If you want to have a web site, this implies that you require a domain name. A domain name is an easy-to-remember name that you write in your web browser's address bar when you wish to reach a given web portal.
Why Do You Require a Domain?
This is an issue I touch on because this past week my boss brought forth the idea of creating a site for our brand new venture. That itself is not an issue, the issue is that he needs a web site, but has not made a decision yet about what it should look like, what it should comprise, and so on. All that he mentioned to me was the name of the web site - its domain. Thus, we now have a web address for a yet-to-be-established website and nothing aside from that.
The Domain Name
Each website is located on a physical machine. That physical machine has its own personal physical address, popular also as an IP address. Accessing a website by typing the Internet Protocol address of the physical machine in your browser, however, is not the best and most convenient thing to do, so that was how and why domain names came into being. So, a domain pertains to an IP address on the web. Once it has been registered, that is.
Registering a Domain
To register a domain, you first have to pick a domain registrar. 100WebSpace.com offers the best solution for my current and future projects - they have a Domain Manager package, which can be easily upgraded to a web hosting plan later on - when my boss eventually makes up his mind about what objective the site will serve.
So, to register a domain, you have to pick a name for your website. Next, you need to select a Top-Level Domain - this is what follows the dot. For example, in 'baidu.com', '.com' is the top-level domain name (TLD). Apparently, '.com' is an abbreviation for 'company', '.net' is an abbreviation for 'network', '.org' is an abbreviation for 'organization', etc.
After you've picked your domain and your future domain name registrar, you have to discover whether the domain name you wish to register is free, since somebody else might have registered it before you, no matter how embarrassing it might be. Each domain name registration provider, including 100WebSpace.com, has a functionality at their signup page, which ascertains the availability of a given domain name. To carry on with the registration of a domain, you need to fill out certain domain registrant info - the personal name, the place of residence, the e-mail address and the phone number of the registrant of the domain name.
You've Registered a Domain... Now What?
I registered .com, .net, .eu and .name domain names for our venture, as per the desire of my still-hesitating-about-the-purpose-of-the-future-website boss. I tested the domain administration interface 100WebSpace.com is offering and found it very convenient - everything is coherently structured and, from what I saw in the hosting Control Panel demo at their web site, once we upgrade to a dedicated hosting package, it will stay the same, just with a lot more features. This, thank heavens, will save me quite a bit of inconvenience from having to manage my domain and website hosting account separately. So, while waiting for the boss to decide at least what the site should include, I was glad to find that the domain administration tool includes DNS management and domain renewal options, and - a very valuable feature (!) - a parked domain name template, which I resorted to in order to set up a "Coming Soon" page for our domains.
Country-Specific Top-Level Domains
I was rather pleased to find that 100WebSpace.com is offering a lot of country-code TLDs, since the project the web site is intended for is international. Country-specific TLDs are handed over to local registries, which allow domain name registrars to register domains, usually at prices that are cheaper than those offered to the end clients. There are many country-code domain names: .co.uk for the UK, .me for Montenegro, .se for Sweden, .us for the USA, .ca for Canada, .com.au for Australia, etc. This, I assume, will please my boss because we will be able to set up a local version of the site for each country where the project will be presented.