But just like in real life with your home address, you usually don’t need to worry about those other descriptions. Same with domains, only at the start you need to set up the correct Name servers.
Domains can be bought many places. A big one that most people hear about is GoDaddy. They are kinda like the Amazon of domain selling. GoDaddy sells domains both wholesale and resale.
There are many smaller retailers, and many offer some extra services with their domain sales. We offer domains at ZedDomains.com and do that to help out our clients, so we can do it for them.
When you do get someone to help you buy and set up your domain, make sure you get them to set it up in your name, so that you have ownership and control over it. Every domain comes with 4 types of contacts, the highest of which is Owner/Registrant. That is the one you want your name on.
The other contacts are Administrative, Billing and Technical. Usually I set up my clients as Owner/Registrant and Billing, and then we use our contact info on Administrative and Technical. That way we can easily handle things for them, but they have the control over things.
When choosing a domain, you need to choose the suffix at the end, or the TLD (Top Level Domain). There has been a proliferation of new TLD’s, but I still like to stick with .com if available, and possible .ca for Canadian businesses. With non-profits, I usually choose .org.
Lastly, when searching for your new domain, I suggest to search (or let us search for you) and purchase at the same time, as sometimes what you searched for and wanted, may get snapped up by the time you come back.