A Domain Name FAQ

What is a domain name?

It's a good idea to know all about a domain name, and why we need it for the Internet.

Domain names are a unique web address used to represent an online identity. 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 are needed in our physical world.

Domain names form the URL of a web page and are used to differentiate sites among millions of addresses and search results. This way you can provide an easy-to-remember address for your users. Although .com is the most popular extension because it was the first to appear, we have come a long way with next-gen extensions which have changed the face of web positioning. This is important in terms of search engine positioning, offering relevance among the results.

A domain name is capable of multiple tasks, including sending and receiving email, and as a central hub for various activities, interactions, products, interests and information. Though domain names may share the same technical capabilities, each can be honed to a specific function, or even just solely used as an identifier or marker.

While being powerful workhorses domain names also represent our brand to the world. A domain name is both the medium, and the message. Picking the right web property for yourself may be the most important internet-related decision you will ever make. Nothing is more exciting than buying and building on the cornerstone to your online project.

Dot huh? What are these next-gen domains anyways?

Next generation domains have tailored extensions (like .ninja, .market, .one etc), rather than a legacy extension like .com or .net, and are geared to a more specific niche, specialty or audience. These domain names are also known as New gTLD or next-generation domains.

Which domain is best?

People often ask which domain name is best for them. The answer is simple: the best domain name is one which easily shows your brand or intended purpose. A new gTLD domain (generic top-level) has an advantage over the older legacy domains we are used to because they are shorter, more memorable and much more accurate.

Next-gen domain names are easily 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 specialty, while giving a professional appearance and branding style.

Why should I invest in a domain name?

Because your domain name is your identity on the Internet. Choosing right name will establish trust and credibility with customers. Higher quality domain names also appreciate in value over time. Investing in a proper domain name will give your brand the boost it deserves, and an edge on the competition.

Can you buy a domain name forever?

Technically speaking there is no way to buy a domain name forever, because they are on a yearly lease from their respective registrar. However, a registrant (a registrant is someone like you) can own a domain name indefinitely by merely keeping up with the yearly renewal fee. Most registrars (a registrar is the company in charge of your domain name's registration and renewals) do offer renewals for up to 10 years in advance. There is even some, such as the registry (a registry is the entity in charge of an extension, such as .com, .one or .ca, and some registries also offer registrar services) for the .to ccTLD that offer renewals for up 100 years in advance!

The only way you will lose your domain is if you let it expire and a third party buys it before you are aware of it. That why it’s important to choose a trustworthy registrar that will contact you in a timely fashion and warn you about the domain name expiration. Aways give accurate and up-to-date contact information to your registrar so they are able to keep in touch with you.

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 domain name space. Although registries operate their TLDs, it is ICANN whom authorizes domain name registrars, through which domain names may be registered and reassigned.

Is this the end?

Nope. Your domain name is just the beginning to a world of opportunity! Embrace your inner domain, be genuine and make it your own.