What is a Domain Name DN

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A domain name is an identification label that defines a realm of administrative autonomy, authority, or control in the Internet, based on the Domain Name System (DNS).” – Wikipedia

Two major sections make up a domain name:

  • a Top-Level Domain (TLD) – the part of the domain name located to the right of the dot (e.g. ourmoneyadventure.com)
  • a Second-Level Domain (SLD) – the part of the domain name located to the left of the dot (e.g. ourmoneyadventure.com)

The combination of the TLD and SLD is what makes a domain name unique.

No matter what domain name you search for and find, you need to register it with an ICANN-accredited registrar for it to be yours. ICANN (Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers) was founded 10 years ago as a non-profit corporation given the responsibility from the US Government to manage the Internet domain name system; it is “the governing body that coordinates links between IP addresses and domain names across the Internet, so you can find Web sites by entering domain names instead of IP addresses into your Web browser.”

Top-Level Domain (TLD)

TLDs are also called extensions or generic TLDs (gTLD). There are many extensions to a domain name. Some that are most common are:

  • .COM – the most common generic TLD
  • .NET – another generic TLD and a great alternative to .COM
  • .ORG – for non-profit websites
  • .INFO – another generic TLD and a great alternative to .COM, for putting information on the web

There are also Restricted Top-Level Domains (rTLDs) that require registrants to provide a certain type of entity or to belong to a certain community like:

  • .AERO – reserved for members of the air-transport industry
  • .BIZ – restricted for business
  • .EDU – reserved for post-secondary institutions
  • .MIL – reserved for the US military
  • .MUSEUM – reserved for museums
  • .NAME – reserved for individuals
  • .PRO – restricted to credentialed professionals and related entities

There are also domain extensions known as Country-codes that indicate what part of the world you are located in. These two letter Country-codes are defined in the ISO-3166. Examples of these Country-code TLDs are:

  • .BZ – Belize
  • .CA – Canada
  • .DK – Denmark
  • .EC – Ecuador
  • .IE – Republic of Ireland
  • .UK – United Kingdom
  • .US – United States
  • .ZW – Zimbabwe

For a complete list of existing gTLDs and their use, refer to the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA) list of gTLDs. You should know that ICANN is looking at expanding the list of gTLDs, to allow for more innovation, choice and change to a global Internet presently served by just 21 generic top-level domain names.

Second-Level Domain (SLD)

As previously mentioned, the SLD is located to the left of the dot (e.g. ourmoneyadventure.com). This is the part where your imagination can go wild. You can create any SLD name you want as long as someone else doesn’t already own it. When you search for ideas and you don’t find them right away check out what alternatives you may have. Many domain search sites will provide a list for you.

Trish Henao is based out of Calgary, Alberta and has been employed in the Technology industry since 1986. With a B.Sc. in Computer Science, she has acquired experience in the energy, communications, utilities, airline and healthcare sectors. Starting her career as a computer programmer, she has since moved on to becoming a business analyst. Her experience has taught her skills in system analysis and design, data modeling, system development methodologies and project management.

Trish’s coauthor, Tatiana Davison, is a passionate and committed leader with experience since 1997 in various management operational roles. She has gained experience in business development supporting industries such as telecom, utilities, oil & gas, and international trade. Tatiana is focused on delivering results through facilitating, motivating, and challenging high performance teams to bring ideas and visions to fruition.

Free Domain Name Registration

Small business owners (SBOs) are very indispensable in today’s world, consequently, they are very vital to any economy. However, since the demand for online presence by SBOs is increasing day in day out, many of them may not take the full advantage of different offers available online, including free domain name registration. While some of them may have gone through the wrong approach to register their free domains, others have misconceptions about the idea.

If you are a small business owner and you want free domain name registration to be a blessing for you, it is very essential for you to make use of the right approach. It is interesting to note that not all free domain names are good for a small business owner. You must ensure that you get a free top-level domain (TLD) and not a sub-domain. A TLD consists of a name and its extension (e.g. ‘book.com’, where.com is the extension), while a sub-domain is derived from a TLD (e.g. ‘science.book.com’).

A sub-domain cannot be a blessing for you as a small business owner because there are restrictions to its usage. You will be denied access to the domain name system (DNS) which is basically used for domain management. You may also discover that your web pages are full of both relevant and irrelevant adverts which you don’t even benefit from. The worst part of it is that you can be denied access to the site if the owner of the domain deems it necessary. Hence, in order to avoid all these troubles, it is very important to register a free TLD and you should not forget to choose the right extension. Even though the.com extension is the most popular, there are other extensions that can be used as well, e.g. .biz (for business sites), .info (for blogs), .net (for internet-based businesses), .org (for organizations), .pro (for professionals) and so much more.

