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Domain Name FAQ

Q1. What is a domain name?
Q2. What' the difference between a domain, a web address, and a URL?
Q3. Who owns the domain name I register?
Q4. How do trademarks affect domain names?
Q5. How does registering my domain name with InterNIC differ from registering it with search engines?
Q6. How much does it cost to own a domain name?
Q7. Who bills me for my domain name?
Q8. How long does it take to register a new domain?
Q9. How long does it take to transfer an existing domain to your server?
Q10. How long does it take for the world to see a new domain name?
Q11. How do I choose a domain name for my Web site?
Q12. What if the domain name I want is already taken?
Q13. How many domain names may I own?
Q14. What characters may I use in my domain name?
Q15. What extension can I have on the end of my domain name?
Q16. Are there requirements for registering a domain name?
Q17. How do I register a new domain name?

Q1. What is a domain name?

A domain name--which usually takes the form of "YOUR_NAME.com"--is an alias for your numerical IP address and ALL web sites on the Internet have an Internet Protocol (IP) address. An IP address lets the various computers on the Internet talk to each other. While domain IP addresses work well for computers, humans tend not remember numbers as well as names. Domain names are much easier for people to use than an domain IP address like 203.52.19.03. The computers which support the Internet convert the domain names into domain IP addresses for you whenever you enter a web address in your browser or click on a link.

Q2. What's the difference between a "domain name," a "web address," and a "URL"?

A domain name is usually in the form of www.YOUR_NAME.com, while a web address can include subdirectories and file names. For example:

www.bluereef.net/services/design.html


is a web address while

bluereef.net


is the domain name.

To further complicate things, a web address doesn't always have to have "www" at the beginning. A web address might have "ftp" at the beginning, as in
    ftp.bluereef.net.
Strictly speaking, the URL--or Universal Resource Locator--includes the protocol for the Internet service you'd like to use, as well as the address. If you want visit a web page, the URL starts with a hypertext transfer protocol:

http://www.bluereef.net/services/design.html


If you want to initiate a file transfer protocol at an ftp server, the URL starts with the file transfer protocol:

ftp://ftp.bluereef.net


If you want to send an email to someone, the URL starts with the mail transfer protocol:

mailto:orders@bluereef.net


There are other protocols used on the web but this gives you a brief idea.

Note: By default Netscape/Explorer 2.0+ browser versions automatically assume the "http://" when you enter a web address, thus simplifying entry. With these latest browsers, you simply enter the web address in the location bar without having to enter the beginning protocol.

Q3. Who owns the domain name I register?

When you register your domain name yourself, you own the domain name. If we register on your behalf, you still own the domain name. Owning a domain name, however, does not necessarily guarantee you the "right" to own the domain name because someone else may own the trademark to such a name. In fact, trademark laws increasingly apply to the use of domain names.

Q4. How do trademarks affect domain names?

While we don't purport to give legal advice, here are some general ideas.

If your domain name contains a registered trademark, the owner of that trademark can possibly sue you for trademark infringement. For example, let's suppose you wanted to create a web site devoted to your pet mouse, "Mickey," and so you registered mickeymouse.org as your domain name. Since Walt Disney owns the Mickey Mouse trademark, Walt Disney could sue you for trademark infringement, especially if your web site had lots of pictures of cartoon mice on your web site

In trademark cases, the issue usually comes down to whether there is a likelihood of confusion in the public's mind. Since most Registrars don't check for trademark status when they process your domain registration request, be sure to do your homework before you register your domain name.

Q5. How does registering my domain name with InterNIC differ from registering it with search engines?

All domain names ending in .com, .org, .edu, or .net must be entered into InterNIC's central database via an Accredited Registrar. This is called "registering your domain name."

Once your web site is created, however, you will want to advertise its existence. One popular way to do this is by submitting your URL to the Internet's top search engines and directories. This is called "registering your web site with the search engines." Registering with search engines is optional while it is compulsory to register a domain ending .com, .org, .edu, or Net with InterNIC or an Accredited Registrar.

Q6. How much does it cost to own a domain name?

Blue Reef can register your domain name for your for only $15/year! That's almost 30% less than our competitors.

Q7. Who bills me for my domain name?

