Domain name registration
Domain name registration would be the first step, which an entrepreneur should do for starting an online business. It is a unique address that entrepreneur should reserve on the Internet.
What is an Internet domain name & domain name registration
Following the definition from Wikipedia, a domain name is an identification string that defines a realm of administrative autonomy, authority or control within the Internet. How does it sound? 🙂 In a simple way, a domain name just likes your home address. If you want potential customers know about your business on the Internet, you should have an Internet address. That is an Internet domain name, referred to a domain name or a domain.
You can use your domain name for your website, create emails with that. However, you need to register that domain name with a registrar before you can use. And that calls domain name registration.
Domain name extensions
A domain name includes two parts: name and extension. Let’s say your business names Dolphin AS. You might want to have your first business domain name as dolphin.com. That includes dolphin as the name, and com as the extension.
There are different domain extensions. The most popular extensions are .com, .net, .org that I refer to international domain names. There are other extensions such as .biz, .info, etc. Then each country has its own domain extension that I refer to national domain names. For example, UK has .co.uk, Norway has .no, Vietnam has .vn. Besides, we can register some other domain extensions nowadays, such as .tel, .mobil, .sex depending on your business. But mostly, it is just for brand protection.
Who can register a domain name
Basically, anyone can register. That makes easily for any person can own a domain name. However, please remember that a domain name is unique, and it is registered as first come first served. So, if you find a domain name that you like and still available, I would highly suggest that you do register immediately before someone else can reserve it. Check your domain here.
For national domain names, there might be more requirements depending on each country. For example, for domain .no, you would need to have a Norwegian ID; for domain .it, you might need an address in Italy.
Protect your online brand
When checking a domain name for your online brand, you should check multiple extensions, especially with popular extensions as listed above. Moreover, remember to check domain names of the country you are running business in. For example, a business in Norway should have both dolphin.com and dolphin.no if they are available.
You might ask, what you are going to do with multiple domains when you need only one website. Well… there are few purposes. You can use them as micro sites, point to different parts in your main website. It could help a bit when you are doing SEO. The more important purpose is reserving your online brand. Imagine what happens if your competitors register domain names with your brand, and start faking your services. You do not want to see that happens with your business!
So, the first step is choosing and registering Internet domain names for your business. You should do it, in parallel with choosing your business name. You do not want to have your business name different than your domain name unless it has to be like that.
Now, after you have your domain names ready, you want to create emails and start sending to your customers, partners; or build your website. You then need a hosting account where contains all those information. The next post will tell you about different kinds of hosting, and what you should use.