Common Domain Name Questions
Here at the JDR Group we get a lot of questions asked about Domain names. After giving it a think, we thought that writing an article about Domains Names would be perfect for anyone who is currently confused about what a Domain Name is, why you need one and why you have to renew them!
In this article we will go through each aspect of a Domain Name and what you can do if you ever get stuck on what to do next.
What is a Domain Name and why do I need one?
A Domain Name is a virtual address in the online world. Before you can have a website online you first need to purchase a Domain Name. Depending on what your business does will depend on what kind of Domain Name you go for. You can get pretty much any Domain Name as long as it is not already taken. All Domains are one-offs, by this I mean the Domain Name you have will only be unique to you. For example our domain name www.jdrgroup.co.uk is 100% unique; no one else will ever be able to buy that unless we let it expire. You can search for Domains at this website – uk.godaddy.com, if you think of a Domain you want you can do a search on this website and see if it is available for you to buy- www.who.is.
Domain name ownership, how does it work?
When you first purchase your Domain Name you have to put some contact details in. These details are normally an address, Telephone number and Email. This is so that if anyone ever has any questions about the Domain they can contact the owner of it. This is normally yourself or a company you have to purchase your Domain for you. If you ever want to know who the owner is you can visit a website which is called www.who.is.
All you need to do is enter your domain name in the search bar.
You then enter your Domain Name and click the magnify button.
A new page will load up and you then need to look at the section called 'Registrant'
Here you are able to see who the Registrant (owner) is and some contact details. In this example only the address is available, but if you know who the Registrant is you can find more contact details by searching on Google.
Are the only Domain Name Extensions .com or .co.uk?
You may think that the only two Domain Name extensions are .com and .co.uk, but this is in fact not true! The extension Domain Name list is now massive and there are always new ones getting added! Here is a link to a website which lists all the Extensions available http://www.names.co.uk/domain-names/new-domain-extensions#domain-directory. As you can see there are so many different extensions to have. When you are first looking at purchasing a Domain Name you need to think whether you are buying it for Brand purposes or SEO purposes. What I mean by this is if you are thinking about creating a brand you would want to try and get a catchy Domain Name, one that sticks in peoples heads and is easy to remember. If you want a Domain Name that can potentially help with SEO, you would look for a Domain Name which is as close to your main service or product as possible. By this I mean for example if you are a Low Cost Construction builder in Derby, and want to help with SEO, you could go and look for a Domain which is along the lines of www.lowcostconstructionbuilderderby.co.uk. Then when someone types into Google low cost construction builder Derby, your website will stand out more than the others as the person who searched this will see your website and will know your website is most relevant.
Why do I have to pay to renew, and how often do I need to renew it?
You will have to pay to renew your Domain Name, if you fail to renew it it’ll mean that your Domain Name will expire! Not only will you then lose that Domain Name that you wanted so badly but it’ll also mean that your website will go down! You have to renew it every couple of years just so that you are keeping that Domain Name live. Depending on what extension your Domain Name has, will depend on how much you have to pay to renew it and how regularly you have to do so. Think of it as buying a car, you’ve brought the car but then you need to tax it. You don’t pay your car tax just once, you have to renew every six or twelve months depending on how long you want your car to be taxed for. This is exactly the same concept with Domain Names, you buy the Domain Name and you then need to renew ‘tax’ it every couple of years. Again depending on the make of car will depend on how much your tax will be, if your Domain name is a .co.uk it will be a different price to a .com.
Depending on what Domain Name extension you have will depend on how often you need to renew it. With a .com the minimum amount of time you can renew it for is a year, with a .co.uk the minimum amount of time you can renew is 2 years. You are also able to renew your Domain Name for up to 10 years! Again this is similar to taxing your car. The longer you tax it for the more expensive it is but the more value for money you get.
How to find out if your Domain Name is due to expire
Now you have learnt why you need to renew your Domain Name, next you need to find out when your Domain Name is due to expire. You can use the website www.who.is again to fine this out, all you have to do is enter your Domain Name again and magnify button.
Here I have entered www.jdrwebsites.co.uk.
You then need to scroll down to the section where it says ‘Relevant dates’. Here you will see an Expiry date. This is when your Domain Name will expire:
It is important that you make a note of the expiry date so you are aware of when it is due to run out and then you can renew it. To renew it your Domain Name provider will normally be in touch around a month before so you can renew it without the chance of your website going down. If you have your Domain Name with ourselves we will be in touch with you when your renewal time is near.
Article by: Adam Jones