Domain Name


With domain names reaching rock bottom prices, it's hard to think of a reason to not register the domain name of your dreams. A domain name will make your website much easier to access and look more professional. Think of it, you can now call yourself a dot com. Or maybe a dot org or dot net. When the Internet first started back in the day, the only domains available to the public were .com .org and .net. They have recently opened up several new "dots" such as ".cc". This may open up a lot of names but most people still think of dot com's as the "Gold Standard". You will definitely have more people hit your site at a dot com rather than a dot net or dot org.

For example if you want "coolguy" as your domain but "coolguy.com" is already taken, you still have the option of registering "coolguy.net" and "coolguy.org". The problem is that when you advertise your "coolguy" website to friends or the public, the first place people will look is at "coolguy.com" which isn't where your site is. You'll be driving traffic to somebody else's site. I'm not saying that dot org's and dot net's are worthless, but I'm emphasizing the fact that dot com is much more popular than dot org and dot net. Just something to keep in consideration.

Once you think of that perfect domain name, you need to make sure it is available. Unfortunately, many of the really easy to remember domain names are already taken so you may have to rethink your domain name. You can check the availability of your domain name by going to any of the domain name registration websites.

After you find an available domain name with a satisfactory "dot suffix" (.com .org or .net). It's time to claim it for your own!

With most registration services, you have two options, you can park the domain or you get register it completely.

If you choose to park your domain, you don't need to have DNS servers, but then you can't connect your domain name to your server. All you get is a page that says "This page is the future home of coolguy. Please check back soon".

In order for you to register a domain, you need to have access to two DNS servers. DNS servers are machines that translate a domain name into an IP address. Very few domain name registration companies provide DNS servers for you.  Some services may first setup your domain name with their DNS servers, but this is more as a place holder, and are usually nonfunctional.  Most domain name registration companies will provide DNS servers for you for a fee, but there are better options.

Note: There are now several registration services that allow you to register a domain name without specifying two nameservers. For example domainmonger.com automatically uses their own DNS servers when registering your site. Their name servers actually don't work for your domain name but act simply as place holders so you can register your domain name. After the registration is complete, you can change the DNS name servers to your own. Yes I am being repetitive.

Here is another problem: most of the DNS servers are owned by web hosting services. They will provide you with service for a fee, but since we're trying to keep everything as cheap as possible, this is not a route we will explore.

Another option is to run your own DNS servers, but if you think running a webserver is complicated, running a DNS server is much much harder. Save yourself the hassle.  This leads me to two FREE services that will provide DNS servers for your website:

When you register a domain name, you provide your contact information and pay by either credit card or money order. This you can handle yourself. They may also ask for the primary and secondary nameserver information. You will need to provide the following bits of information assuming you choose to use granitecanyon.com for your name servers. If you choose to change nameservers in the future, no problem.

If you choose to use ZoneEdit.com or any other domain name registration company that doesn't require to you have two DNS name servers ready, first register at their website and they will give you the name of the nameservers later.

If you choose to use GraniteCanyon.com enter:

Technical Contact: DT145-ORG
Primary Name Server: NS1.GRANITECANYON.COM
Secondary Name Server: NS2.GRANITECANYON.COM
Finish up the process and congratulations, you now have a domain name. It will take a few days for the registration website to process your order, but at least now you have secured the domain name.

The next step: the dreaded DNS configuration.



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