Being in the web design and development business, we get a lot of questions from our clients about domain names and what they need to know to launch their new site.
FAQs About Domain Names
Today, we bring you answers to some of the most common questions we hear.
- What’s a domain name?
Also known as the URL or web address, the simple, non-technical answer is that your domain name is the name a person would enter to find your website. Example: back40design.com
- Which one is best for me (or my business)?
Your domain name needs to be easy to remember and spell, and it is best if it is related to your business or business name. Common TLDs (top-level domains) available are: .com, .net, .org. By far, the most common is .com, but depending on your business another option may be a better fit. Nonprofits and associations could use .org.
- Is the domain I want available?
You will have to search to find this out. Even though you enter a domain and it doesn’t open a website, it may not actually be available for purchase. There are many online tools for checking domain name availability – like GoDaddy’s domain name search.
- What’s a domain registrar?
This is the company/organization that manages Internet domain name reservations. Some of the most common ones are: GoDaddy, Network Solutions, HostGator, and 1and1. Though their customer support and pricing may vary, they all get the job done. When you buy a domain, you’ll set up an account on the domain registrar’s website to manage (or renew) that domain.
- How do I buy a domain?
You will buy your domain name from a domain registrar. To make domain management easier, we’d suggest buying all of your domains (if you have multiples) through the same registrar. It’s important to note that you can only buy a domain for a set amount of time, and it must be renewed when that time expires.
- When does my domain expire?
Your domain name will expire at least a year from the day you purchased it. You can check the expiration date by performing a WHOIS lookup, which can be done through online resources like this one. You’ll type in the domain name into the search bar, it’ll return a bunch of information, including: who the domain name is registered to, when it was registered, when it expires, and the registrar it was purchased through.
- How do I renew my domain?
You’ll renew your domain name through your domain registrar account. You could also turn on or enable auto-renewal just in case you don’t want to have to worry about any of this.
- Can I get my domain back if it’s already expired?
Sometimes. It really depends on how long ago it expired and what type of domain it is. Typically, there’s a grace period (up to 45 days) to login and renew your domain. Once that window is up, you enter into a 30-day redemption period where you can still renew, but you’ll have to pay a fee on top of the renewal cost. Once both of these periods have passed, your domain will be released for registration and you can no longer renew it.
- What if I no longer want my domain?
You can either cancel your domain registration, or simply let it expire.
- Can I have emails ending in a domain I don’t own?
No. You must own and have access to the domain name to which you want to connect email service.
These are just some of the questions we’ve heard throughout the years. If you have questions about your domain or need help looking up information about your domain, contact us. We’re happy to help. Or, if you don’t want to have to worry about it at all, we can purchase and maintain your domain for you.