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Domains Frequently Asked Questions

What is a domain name?

A domain name is really just your address on the Internet. It's where people can find you, and it serves as your online identity. Businesses typically register domain names with their company name and sometimes also register their product names. Individuals often register family names or names that have a personal interest to them.

Domain names have two parts: the label and the extension, or top-level domain, separated by a "dot." In, "Web" is the label and "com" is the top-level domain or extension.

There are over 20 domain name extensions to choose from. Popular domain name extensions such as .COM and .NET are typically used by for-profit companies, while .ORG is often used to denote a non-profit organization. Other generic extensions such as .INFO and .BIZ have more recently become available as well. You can also register domain names that are specific to a certain country. For example, the extensions .US, .UK, and .DE correspond to the United States, United Kingdom, and Germany, respectively.

How does a domain name work?

The right-most label in a domain name is referred to as its "top-level domain" (TLD). TLDs with three or more characters are referred to as "generic" TLDs, or "gTLDs". There are also TLDs with two letters that have been established for over 240 countries and external territories and are referred to as "country-code" TLDs or "ccTLDs".

How will visitors find my website on the Internet?

Your visitors can find you by searching for you in search engines like Google™ and Yahoo!®, as well as by typing in your domain name, such as With your new website, you will get up to $150 in search engine marketing credits. These credits will allow you to ensure your customers can find you when they search for you.

Why is a domain name important?

Your domain name is your identity on the Internet, also known as your website address or URL (which stands for uniform resource locator). As the foundation of your web future, your domain name should be your name or your company's name. If that name is available, you can start having a web presence within days.

What are the benefits of a domain name?

There are several options. If you're not quite ready to start building a website, you can just register and hold the domain name to ensure that you can use it in the future. will automatically provide you with a placeholder page telling visitors that the site is "under construction."

Or maybe you're not ready for a full-blown website but would like to have one or more e-mail addresses linked to your domain name. With our Hosted Exchange e-mail, we'll even provide a one-year domain name registration for free!

Once you're ready to put your business online or establish a personal web presence, you can build a website (or have one built for you) and publish it for the world to see.

Whatever your situation, if there's a particular domain name that you want, it's good to register it quickly. There's no guarantee that a domain name available today will be available tomorrow.

What is a gTLD?

gTLD stands for generic top-level domain, and each of the generic TLDs was created for a general category of organizations. Examples of gTLDs are .COM, .NET, .INFO, .BIZ. and .ORG.

What does it mean to “register” a domain name?

The Internet domain name system (DNS) consists of a directory, organized hierarchically, of all the domain names and their corresponding computers registered to particular companies and persons using the Internet. When you register a domain name, it will be associated with the computer on the Internet you designate during the period that the registration is in effect. From that computer, you can create a website that will be accessible to Internet users around the world.

How do I register a domain name?

Domain names can be registered through many different companies known as "registrars," like When you register a domain name, you will be asked to provide various contact and technical information that makes up the registration. The registrar will then keep records of the contact information and submit the technical information to a central directory known as the "registry." This registry provides other computers on the Internet the information necessary to send you e-mail or to find your website. You will also be required to enter a registration contract with the registrar, which sets forth the terms under which your registration is accepted and will be maintained.

Will my name and contact information become publicly available?

Unless you purchase through a private registration service like Perfect Privacy from, all contact information about who is responsible for domain names is publicly available to allow rapid resolution of technical problems and to permit enforcement of consumer protection, trademark, and other laws. The registrar will make this information available to the public on a WHOIS site.

How long does a registration last? Can it be renewed? offers terms of one, two, five, and ten years for new domain registrations, and one, two, five, and nine years on renewals. With a longer domain term, you are less likely to risk losing your domain name to someone else. By purchasing a shorter term, you risk letting your domain name expire, making your website and e-mail unavailable to visitors and open for anyone else to register it. In fact, a growing number of cyber squatters are actually in the business of registering expired domain names and holding them for ransom!

Additionally, many registrars, including, offer significant savings for registering a domain name with a multi-year term. For example, with a ten-year registration at, you can save over 35% off the price of a one-year term.

Why are there so many extensions available?

There are now tens of millions of .com domain names on the Internet, so adding more extensions offers you more opportunities to register your preferred name.

How do I use the lookup tool?

Just type the domain name you're searching for, choose an extension, and then click “Search.” The tool will determine if the domain name is available.

What if a domain name is not available?

When the domain name you want is NOT available, can provide you with some alternative domain names and extensions to your preferred name.

What is WHOIS?

WHOIS is the database of all domain name registrars (owners). WHOIS contains information about the domain name, nameservers, registration, and sometimes the expiration dates.

What are the valid characters allowed when buying domain names?

Valid characters include alphabets, and numbers or dashes (-) are allowed. Do not enter a space, period (.) or other punctuation mark in the domain name you wish to buy.

The domain name that I wanted to buy has just expired. Can I buy the name now?

A redemption grace period (RGP) is given by the registrar to the domain name owner. If the domain name owner does not renew the domain name during the RGP, you may then purchase the domain name when the registrar releases it to the public after expiration of the RGP. Hence, we strongly encourage you to renew your own domain name before expiration to avoid losing the name you want to keep.

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