If you want to run a web site, this implies that you need a cheap domain. A domain name is a human-recognizable name that you type in your web browser's location bar when you wish to reach a specific web portal.
Why Do You Require a Domain?
This is a subject I bring up because of the fact that one week ago my boss brought forth the idea of making a site for our brand new venture. That itself is not a problem, the problem is that he wants a web site, but does not know yet what it should look like, what it should contain, and so on. All that he mentioned to me was the name of the website - its domain name. Thus, we now have an address for a yet-to-be-built web site and nothing aside from that.
The Domain Name
Each web site is hosted on a physical machine. That physical machine has its own personal physical address, popular also as an Internet Protocol address. Accessing a web site by writing the Internet Protocol address of the server in your browser, though, is not the best and most suitable thing to do, so that was how and why domains came into existence. Therefore, a domain name corresponds to an IP on the World Wide Web. After it has been registered, of course.
Registering a Domain Name
To register a domain name, you first need to choose a domain name registration provider. NTC Hosting offers the best solution for my current and prospective projects - they offer a Domain Manager plan, which can be easily upgraded to a hosting plan at a later time - when my boss finally decides what purpose the web site will have.
Thus, to register a domain, you have to select a name for your site. Next, you have to select a TLD - this is what follows the dot. For instance, in 'wordpress.com', '.com' is the Top-Level Domain (TLD). Apparently, '.com' is short for 'company', '.net' is short for 'network', '.org' is short for 'organization', and so on and so forth.
After you've picked your domain name and your future domain name registrar, you have to discover whether the domain you wish to register is free, since someone else might have snatched it before you, however embarrassing it might be. Each domain name registrar company, including NTC Hosting, offers a functionality at their sign-up page, which checks the availability of a certain domain name. To move ahead with the registration of a domain, you need to fill in certain registrant details - the name, the physical address, the electronic mail address and the telephone number of the domain name's registrant.
You've Registered a Domain... Now What?
I registered .com, .net, .eu and .name domains for our venture, as per the desire of my still-unsure-about-the-function-of-the-future-site boss. I tested the domain management dashboard NTC Hosting is offering and found it very intuitive - everything is coherently ordered and, from what I noticed in the web hosting CP demo at their site, once we upgrade to a low-cost hosting plan, it will remain the same, but with many more functionalities. This, thank heavens, will save me quite a bit of inconvenience from having to administer my domain and website hosting account separately. So, while waiting for the boss to make a decision about at least what the web site should include, I was happy to discover that the domain management dashboard contains DNS management and domain renewal options, and - a very handy functionality (!) - a parked domain name template, which I resorted to in order to set up a "Coming Soon" page for our domains.
Country-Code Top-Level Domain Names
I was very glad to find that NTC Hosting is offering multiple country-specific TLDs, as the project the site is aimed for is multinational. Country-code top-level domain names are handed over to domestic registries, which allow domain name registration companies to register cheap domains, typically at rates that are lower than those offered to the end clients. There are numerous country-specific TLDs: .co.uk for the UK, .it for Italy, .es for Spain, .us for the USA, .ca for Canada, .com.au for Australia, etc. This, I am convinced, will make my boss happy because we will be able to prepare a local version of the site for each country where the project will be presented.