Cheap Domain Name
If you want to launch a website, this implies that you require a cheap domain name. A domain is an easy-to-memorize name that you write in your browser's URL bar when you would like to see a specific web page.
Why Do You Require a Domain?
This is a question I touch on because of the fact that a week ago my boss proposed the idea of launching a site for our brand new venture. That itself is not a problem, the problem is that he needs a site, but has not made up his mind yet about what it should look like, what it should consist of, and so on. All that he mentioned to me was the name of the web site - its domain. Thus, we now have an Internet address for a yet-to-be-set-up web site and nothing aside from that.
The Domain Name
Each website is located on a physical server. That physical server has its own physical address, popular also as an IP address. Reaching a web site by writing the Internet Protocol address of the physical machine in your browser, however, is not the best and most suitable thing to do, so that was how and why domains came into existence. Therefore, a domain name corresponds to an IP address on the web. Once it has been registered, that is.
Registering a Domain
To register a domain, you first need to find a domain name registration provider. NTChosting has the best solution for my current and prospective projects - they have a Domain Manager package, which can be effortlessly upgraded to a web hosting package later on - when my boss finally makes up his mind about what objective the website will serve.
Hence, to register a domain, you need to select a name for your website. Then, you have to pick a Top-Level Domain - this is what comes after the dot. For example, in 'linkedin.com', '.com' is the Top-Level Domain (TLD). Clearly, '.com' is an abbreviation for 'company', '.net' is an abbreviation for 'network', '.org' is an abbreviation for 'organization', etc.
Once you've picked your domain and your future domain name registrar, you have to see whether the domain name you wish to register is available for registration, since somebody else might have seized it before you, however embarrassing it might be. Each domain registration company, including NTChosting, has a search functionality at their signup page, which verifies the availability of a certain domain name. To go on with the registration of a domain name, you have to fill in some domain registrant info - the name, the physical address, the mail address and the phone number of the domain name's registrant.
You've Registered a Domain Name... Now What?
I registered .com, .net, .eu and .name domains for our project, as per the desire of my still-hesitant-about-the-purpose-of-the-future-website boss. I tried out the domain administration tool NTChosting is offering and found it very easy to use - everything is logically structured and, from what I noticed in the Control Panel demo at their site, after we upgrade to a shared hosting package, it will remain the same, just with many more features. This, thank God, will save me quite a lot of discomfort from having to administer my domain name and web hosting account separately. So, while waiting for the boss to make a decision about at least what the website should contain, I was happy to discover that the domain management tool contains DNS administration and domain renewal options, and - a very handy feature (!) - a parked domain name template, which I resorted to in order to set up a "Coming Soon" page for our domain names.
Country-Specific Top-Level Domain Names
I was very pleased to find that NTChosting is offering numerous country-specific Top-Level Domains, since the project the web site is intended for is multinational. Country-code Top-Level Domains are handed over to domestic registries, which permit domain name registrars to register cheap domain names, typically at rates that are lower than those offered to the end users. There are a lot of country-specific domain names: .co.uk for the United Kingdom, .se for Sweden, .it for Italy, .us for the United States, .ca for Canada, .com.au for Australia, etc. This, I believe, will make my boss happy since we will be able to create a local version of the website for each country where the project will be presented.