Free domain name registration will facilitate the process of setting up your website and automate majority of your business functions, such as finance, sales management, book-keeping, tax remittance and so on. Consequently, as a small business owner, it is very important for you to take advantage of this initiative and ensure that you make use of the right approach. Your domain registration should be carried out by an ICANN certified registrar in order to be sure that you are dealing with the right channel.

How to Buy Blog Domain Names

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When it comes to constructing a domain portfolio, a little specialization never hurts. This is why I suggest that you should adopt a list of about 10 different topics or industries; and concentrate your efforts in these.

One of the major benefits of this approach is that it allows you to specialize in each of the industries you have selected. You can then dedicate a portion of your time to mastering the important features of the industry, as well as the domain names that might be popular or valuable.

By limiting this list of categories to 10, you give yourself the chance to learn more about each of the types of industries in which you will be purchasing blog domains. This can go a long way when making difficult buying decisions.

Focusing on Generic and Country Code Top Level Domains

Whenever a new top level blog domain is released, there’s always a rush to capture one-word domains, two-word domains, domains that consist of only 2-3 numbers, and domains that contain acronyms. Initially, the buying is fast and furious, but eventually it slows down, as all of the obvious finds are captured.

It is very common for valuable, three-word domains to be missed in the frenzy that accompanies the release. And this is potentially where you have the opportunity to profit. If you want to try this route, here’s three steps I suggest you do:

1. Identify and work through recently-released generic and country code top level domains. Look for diamonds in the rough that entrepreneurs overlooked in their frenzy to snatch up 1 and 2 word domains. As soon as you get the opportunity, register them at an inexpensive registrar.

2. Identify three-word phrase.com domains that have recently sold for a high price. Take these.com domains and purchase the.info,.biz,.tv,.mobi, or other TLD equivalent for this three-word phrase if it is available.

3. Identify upcoming top level domain releases. You can follow news released to TLD releases on DNForum or Afternic. Before the TLD becomes active, create a master list of domains that you will attempt to register as soon as you can. Once the opportunity is available, use the bulk registration feature on your registrar of choice to try to grab 30+ of them at a time.

Of course, when you build your portfolio, you’ll want to avoid using all country code or generic top level domains. However, becoming specialized in these types of domains might give you insights and buying ideas that you otherwise would not have.

Buying Dropped Domains

While purchasing domains at auction or in bulk, it makes sense to expedite the process and to focus on mid-priced blog domains as much as possible. To the contrary, when you are purchasing deleted domains, it makes sense to work through them slowly and focus exclusively on the high-priced domains (i.e. ones that you can resell for $500+).

There are two important things to note about the domain-dropping process. The first is that it happens after someone fails to re-register a domain. And the second is that the entire process takes 75 days after the domain was not re-registered. This means that once you identify a domain that someone will not (or did not) registered, it could be quite a while before it becomes available.

When looking for and acquiring dropped domains, I personally suggest that you take the following two routes:

Step #1: Get Software to Identify Expiring Domains

A number of sites offer free and paid tools that you can use to identify expiring domains. Once you do this, you should begin creating a “phantom” portfolio of expiring domains. Write down the URLs of domains that are expiring soon and that would be an extremely high value acquisition. If no one registers the domains during the “grace period” (the period immediately following the missed registration) or the “redemption period,” they will likely be up for grabs in a matter of days.

Once the domains pass through the “deletion phase,” they will be available for anyone to register (and possibly for as little as $10). Of course, you should keep in mind that many people are paying attention to deleted domains. And, for this reason, you will have to use a third party system to acquire the domains during the deletion phase. This is what we will discuss in the next section.

Step #2: Periodically Re-Evaluate Your Strategies

From time to time, consider whether or not your dropped domain buying strategies are working well for you. Consider, for instance, how well the dropped domains have fit into your overall portfolio; and how they are performing over time.

Another important thing to consider is how much time you spend to acquire each dropped domain. In general, the process will be much, much more time-intensive than the others; however, it may allow you to save some cash in the process.

And there you have it: a complete strategy for capturing deleted domains. For additional strategies, consider visiting the dropped domain sections of the DNForum or Namepros.