Let's unravel some of the basics of a domain name, and why we need one for the Internet.
A domain name is a unique web address generally used to represent a brand or project. We use domain names as placeholders on the internet, serving as the homes of individuals and businesses in the digital realm. Domain names are needed for the internet in the much the same way buildings and store signs are needed in our physical world.
Domain names form the root URL of a web page and are used to differentiate sites among millions of addresses and search results. They can provide an easy-to-remember address for your visitors. Although .com is the most recognized extension, new extensions have gained usage because of their ability to display a perfectly fitted name with matched keywords.
A domain name is capable of multiple tasks, serving as a central hub for any interest. Though most domain names share the same technical capabilities no matter the extension or name, they can also be honed to just a specific function such as email, forwarding, or a private database.
While being powerful workhorses domain names also represent our brand to the world. A domain name is both the medium, and the message. Choosing the right digital property may be the most important internet-related decision you will ever make. Nothing is more exciting than building on the perfect cornerstone to your online venture!
New generic top-level domains have tailored extensions (like .ninja, .express, .one etc), rather than a "catch-all" legacy extension like .com or .net, and may favor a more specific niche. These domain names will gradually shake off the new and be simply known as next top-level domains (nexTLDs).
People often ask which kind of domain name is best. The answer is simple: the best domain name is one which clearly shows your brand or intended purpose. A new gTLD domain has an edge over the legacy domains we are used to because they are shorter, more memorable and much more accurate.
Legacy domain names, also commonly known as traditional domains, have been around since 1985. In fact, the first domain name ever created is alive and well- nordu.net! Shortly after the creation of the first domain name, the very first .com domain ever registered was symbolics.com, which is still a popular destination.
New gTLD domain names are distinguished from legacy domains in that both the left and the right of the dot are used- there is no wasted real estate! For example, this site, Genuine.Domains, takes advantage of the .domains extension which perfectly conveys the site's intended purpose.
Your domain name is your identity on the Internet, and even carried on your bricks-and-mortar location. The right name establishes trust and credibility, and creates familiarity. Great domain names also appreciate in value over time. Unless you're proficient in coming up with your own from scratch, using your budget as an investment to secure a quality, lasting domain name is a more cost-effective solution in the long run. Doesn't your brand deserve something better than a quick fix?
Technically, there isn't a way to buy a domain name forever because they are on a yearly lease from their respective registrar. But a registrant (the domain's owner) can own a domain name indefinitely by keeping up with the yearly renewal fee. Most registrars (a registrar is the company in charge of your domain name's registration, renewals and DNS) do offer renewals for up to 10 years in advance. Some registries (a registry is the entity in charge of an extension, such as .one or .com) also offer registrar services. The registry for the .to ccTLD (a ccTLD stands for country-code top-level domain, like .ca or .us)offers renewals for up 100 years in advance!
The only way you will lose your domain is if you let it expire beyond its renewal period. Aways give accurate contact information to your registrar so they are able to keep in touch with you, such as sending expiration notices.
Each top-level domain (gTLDs, new gTLDs and ccTLDs) are maintained and serviced by a registry. The registry receives registration information from each domain name registrar authorized to assign names in the corresponding TLD and publishes the information using a special lookup service, the WHOIS protocol.
Today, the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) manages the top-level development and architecture of the Internet namespace. Although registries operate their TLDs, it is ICANN whom authorizes the domain name registrars, through which domain names may be registered and reassigned.
Nope. Your domain name is the beginning to a world of opportunity! Embrace your inner domain, and make it genuine :)