Getting Your Registered Domain Online (Part Two)

Now that you have selected and registered a domain name, and signed it up with a web host, you may be asking ‘what’s next?’ The following step will be that your web host will have to provide you with details on how to get your site up and running online. This information includes passwords to get into your account, paths towards directories where your files need to be uploaded, and most vitally, what your domain name servers are.

Domain name servers (DNS) offer the link between your domain name ( and your Internet Protocol (IP) address. As we have seen, the IP address is a series of numbers as follows: 123.456.78.9; and, every web server has a unique IP address which, in the event of dedicated servers hosting a single domain, is the same as the domain name. A site which is hosted on a dedicated server will respond to either 123.456.78.9 or by serving the webpage you request.

The majority of websites, nevertheless, are hosted on shared servers. This means that one server is a home to many different websites, each having the same IP address. So if you type in a shared IP address you’ll get an error page or will be redirected to the web hosting company’s web site. So DNS is indeed necessary for websites on shared servers. The only way to request these websites is through the domain names – they cannot be requested through the IP address.

DNS Configuration

When you first buy a domain name, it will get registered on the DNS of the registrar. And until you plan for a web host, the registrar company will habitually redirect requests for your domain name to either an error page or an ‘Under Construction’ page. Remember that there isn’t any time limit between buying the domain name and finding a host. Some people buy their domain names without any intention of building a website with them. Many people, however, do buy their domain name with the intention of working with it. For this to be possible, you will need to open an account with a web host and prepare to transfer your site to their server. Part of the process of preparing your site for publication on the World Wide Web is to bring to the attention of your domain name registrar of the DNS of your new server.

DNS configurations look approximately like this:

Primary Name Server: NSA.NEWDAYDNS.COM (

Secondary Name Server: NSB.NEWDAYDNS.COM (

You will find this information from your hosting company either in the informational package that they email to you, or on their website. If you have trouble finding the DNS it will be best to contact your web host and request it. Once you obtain the DNS information you must enter it into your account on the registrar’s website. If you have bought your domain name from the hosting company, they will usually make the proper changes for you when your account gets set up.

When your DNS is registered or modified (when you change web hosts) it will take up to 24 hours for your site to be up and running on the World Wide Web. This is due to the fact that domain names are registered in a distributed data base that is maintained on thousands of computers all over the world, and, as each computer has a small part of the database in cache, if they receive a request for an unknown domain, that request will have to be forwarded to another computer until they can find the information.

Nora Roberts is contributing editor at This article may be reproduced provided that its complete content, links and author byline are kept intact and unchanged. No additional links permitted. Hyperlinks and/or URLs must remain both human clickable and search engine spiderable.

Getting Your Registered Domain Online (Part One)

Before getting your web site online on the internet, you will need to register a domain name. A domain name is a familiar web address such as that the browser needs in order to find the web site in question. In fact, domain names are pointers to a particular IP address and we use the domain name because it is easier to remember than a set series of numbers.

All websites enclose an IP address in the shape of a set of numbers, such as 123.456.78.9. The domain name system then translates all these numbers into a name such as All domain names are registered in a central registry upheld by InterNIC, an auxiliary of ICANN – which is the company which certifies domain name registrars. Domain names are also filtered through Domain Name Servers (DNS) which link the IP address with the domain names. Usually, every web site has a primary and a secondary DNS. These duplicates are there in order to increase reliability.

The first step that needs to be taken when registering a domain name is to make the right choice. The name can be nearly anything you fancy, but usually, it is better if the name represents the nature of the website. If you are selling computers, for example, it will help to register a domain name that refers to computers in some way – for instance.

Only letters, numbers or hyphens are allowed, which makes choosing a domain name quite simple. Apart from that, a domain name is also limited to 70 characters, but it is preferable to keep the name as short as possible. Your domain name can be in upper or lower case – the case is ignored by the DNS but you can sometimes use a combination to make the name easier to identify. For example, is easier to read than, but both are the same to the DNS.

Also, several extensions are available to you. The most broadly used extension is .com — it has even entered people’s everyday vocabulary as a means to express Internet activity – (I own a dot com business). Other extensions you can use include .biz (for commercial sites), .org (for non-commercial companies), .net (for organisations involved in Internet infrastructure) and .name (for personal names). There are also certain extensions which are more specialized such as .museum, .aero, and .coop and are only used very exclusively by members of certain particular organizations. Further to this, there can also be country code extensions such as .us (United States) or .de (Germany). There are variable rules for using country extensions, so you will need to check with your registrar first to see if they are available to you.

All domains must be registered with an ICANN (Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers) certified registrar. There are hundreds of registrars and their prices can be considerably different. The full list of registrars can be found at the InterNIC website ( Although most registrars are closely regulated, they are also allowed to offer their services through third parties, so many web hosts can offer a domain name registration service even if they aren’t themselves a registrar. The domain name price will usually be higher when dealing with these third-party services.

A domain names can usually be registered for a minimum of one year, although you can also buy up to a 10-year registration contract. Usually the longer your registration contract is, the lower the price will be, so if you are certain that you will be on the web for a while, you can benefit a great deal from a longer registration period. A lot of registrars also offer a discount on bulk purchases. If you own a large number of domain names you can also save some money if you transfer them all to the same registrar.

Nora Roberts is contributing editor at This article may be reproduced provided that its complete content, links and author byline are kept intact and unchanged. No additional links permitted. Hyperlinks and/or URLs must remain both human clickable and search engine spiderable.