What is a Domain Name   <<<  back to FAQ?

  1. Your domain name is your Internet address
  2. What are the Top Level Domains?
  3. Generic vs. Personalized
  4. What are the two most common types of Internet addresses?
  5. Why Should I Own One?

Important:  The purpose of this faq is to give the reader a general idea on the content covered.  John Klor, johnklor.com is not responsible for the accuracy nor for the functionality of links provided.

1. Your domain dame is your Internet address

Your domain name is your address on the Internet.  Just like people use your phone number to call you on the phone, your Domain Name allows people to access your site on the Web. Clever, simple, or easy to remember Domain Names are most desirable as they can play a large part in attracting visitors to your site.  Most Domain Names end with ".com" (such as johnklor.com), but other extensions such as ".net" and ".org" as well as many others are also available.  In addition Domains can be used with your e-mail accounts allowing you to send and receive e-mail with addresses such as "sales@yourcompany.com"

A domain name is your own cyber-estate. This estate, just like its physical counterpart, has its value depending on its address (name) and its content. You can charge your visitors or give them a free tour, or run a side business as part of the estate.

Every domain name contains two or more components separated by a period, called the famous "dot".  In johnklor.com the last part of my address "com", is called the "top level domain" or "TLD".  To the left of the dot is my name, "johnklor", or what is called the "2nd-level domain".

NOTE: It is also possible to have a "sub-domain" or "3rd-level-domain" to the left of the 2nd-level domain such as "anything.johnklor.com".


2. What are the Top Level Domains?


For commercial entities, which anyone, anywhere in the world, can register.


Originally designated for organizations directly involved in Internet operations. It is increasingly being used by businesses when the desired name under "com" is already registered by another organization. Today anyone can register a name in the Net domain.


For miscellaneous organizations, including non-profits.


For four-year accredited institutions of higher learning.


For US Federal Government entities


For US military


For individual countries based on the International Standards Organization.  For example, .ca for Canada,  .jp for Japan, and .us for USA etc.

New Addresses ICANN approved (.biz, . info, .name ... etc.)


3. Generic vs. Personalized

Your Internet address (domain name) can either be generic or personalized.


This type of address is typically associated with a free service such as hotmail.com, Yahoo.com, or your Internet Service Provider (ISP) such as AOL.com

A generic address would be of the following form:

  • Email:      YourName@Generic.com

  • Website:   www.Generic.com/YourName
            or:   www.YourName.Generic.com

When personalized, it will have the form:

  • Email:      YourName@YourName.com

  • Website:   www.YourName.com

As long as "YourName.com" is still available.  Click here to check if a domain name is still available. If available, you should register or reserve it immediately.


4. What are the two most common types of Internet addresses?

1) Domain Name

2) Email Address

Almost all email addresses look like "username@Domain_Name. Besides the above two types of emails (generic and customized) you can choose a vanity email.

With vanity email, you get to select both the username and a Domain_Name from a list provided by specialty vendors like VanityMail.

One serious drawback of these names is that you don't own the address and thus you cannot use the domain name as your company's storefront.


5. Why Should I Own One?

A. Investment

Competitive Advantage. If you own your company, you should carefully select your domain name, as it represents both your storefront and your online address. It should be a name that your customers can remember and use to identify your brand.

I don't need to tell you the importance of commerce on the Internet. In this environment, you need to enhance and protect the value of your company's name. Your competition might be cannibalizing your business because its domain name acts as a magnet to surfers while you're waiting for them.

You are probably like the vast majority of people who constantly need to give out their business telephone number, fax number, and Internet addresses (work, educational, or personal). Unfortunately, there is nothing in common between them. Thus, you might consider making your telephone number as your email address (e.g., 800-FLOWERS). You can do that by acquiring or trading part of these business addresses to make sure that your business is more visible and more memorable in the minds of your customers.

Gold Rush Is On. Investing in domain-names has been dubbed the gold rush of the '90's. You surely don't want to miss it!

$ and Fun! Why not make money while having fun? You can double your fun and become your friends' envy by having a matching vanity license plate number with a domain-name. And the fun goes on and on and ...

B. Protection Against Profit Dilution

Although not all intellectual property violations are a result of malice, a number of organizations have discovered that domain-name violations can be a lucrative business. Without your knowledge others are intentionally or otherwise diluting the value of your domain-name as well as siphoning profit and traffic away from your business.

For instance, if your primary domain-name is tennisarchive.com, someone can register a domain-name that is very similar to yours, say tenisarchive.com and use the site to sell sports-related or other products. So now visitors intending to go to your site, who unconsciously type in tenisarchive.com (i.e., with only one "n") would end up somewhere else. Thus, you would lose precious sales as well as have the intrinsic value of your domain-name diluted.

The most common violations are misspelled words and adding a "www" prefix to your domain-name. So they would register "wwwtennisarchive.com", i.e., a domain with no "dot" separating the "www" and your domain-name. Other serious games include registering permutations of your name. In the case of "CheckDomain.com", for instance, someone registered "DomainCheck.com" and started running it as an adult site.

Since these games and tactics siphon profits that otherwise belong to you, we recommend that you also register names "similar" to your primary domain. You should also consider registering your domain-name in other countries.




  John Klor - 2008    


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