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Usage of Domain Names and Registration Process

8 min read

What Are Domain Names?

Over 20,000,000 domain names have already been registered worldwide and another 1,000,000 are being registered every month.

What are the domain names used for?
How are they constructed?
What does registration mean?
How are they used as the basis of a permanent Email address
How can they be used as a unique website and website address?
What is domain name hosting?
On other pages, we explain the formal rules you need to meet when choosing your domain names, the potential benefits of using them and suggestions for creating effective names.

What are the domain names used for?

Domain names are in high demand because they provide you with a unique identifier (address) on the Internet that you can keep for as long as you maintain your registration. It is rather like a postal address and telephone number rolled into one. Domain names form the basis of Email, website and website Internet addresses, and in the future, we expect they will be used for purposes that cannot yet be imagined.

They are registered for personal, professional and business use, brands, trademarks, campaigns, charities, religious and sports clubs, trade unions and a huge variety of other purposes. Every domain name is different. No two people anywhere in the world can register identical Internet addresses. Given that so many have already been registered, it may take time to find domain names you like but don’t give up. Instead, be thankful you are selecting them relatively early while many good names are still available. If you have problems just think how much harder it will be in the future when billions of people are expected to be on-line. We strongly encourage you to register IMMEDIATELY the names you need now and for the future. If you don’t act today the names may be taken by someone else tomorrow, or indeed later today.

How are domain names constructed?

Domain names are made up of several different parts. There is the main section made from words and/or numbers and then suffix. The suffix indicates the type of organization that has registered the name and, usually, the country where the name is registered. To show how domain names are built up, take the domain name Brainstorming.co.uk. It is made up as follows:

How are domain names constructed?

Domain names are made up of several different parts. There is the main section made from words and/or numbers and then suffix. The suffix indicates the type of organization that has registered the name and, usually, the country where the name is registered. To show how domain names are built up, take the domain name Brainstorming.co.uk. It is made up as follows:

Brainstorming . co . uk
The main identifier of the address. Dot separating the sections An indication of the type of organization that has registered the name, in this case, a COmmercial company Dot separating the sections The country where the name is registered (United Kingdom)

Where no country code is shown this is a ‘global top-level domain’ name, for example, a .com (commercial), .org (not for profit organization) and .net (internet service provider). Our company trades worldwide so we chose the .com suffix. It is made up as follows:

Hardpoint . com
The main identifier of the address Dot separating the sections An indication of the type of organization that has registered the name, in this case, a COMmercial company There is no country code, indicating this is a global top-level domain name

You can only use letters, numbers and hyphens for a domain name. We have further information on constructing domain names in our help pages.

What does ‘registration’ mean?

Registration of a domain name buys you an Internet address that no-one else in the world can use. The registration is for a set number of years and you have the first rights to renew the name at the end of this period.

What some people do not appreciate is that registration is only the lease of a unique Internet address for your exclusive use. It provides you with the place where you receive your emails but Email messages arriving via your domain name need to be forwarded to a place from where you can then access them. This is typically your current internet provider or a facility provided by a business, professional association, charity, educational institution, etc.

At the end of the registration period, you have to renew the registration or you will lose the right to continue using the domain name. In order that we can remind you when re-registration is due it is essential you keep us up to date with changes in your Email and postal addresses. If you are likely to be changing your postal address frequently we would encourage you to provide us with one that is less likely to change, perhaps a head office or family home.

Using a domain name as the basis of a permanent Email address

Email addresses are made up of an alias in front of the @ sign, followed by your domain name. The alias can consist of any combination of normal letters or numbers, the underscore (“_”) or full stop (“.”). It does not matter whether you use CAPITAL letters or lower case letters or any MixTuRE of both. A typical Email address is:

information @ CharityDonation . org . uk
The first part is called the ‘alias’ and it allows you to separate out Emails for different people. (This is not part of the domain name) This symbol indicates this is an Email address. (It is not part of the domain name) The main identifier of the address and the beginning of the domain name. An indication that this site is a not-for-profit organization or an individual

The country where the name is registered (United Kingdom)

The alias (special marker before the @ sign) is not part of the domain name and by default, any Email which ends in the @YourChosenName.com will be forwarded on to a single external email address of your choice. Most companies and organizations will want Emails with different aliases forwarded to different sections or members of staff, eg Sales@YourBusinessName.co.uk forwarded to an appropriate member of staff in the sales department, Technical@YourBusinessName.co.uk to the technical specialists and CustomerSupport@YourBusinessName.co.uk to the customer support department. This facility is easily achieved through our Control Panel service.

When you register a domain name you are obtaining an Internet address that is unique in the world. Having obtained the name you then have to tell us where you want your Emails forwarded to and where the webpages relating to it are hosted. This can be your current commercial or free Internet service provider, or a facility currently provided by a business, university, school, professional association, etc. If you need help with setting up the Email we have provided help pages explaining this.

The beauty of having your own domain name is that you avoid all the problems of having a domain name address for emails and websites that ties you to an unsatisfactory or expensive Internet provider. It is highly unlikely that most people will want to stay with the same provider for years and years yet many have an email address that they lose as soon as they change their internet service provider. Similar many people do not realize that the email they may be provided with by an employer, university, professional association, etc. will have to change once they are no longer part of that organization. The cost of changing email and website addresses can be huge in terms of lost contacts and re-printing of stationery, etc. It is much better to register a proper domain name(s) of your own that you can maintain for as long as you wish to use them.

When you register a quality domain name through Headpoint.com we receive emails addressed to it on our servers and then forward them to the place where you normally pick up your emails. Each time you change the latter you just tell us the new Email address from where you want to pick up Emails and us forward all emails with your quality domain name to this temporary addressYou have the freedom to change the provider of your internet services as often as it appropriate while your clients, family and friends continue to use the same quality domain name whenever they want to contact you. Further information. If you don’t yet have access to the Internet you can still register domain names for future use. They will then be available when you do need an Internet presence.

Using a domain name in a website address

Domain names form the basis of Internet website addresses. People enter your web address into their Internet browser to quickly access your website. When a domain name is used as an Internet address, the marker www.  is put in front of it. Spaces should not appear anywhere in the website address. It makes no difference whether the letters are entered in an UPPER or a lower case or even in a MixTuRE of both.

www . YourOwnWebPage . co . uk
Tells people this is a website address. (It is not part of the domain name) The main identifier of the address and the beginning of the domain name. An indication that this is a commercial organization (or an individual). The country where the name is registered, in this case, United Kingdom

If you want to display webpages on the Internet you can rent webspace from us. To help you operate your website we also provide step-by-step guidance on uploading webpages to your website. (Note however that you don’t need to have webspace, or an Email facility, to register a domain name.)

Using a domain name as a WAP Internet address

Domain names can also be used if you want to create websites for use by people calling via WAP phonesThe standards for Wireless Applications Protocol telephones are only slowly being developed and we see a variety of different styles of presentation. Approaches we have noticed being used on the Internet include

A separate domain name is registered
www . YourOwnWebPageWAP . co . uk
The same domain is used with a sub-directory added
www . YourOwnWebPage . co . uk /WAP

Domain name hosting – FREE for names registered with Headpoint.com

All domain name registrations must be pointed at two special, active computers (called domain name servers – DNS servers) that are connected to the Internet twenty-four hours a day, every day of the year. They are there to receive Emails aimed at your domain names and forward them on to you. They also receive requests from anywhere in the world to visit your website and they point the enquirer to your appropriate website. The reason for having at least two servers is that they can be upgraded individually while still keeping your domain name working. Our prices at Headpoint.com currently include FREE hosting of your domain names for the period of their registration.


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