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The first step into venturing online is to come up with a domain name.

The first step into venturing online is to come up with a domain name. A domain name is the name of your website. It is the address that is given to web servers as well as web pages. The Domain Name System (DNS) gives every web server a name that is not only memorable but easy to spell as well. In short, we can say that a domain name is used to identify computers on the internet. Therefore, a domain name can assist your visitors to find you easily on the web.

Here are some of the things that you should know about domain name registration

Domain Name Registrar

A domain name registrar is a commercial organization that oversees the registration of domain names. ICANN (Internet Corporation for Assigned Name and Numbers) is a nonprofit organization which has delegated authority to manage the Domain Name System. The body is bestowed with powers to accredit Domain Name Registrars. The Domain names are easier to use and remember as compared to IP Address. IP Addresses can be defined as a string of numbers that are used to identify computers. The numbers are cumbersome and unlike domain names not easy to remember. You can use a combination of letters and figures and domain name extensions to come up with your unique domain name. It is imperative to note that a domain name has to be registered before you can use it.

  • Domain Extensions/Top-Level Domains (TLDs)

Domain extensions comprise of top-level domains and to some extend second level domain names. Top level domain names are recognized by the International Corporation for Assigned Name and Numbers (ICANN) that runs the Internet Assigned Number Authority (IANA) which is also responsible for maintaining the DNS root zone. You can register domain name free and identify the most appropriate top-level domains for your e-commerce site.

Generic Top-Level Domain (gTLD)

gTLD includes .com sponsored by Verisign Global Registry Services, ORG sponsored by Afilias, .NET sponsored by Verisign Global Registry Services, and.INFO sponsored by Public Interest Registry.

  • Generic Restricted Top-Level Domain Names

Generic Restricted Top-Level Domain Names are similar to the generic top-level domains only that eligibility is highly restricted. They include .BIZ which is restricted for business and sponsored by NeuStar, .Inc reserved for individuals and sponsored by The Global Name Registry Ltd, .PRO restricted to credentialed professionals and related entries sponsored by Registry services corporation, and dba Registry PRO.

  • Sponsored Top-Level Domains (sTLD)

sTLDs are domain names that are proposed and sponsored by private organizations which establish the applicable rules that restrict the use of TLD. IANA also classifies sTLDs with the generic top-level domains. Some of the sTLDs include .AERO reserved for the members of the air-transport industry, .ASIA specifically for Pan-Asia and Asia-Pacific community, .CAT reserved for Catalan Linguistic and Cultural Community, .COOP for Cooperative Associations, .EDU reserved for post-secondary institutions, .GOV exclusively for the United States Government, INT for registering organizations established by international treaties between governments. .JOBS reserved for Human resource managers while .Museum is exclusive to museums, and .TRAVEL is essentially for the travel industry.

Country Code Top-Level Domains (ccTLD)

Country Code top-level domains are meant for a particular country or dependent territory. All ccTLDs are two letters long. However, some countries use a second-level domain to represent the entity type. A good example would be .org.cn for Chinese organizations. Some of the common ccTLDs are .AE for United Arabs Emirates, .AU for Australia, .BE for Belgium, .BR for Brazil, .CA for Canada, .CN for China, .UK for the United Kingdom, and .US for the United States of America. 

Reserved Top-Level Domains

There are top-level domains reserved by IANA. Some of them are .TEST that is used for testing of current or new DNS tests, .EXAMPLE for use as examples or to signify documentation, and .INT used for the registration of organizations established as a result of international treaties between governments.

Therefore, when you set to buy a domain name, you had better take the above points seriously as the domain name, and the domain extension you use will impact on your business.