What is a Domain?

A domain is the web address your visitors will type to see your online presence, and it is how they will identify you by. Which is why you should select a domain name that is relevant to what you do, has a clear description, and should be simple to recall.

In this article, we will give you a brief tour of how domains work and what options are available to represent your business, craft, or personal profile.

Registries – The Actual Domain Name Providers

While you can be very creative and choose any domain name to suit your needs, the mandatory suffix such as “.com”, “.org”, or “.net” is limited to a predefined set of extensions, also referred to as the “Top Level Domain” which is managed by ICANN (Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers)- an international organization referred to as “The Registry”. ICANN is responsible for administering the rules and regulations on the creation, purchase, and transfers of domain names. Under the Registry there are various accredited entities called “Registrars” responsible for supplying the actual name registration service and billing the customer. In this case, your hosting provider acts as the Registrar.

Generic, Country Code, or Specific Top-Level Domains?

When choosing a domain name, you should be careful to select a TLD that best reflects your business activity. Whether it will be a generic TLD such as .com, .info, .biz, or a country code top-level domain name such as .eu, .de, or .jp, is dependent on who your target visitors are. Fortunately you are no longer restricted to a limited number of shortened suffixes to use in your business name. Visualis Web Hosting offers over 140 TLDs to distinguish your site’s unique brand and make it stand out from the competition. We have a TLD to represent activity-specific organizations, including “.fitness”, “.church”, “.coach”, “.services” and many more!

Registrants – The Domain Name Owners

When you register a domain name, you become the domain name Registrant. You can optionally designate different people as the Administrative or Technical Contact, which allows you to delegate technical responsibilities to a trusted partner, employee, or friend.

An important issue that must be addressed is the fact that when you register your domain, it is required that your information must be publicly available. So your name, address, email, and phone number are available to view by anyone via a simple WHOIS search. The good news is that Visualis Web Hosting can protect your private information with WHOIS Privacy Shield.

Domain Name Registration Terms: One to Ten Years

The majority of domain names are registered for a term of 1 to 10 years, but certain top-level domain names can be registered for no less than 2 years, or for no more than five, for example. You can also transfer your domain between various hosting providers but you have to be aware that different Top Level Domains have different prerequisites. Before you register your domain, it would be a good idea to inquire what given preconditions there are for your specific top-level domain name. You can see our chart of domain TLDs and their respective terms here.

Redemption Grace Periods (RGP)

If you allow your domain to expire, your Registrar can delete it immediately. However, you have 30 days to contact the Registrar and request they restore it. This 30 day period is called the Redemption Grace Period and your hosting company is required to honor it. However, they can choose to charge a fee associated with the restoration. At the end of the Redemption Grace Period, the domain will be permanently deleted and you will no longer be able to get it back- the domain name is put back on the open market for anyone to register.

If you are curious about your domain ownership and want to dig deeper, here’s a link to invaluable information from ICANN:

FAQs for Registrants: Domain Name Renewals and Expiration

Affordably Priced Web Hosting Plans

Visualis Web Hosting gives you all the tools you need to manage every aspect of your domain: You can register a new domain name, transfer your domain from another hosting company, change contact information, protect your private information, and receive timely notices about the renewal period. Whether you get our Shared Hosting, Semi-Dedicated, or Dedicated Hosing plans, we are certain that you will be completely satisfied by our comprehensive selection of Top Level Domains… and of course, our incomparable service.