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Step 5: Domain Name
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A domain name identifies and locates web sites on the Internet. No two businesses can have the same domain name. A domain name always contains two or more components separated by "dots", eg, my two web site domain names are and
A valid domain name comprises up to 26 characters, including the characters used to identify the domain, such as, .com, .net, .org, .edu, .gov. Non-US companies add their country code (usually a 2-letter abbreviation, eg, "" for Australia, "" for the UK, etc)
.com - commercial entities, ie, companies (or individual usage)
.edu - educational institutions, eg, universities and colleges
.net - organisations directly involved in Internet operations, such as internet providers
.org - miscellaneous organisations that don't fit any other category, such as registered non-profit organisations
.gov - any kind of government office or agency
Australian domain name
To register a domain name with a "" extension with Internet Names Australia, the domain name needs to be part of YOUR registered or incorporated business name. This was fine when I registered "nailitnow" early in 1998 because "Nail It Now" is my registered business name
Registering a US domain name
Recently, I wanted to register a second domain name, "wwwalbum", which is NOT my registered business name. No such restrictions apply to US domain names. Anyone in the world can register any domain name they want with the US authority, InterNIC, so long as it is available. I registered wwwalbum (World Wide Web Album) as a US domain name
Choosing a domain name?
Many say the most important thing when choosing a domain name is that it should be short. I disagree. It should be easy to remember. OK, IS short, but how would anyone remember it easily? Whereas, (one of the most popular search engine information sites) is LONG but easy to remember
How I Registered an Australian domain name
Internet Names Australia
Level 3, 207 Bouverie Street
Carlton, Victoria 3053
Ph: 1800 354 595 or 9344 9366
Fax: 9349 4267
1 Connect to the internet and key in
This web site contains a "Registration" form and a "Delegation" form. First, I registered my domain name. Then, as I wanted to use that name (ie, host it on a SERVER), I also had to delegate it (which is covered in Step 6: Delegate Your Domain Name)
2 Click "Registration"
3 Click " registration"
How to Apply for a Domain Name page
1. Domain Name Availability Checks
4 Type your domain name and, then, click "Check". If your chosen domain name is available, you will see "OK" beside the various databases checked and, at the bottom of the page, "Passed all checks. You may apply for this domain name!"
5 Click "Back" on your browser menu
2. Terms and conditions of the contract
6 Quickly check this out
7 Click "Continue" Domain Name Application Form page
1. Application Information
Invoice email address
8 Type your email address
Domain Name Required
9 Type your domain name (NOT www.)
Service Level
10 Leave as is (why pay $160 extra when you only need to wait 2 days?)
Billing Contact
11 Leave as is
2.1 Business Name Details
2.2 Company Details
2.3 No Business or Company Registration
12 Fill in ONE of the above three sections depending on whether you have a registered business name, company name or neither. Note: I left out a couple of full stops here in one of my registrations and received an error message, so ensure you type the same name as on your business or company certificate
3 Postage Address Information
13 Self-explanatory
4 Administrative Contact
14 Type your name. Unless you have registered a previous domain name, your Administrative Contact won't have a NIC handle, so create one by completing this section
5. Other Names
15 Only fill in if your organisation has another web site
6. Market Research
16 I always fill in this type of field. As a webmaster myself, I like to know how people found me
17 Click "Register". This takes you to a Domain Registration Report page, which tells you that your registration request has been passed on to the COM.AU domain administrator for approval and you will be notified by email of the outcome
It also displays your Registry Entry information
Key: is your domain name registry key and should NOT be handed out
Admin-Contact: contains your NIC handle in brackets, eg, (GF325-AU)
Make a note of your NIC handle. In your delegation form, you need to enter this information in the "Admin NIC handle" AND "Tech NIC handle" fields
Handle: eg, NAILITNOW-COM-AU-DOM. This is your domain nic handle
When was registered, I received an email from the administrators of COM.AU at Melbourne IT saying "Your domain registration has been accepted. Please submit a delegration request to make it visible on the Internet" (see Step 6: Delegate Your Domain Name)
How I Registered a US domain name
Network Solutions
Hiway registered "" with Network Solutions. When I applied for a Hiway account, their order form included a "Check Availability of Domain Name" feature or you can go direct to to check the availability of US domain names
Please email if you have any questions
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