If Blue Reef registers a name on your behalf, we will indicate you as the billing contact so that you still get billed directly by the registrar. While we will provide this registration service FREE to you, be aware that simply registering a domain doesn't automatically make it usable on the Internet. You still need to have the domain name set up on a web server. There is a one-time $20 setup fee for each domain you wish to add to our Name Servers.

Q8. How long does it take to register a new domain name?

If you register a new domain name yourself, it can take anywhere from 3 days to 2 weeks, depending on the queue of registration requests at InterNIC.

Q9. How long does it take to transfer a registered domain name to a your server?

The actual registration in InterNICs databases can take from 3 hours to 2 weeks to fulfill. Before you make a modification request for your domain name at InterNIC, however, you'll need to do the following:
  1. Order
    You'll need to purchase an account with us. If you request a new domain registration at the time of your order, we can process this as well and expedite InterNIC's response.

  2. Upload
    After you receive your username and login password, you'll need to set up all the files on our server and test your web site to be sure everything is working properly. You should leave your web site on your old server while you are doing this because visitor's will still be accessing your web site from that server.

  3. Modify your Domain Record
    Once you've tested your web site on our server, go ahead and make the modification request at InterNIC. You can use our Domain Name Modification Template.

  4. Wait
    After InterNIC has confirmed your domain record modification, leave your site on the old server for at least one week (see below).

  5. Cancel your old account
    Then cancel your account with the old server. Be sure to save/remove any files from the old server before you cancel with them.

  6. Enjoy!
    You are now ready to enjoy enhanced performance with our servers.
Q10. How long does it take for the world to see a new domain name?

Once approved and registered with InterNIC, it can take upwards of 2 weeks to update around the globe as ISP's Domain Name Servers update their name databases.

Q11. How do I choose a domain name for my Web site?

Select a name that closely resembles your organization's name or function and is easy to remember. For example, if your company is called "A Cut Above the Rest" and you specialize in custom-made scissors, scissors.com is easier to remember than acutabovetherest.com. Try to register both.

Q12. What if the domain name I want is already taken?

If the name you would like has already been registered by another entity, try to develop a creative domain name for yourself. Try variations on the name, conceptual themes from your industry, or acronyms. Your second option is to find out who is using the domain name you want and then offer to buy it from them. Perhaps the company that registered the name has gone out of business and no longer needs the domain name. A little extra investigation can reap big rewards.

You can look up domain names here:


Q13. How many domain names may I own?

You may own as many as you afford. We have recommended limits on the number of domains you can use for each Virtual Server, but we do not set any hard limits. You can even set up multiple domains to point to the same location on the server, allowing you to create one web site but have several domains point to it. There is a one-time $20 setup fee for each domain you wish to add to our Name Servers.

Q14. What characters may I use in my domain name?

Your domain name can be as long as 64 characters. The domain can only have letters (abcde), numbers (12345), and dashes(-). The "www" is not part of the actual domain name and is just a standard web prefix. The extension (".com") is not counted in those 64 characters either.

Q15. What extension can I have on the end of my domain name?

InterNIC is the organization that handles the registration and administration of "generic," non-geographic domain names.

Currently the following extensions are allowed for U.S. registered domain names:

COM - commercial, for-profit organizations

ORG - miscellaneous; usually non-profit organizations

NET - network infrastructure machines and organizations

EDU - 4-year, degree granting institutions only

INT - organizations established by international treaties, or international databases

GOV - United States federal government agencies
MIL - US Military


Q16. Are there requirements for registering a domain name?

Blue Reef simply requires when we register a name for you that you have a valid email address and that your account with us is current.

Q17. How do I register a new domain name?

If you are a Virtual Server customer, you can order a domain name via our Order Web Site.

If you prefer, you can register the domain yourself using our name servers:
    NS1.BLUEREEF.NET     192.220.124.10
    NS2.BLUEREEF.NET     192.220.125.10
SEE ALSO:

Transferring your Domain

BOOKS TO HELP YOU:

Domain Names (Quick & Legal)
by Stephen Elias, Patricia Gima
$21.21



The Domain Name Handbook; High Stakes and Strategies in Cyberspace

$31.96

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