Domain Name FAQ
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:
is a web address while
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,
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
If you want to initiate a file transfer protocol at
an ftp server, the URL starts with the file transfer protocol:
If you want to send an email to someone, the URL starts with
the mail transfer protocol:
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
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?
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
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:
Q10. How long does it take for
the world to see a new domain name?
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
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.
- 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.
After InterNIC has confirmed your domain record modification, leave
your site on the old server for at least one week (see below).
- 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.
You are now ready to enjoy enhanced performance with our servers.
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
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.
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
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
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
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: