Your website is known by the Internet domain name (domain name, for short) that you choose and register so it “belongs” to you.
However, a domain name registrant is not its owner. It is only registered in the name of an individual or an organization. You pay each year to keep your domain name registered in your name, somewhat like you pay-as-you-go to keep your telephone number listed in your name.
ICANN, which is an acronym for the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers, is a U.S. government enterprise that maintains appointed registrars to facilitate domain name registration and renewal services across the Internet.
Some of the popular domain name registrars are Register.com, GoDaddy.com and Enom.com to name just a few.
How many types of domain names are there?
We are all familiar with popular domain names such as, Google.com, Yahoo.com, Bing.com and Microsoft.com. When the domain name system was originally conceived, three types of domain name extensions were made available: .com, .net and .org. Of these, .com was suggested for adoption by commercial enterprises, .net for internet-enabling organizations and .org for non-profit entities.
Over time, not only have these distinctions been lost but more than 150 types of domain names are now available for everyone to buy. These include newer generic domain name extensions such as .biz and .info; restricted types such as .gov for government usage, .edu for educational institutions, .mil for the military establishment; country-level extensions such as .us for the United States, .co.uk for the United Kingdom and .fr for France. Typically, every country in the world now has its own independent series of domain name extensions.
How much does it cost to register a domain name?
Fortunately, for the World Wide Web to sustain itself as the biggest ever enabler of human enterprise, the domain name system has been instituted in such a way that registering a domain name is relatively inexpensive. For example, a .com domain name can today be registered for as low as $10 to $12 in many cases.
As of June 11, 2012, there were more than 131-million domain names active on the web (source: Webhosting.info). Since the beginning of the World Wide Web, more than 416 million domain names have been registered and then deleted.
And consider this: within three days from June 11, 2012 alone, more than 855,000 new domain names were created. Below is a snapshot of figures for the current week:
How to Think Up an Effective Domain Name?
With such a large number of domain names being registered all over the world every day, it naturally gets a bit challenging to coin really good domain names so they pay off as valued business assets. Rest easy, thereâ€™s a earlier blog post on this very subject. Itâ€™s a short six-point, crisp guide to help you come up with the very best of domain names. Click here: 6 Tips to Coin a Domain Name that Spells Success.