Features - Want a Domain... For Free?

Want a Domain?       Lately domains have had quite a boost as far as their registration goes. A great deal of this could be attributed to the fact that they are getting cheaper to register, believe it or not (even free).

What is a Domain?

      On the internet, a domain can best be described as an internet address ending with the .com, .net, .org, .edu, or .gov suffix. However, a domain is much more than this. Instead, a domain is the internet identity of a company or individual. The effect you have on a potential visitor or customer can come down to what your domain name is.

      In addition, a domain doesn't necessarily have to end with a .com. There are many country-specific domain names such as .co.uk, .nu, .to, .am, .us, .mx, and many more. As a matter of fact, nearly every country around the world has a top-level domain ending!

How do I Get One?

      You can go to a number of registration sites on the Internet which specialize primarily in registering domain names. However, some actually charge you to register the domain of your choice and you have to pay the registration cost of the domain, charged by the NIC of that particular domain. A great place for doing this is Register.com where you're only charged by the official registrar to register your domain.

And the Price I Have to Pay?

      Well, as domains are getting snatched up more and more, rather than charging more, official domain registrars are actually starting to charge less for the .com, .net, and .org domain names. Today you can register a domain for any one of these extensions from TotalNIC for as low as $35 for two years ($17.50/year). However, if you're looking for a registrar who has been in the business for a few years, check out Network Solutions, which charges $70/2 years ($35/year).

Why Do I Want One?

      I'll make this as straight-forward as I can. You need a domain if you're serious about making a site on the Internet. You've probably heard this line before: "every day, thousands of new domains are getting snatched up - get yours today!" Well, that saying is correct. Before you know it, your favorite domain name will probably be registered and you'll need to think of something more creative or add something to it, which could actually hurt in the long run.

      When registering, if you can afford it, get domains that are variations of your original domain because unfortunately, people missppel (intentional error) stuff on the Internet. This is also considered a safe-guard against those who want to take those variations and profit off of the common mispellings internet surfers may make so just do it!

      In the future, domains will probably be free to register. One indication of this today is a start-up company that will offer registration of your domain in exchange for placed banner advertisements in additon to templates made for your site. At the time when they do become completely free, you will probably run into the question, "Want a Domain... For Free?" Until then, have fun registering!

Related Links:

      Domain Helper Tool

R Smith
The XRS Network
Tuesday November 16, 1999
(Updated 11-30-99)


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