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Domain Name Information
What is a Domain Name?
  A domain name is also called a URL (Universal Resource Locator).  In basic terms, it is the special address that your clients type into an internet browser to get to your web pages.  My domain name is "laurellynn.com".  You type it in the address portions of your internet browser and your browser takes you to my web pages.  Magic?  Not quite.  Read on.  
 
 
How do I get a Domain Name?
  Domain names are not free.  You are going to have to pay for one if you want your clients to go to a particular URL that you want. Such as "www.yourcompanyname.com" or "www.yourorganizationsname.org".
There are numerous companies out there who offer this service.  I will not mention any because that will give them free advertising of which I am not receiving a commission, but they are easy to find.

Go to any search engine and type in "Domain Names".  Be prepared to do some comparison shopping.  When you have selected a company, follow their instructions.  They are going to ask you what name do you want.  Enter that information.  The company will then search out there in Cyber Land to see if the name has been taken and they will let you know.  When you have selected the name you want, they will ask you for your name, address, and eventually a charge card number to pay for that name.  Before you do this, you need to read on.
 
 
 
What should I be aware of BEFORE I get a Domain Name?
  Aah!  There are always catches to any business deal.  Let me mention a few here and I am sorry if I miss any. Contact me if you discover any others.

- When you receive your domain name, you do not own it until the end of eternity, you are basically "renting" it.  The correct term is registering.  They will offer you terms such as 1,5, or 9 years.  It is up to you to decide how long you want this name.  It is usually cheaper per year if you do it for the long run.  Prices will vary.

- If you let your domain name registration expire, your domain name will go away and is available to anyone else in the world.  Which means someone else can "rent" it and put things on the site that you may feel are offensive.  This has happened to sites formally aimed at children, which are now X-rated.  Do you want your clients to go to your domain name and find smut? I don't think so. If you want it back, you may have to pay a lot of money to get it back. Find the money and renew your registration!  You will be happier for it.

- There may be a company out there with a similar name.  One that you don't want associated with yours.  Perhaps another name might be better in the long run.

- Try to use a name that is unique.  Not a name that is similar, for example, to a Fortune 500 company or other large corporation.  They have enough money to make your life very uncomfortable and sue your pants off!

- You may want to have several versions of your domain name.  It will cost you more, but may help your clients locate you.  For example, let's say Xavier's Bar & Burger Joint is getting a domain name.  Let's assume that none of the following names have been taken.  He may choose:
xaviers.com or xaviersbarandburger.com or burgerjoint.com
Sometimes you never know what address people will type in to try and find your web site, even when it is printed on all of your company info AND in two foot letters on the highway billboard.  Xavier could register all three to himself and have them all go to his one web site.

- The shorter the URL, the less your clients have to type in = happy clients.

- Having a domain name does not mean you have a web host (someone to store your web page files.)  Although some companies offer both services.  Shop around for prices.  You can get your domain name from one company and have another company host your web site.  Your choice.
 
 
 
O.K. I am going to go and get my Domain Name.
What else should I know?
  When you register your domain name (and maybe hosting service too), you are going to set up passwords. They will also be giving you instructions and other information.  PRINT THESE PAGES OUT AND PUT THEM IN A SAFE PLACE!!  Make sure you know your account numbers and passwords.  WRITE THEM DOWN!!  If you have forgotten or lost the information to your account, it is not easy to retrieve. Because of increasing security measures, which is a good thing, it is hard to get information about your account without bending over backwards, doing two flips, and landing on your feet with a rose still stuck in your mouth. Companies that exist solely in Cyber Land are not easy to get hold of.  
 
 
What about those "free" web sites you can get?
  Didn't your mother teach you that there is no free lunch??  Yes, there are free site providers out there and if you decide that that is what you want, then I am glad to accommodate you, but.................

You may end up with a domain name that is very long.  For example:
www.yourfreeinternetcitysite.com/yourcompanyname/.  Or you may end up with pop-up ads and flashing banners all over your site.  I believe most people are reaching the end of their tolerance levels regarding pop-ups. I have also won every award imaginable for being the "Selected Winner". But, alas I have a life in the real world.
 
 
 
But Laurel, I have a migraine from reading all about the horrors of Domain Names!  I just don't want to deal with it!  Can't you just do it for me?
  Sure, that's what I get paid the big bucks for (I wish).  Yes, I can do this for you.  But you are still going to have to make some decisions.  First, have in mind what kind of name you want.  You should still type the name into an internet browser and see if it is already taken.  Have an idea of how long you want this name for.  How much are you willing to pay?  When you have answered these questions, contact me.  
 
  Laurel Lynn Productions 2003 - 2016
  January 1, 2016