folder Filed in Domain tips, FAQs
Frequently Asked Questions about Domain Names [Part 1]
By SmartBranding Team access_time 4 min read

The world of domain names is jam-packed with interesting anecdotes, from great success stories, risky ideas, to prominent fiascos. It is also loaded with questions, some popping up more frequently than others. 

Using this cool visual from Answer the Public, we decided to create a series of posts covering some of the most popular questions regarding domain names, which we will attempt to answer. So, let’s start!

1. How is a domain name registered?

There are several steps a person or a company should follow to register a domain name:

− The first step is to choose the top-level domain name and the second-level domain.

− The second step is to choose a registrar or a reseller, these are authorized companies that will assist you with the registration process of your domain name.

− The third step would be to check the availability of the domain you wish to register.

− Finally, you need to submit all the documentation required to complete the registration procedure.

Choosing the domain name

Your domain name has two parts: the top-level domain name (TLD) and the second-level domain. The top-level domain name is the part of the domain that goes before the dot (in, it’s “amazon”), while the second-level domain, also known as the label, is the extension that will most likely define the nature of your domain (.com for commercial, .org for nonprofit organizations, .edu for educational institutions, etc.). After you decide on the right combination for your domain name, you can proceed to choose a registrar.

Choosing a registrar or reseller

To assist with the registration process and the maintenance of records of domain names all over the work, the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers or ICANN authorizes registrars. The ICANN is a nonprofit multistakeholder group, whose role is to set the governing policies and practices for how internet addresses should work.

Registrar companies offer different types of domain registration services and pricing. To keep a record of all the accredited registrars, you can check the InterNIC website.

To register a domain, you could also use resellers, these are companies that work as affiliates or representatives of registrars, offering services such as web hosting, domain registration, and other product offerings.

Choosing the availability of the domain name

Besides offering clients their registration services, registrars are also responsible for checking the availability of the desired domain name in the registry before completing the registration process. To do this, all registrars are required to have a Whois service, which is a protocol used to look for domain-related information in databases, such as domain names and owners. The ICANN website has a Whois tool to look for domain registration data.

Completing the registration process 

After checking the availability of your domain name, vetting that there are no conflicts or any sort of copyright violation, establishing the time of registry (which could go from one to ten years), pricing, and other services, the registrar will ask you to submit some standard contact and technical information that they will present to the ICANN to create a Whois record. You will also have to sign a contract with the registrar or reseller you chose for the registration process (remember always to read the small print!). After signing and paying, the registration is complete.

2. Where are domain names registered?

The internet is such a vast place that it needs the collaborative effort of several entities to keep it running efficiently. Registry operators are the organizations whose mission is to maintain and manage the database of the top-level or lower-level domain names registered in the entire world and keep them updated. All registry operators need to be approved or accredited by the ICANN.

3. How is a domain registered?

The above process applies to domain names that are available to register. If you have your eyes on a name that is already owned by someone else, you will need to reach out to them and negotiate a potential sale.

4. Can domain names have numbers?

Yes, they can. Alongside hyphens, numbers are the other symbols you can use for a domain name.
However, just because you can use them, it doesn’t mean that you should

5. How long will domain names last?

The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) indicates that a domain name will last until its period of registration expires. This could be from a period of time from one to a maximum of ten years. If you want to keep your domain name active after the ten-year mark, you need to renew it, before it expires.

We hope you will find the answers helpful. Remember, we are here to help you build your brand. If you have any questions, please feel free to book a free consultation at MarkUpgrade, we are always happy to hear from you.