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Web Developer News
Mon, 24 Jun 2019 23:12

What's a domain and why do I need one?   PDF  Print  E-mail 

A domain is basically your address on the internet. Some domains are very well known—such as amazon.com or cnn.com. Others are less well known—such as andriven.com or karagraphy.com. Without a domain name, a web browser (like Internet Explorer or Mozilla) won’t know how to find out on what web server your web page or weblog is located.

So how can you get a domain name? If you purchase a yearly web hosting package at andriven.com, we will include a one year domain name registration in the package.

If you want to buy a domain name separately, you can do so at http://domains.andriven.com. Note: this site is mostly operational but not currently fully tested. If you try it and have problems, please click here to send us an email to let us know.

How to choose a domain name

First, you have to pick a name. Second, you have to make sure that no one else has purchased it already.

In a domain name, there’s the name + the suffix. Your domain name is the combination of the two.

The “name” can be anything you like (ex. zapdiscussion, thoughtfulwords, etc.) The suffixes are limited to .com, .net, .org, .us, .info. There is a .biz but it’s only for businesses.

When choosing a name, use the “telephone test.” A name should be so easy to say and spell that if you use it in a telephone conversation the other person will get it right. Avoid spellings that are not obvious. Avoid specifics like years or offices, that become useless on a certain date. Do not choose a name with multiple possible spellings and then try to register all variations. Avoid using the digit 4 to represent the word FOR; it fails the telephone test.

So, you’d have something like thoughtfulwords.com or thoughtfulwords.org…..there’s no real difference (it’s just an arbitrary name plus one of the five suffixes). In the past, the suffixes were restricted to certain types of organizations (.com was only businesses for example) but those restrictions were dropped serveral years ago.

Someone could come to your website or weblog by typing in http://thoughtfulwords.org or http://www.thoughtfulwords.org (either with or without the “www.”).

To see what names are available, you can use the search at


Go there….put in your name and check the “Check Availbility in all extensions”. You’ll be able to quickly find out if a name that you’re thinking of is available and if so, for what extensions. Although the prices on the page vary, one domain (any extension) is included in your hosting package.

As far as how to choose what name you want, well….that’s a hard question. If you have a weblog, you could choose the same name as your weblog or something related. If a personal or business website, choose something related to yourself or your business. It all comes down to how much you like the name (hopefully enough to keep it for one year at least) and whether someone else has already purchased it.

If you have any thoughts or questions about this article, please click here to send us an email.