What's in a Domain Name?

Real Estate Broker/Owner with Broad & Bailey Realty LLC
Broad and Bailey [logo]

Peter Nikic
What's in a Domain Name?

Haven't registered your own domain name yet? No problem. You did register it, right? but have no idea what to do next? No problem. Wait, you registered your domain name but you don't seem to have any control over it? That's a problem.

First, let's try and understand what a domain name is. Simply, a domain name is like a telephone number. You cannot, ever get a telephone number that someone else is already using. Every single telephone number has to be unique. Otherwise when you call someone, how else can the telephone company ensure that you reach the person you intended to call?

The domain name works the same way, only it is on the Internet. If you enter the address www.activerain.com, you are guaranteed to reach this site. So if it's that simple, why are we having so many problems with this?

Remember when we only had one telephone company? If you wanted to get a phone, you called "The Telephone Company", we didn't have any other options. Now however, we have a whole bunch of options. There are dozens of companies for all categories of calling (business, local, long distance, wireless, VOIP, etc.) Today, getting a phone is more complex than ever.

As simple as domain names are, it seems more complex because the Internet and computers are still relatively new to most of us. In addition, there are thousands of companies who want to provide service for you. So where do we start? Many of us have no idea what to do except what some service provider is telling us that is best for us. In reality, we don't know if it's best for us or best for them.

My suggestion, if you have not already registered a domain name. Go to a Domain Name Registrar, this is a company dedicated to providing domain names and holding them in a Domain Name Server (DNS). Their primary business should be to do just that. Here's a list of just a few Domain Name Registrars (there are many others):

godaddy enom.com

I like register.com for researching. If the name you are looking to register has already been taken, they recommend a list of similar names that are available to register or buy. They also provide a "whois" link, which tells you who owns the domain name (in case you're interested). Godaddy.com seems to be very popular these days, I've never used them, but I'm sure they are one of the better ones and should have everything you need to register a domain name.

Now that you have a registered domain name, what do you do? The most important thing is to maintain control and ownership of your new domain name. Don't give out your username and password to anyone, treat it like your house key. There will never be a need for anyone else to keep it, use it, move it, etc.

There are 2 other major components of a website. One is, "who will build your website?" and the second is "who will host it?" Neither of these 2 things have anything to do with ownership and registering your domain name. Your domain name should be residing at some independent Domain Name Server (DNS) that is controlled by you.

webpro 3 major components of a website:

  • Domain Name - you should always maintain control of this regardless of who the website builder or website hosting company.
  • Website Builder - webmaster - this could be you or anyone who knows how to design & build websites.
  • Website Host - server which stores all of your web pages - this is a computer which physically resides anywhere in the world and provides your website pages when people enter your domain name.

  • Process of getting to a website:
  • Enter a web address ex: activerain.com
  • Your browser sends a message to the DNS (Domain Name Server)
  • The DNS knows where the website is residing and connects you to the web hosting company server
  • The web hosting company sends the webpage to your computer
  • The website is now displayed on your browser

  • And you thought it was hard? There really is a lot going on, but all of this happens at lightning fast speed at the click of a mouse. Any other questions about domain names? just ask.

    Finding a webmaster: when you see websites that you like, ask who the webmaster is. If you know some one who is good, let us know.

    Finding a hosting company: I use Aplus.net, but there are many other great web hosting companies. Ask friends and if you could recommend one, let us know.

    Peter Z. Nikic
    Licensed Real Estate Broker
    & Investor (NY)
    Contact: Peter@Nikic.com
    Tel:(914) 804-0037

    ©1998 Broad & Bailey, Inc.

    Comments (38)

    Denise OnullDell
    Santa Clarita Mobile Notary - Santa Clarita, CA
    Mobile Notary Public/Real Estate Agent

    Can a person have too many domain names?  A friend recently told me there's no need to have so many, but after hearing about the guy who bought pizza.com years ago for $20 and just sold it for approx. $2 million... I'm thinking maybe it's not such a bad idea to have more than one... especially good ones.


    Denise O'Dell



    Apr 27, 2008 02:52 PM
    June Watson
    Weichert Realtors, ProSouth - Florence, AL
    Realtor , NW Alabama
    Thank you for this! I have a simple webpage, but not much control over it. Boo. It is simple and a learning experience for me. It's a brave new world. So, first thing to consider (before I order new cards) is a domain name. I'm going to have to take baby steps, but at least I'm going to step. You're definitely an encourager.
    Apr 27, 2008 06:47 PM
    Peter Nikic
    Broad & Bailey Realty LLC - Valhalla, NY

    Doris - I'm glad you think it's simple, that was my intent. I think the simpler, the better.

    Dave - great point! once it's yours, "everything is in a domain name"

    Denise - did you read my "domain names are the real estate of the 21st century"? can you possibly own too much real estate? you are limited to what's left (many/most great names are already gone) and how much you can afford to carry. also, just be careful not to register trademarked names (yes, even if they're available). I have about 70 domain names that I've had for as much as 10 years.

    June - the Internet is a new world for all of us. I can tell you from personal experience, do not be afraid to pioneer, this country is what it is, because of pioneering. go slow if you have to, but go!

    Apr 28, 2008 12:58 AM
    Vishal Kshirsagar
    vishalsoft - Clermont, IN

    I am new user for this group


    Apr 28, 2008 01:06 AM
    Peter Nikic
    Broad & Bailey Realty LLC - Valhalla, NY

    Vishal, welcome, thanks for visiting.

    Apr 28, 2008 04:57 AM
    Denise OnullDell
    Santa Clarita Mobile Notary - Santa Clarita, CA
    Mobile Notary Public/Real Estate Agent
    Thanks Peter ~I just got through reading your "real estate of the 21st century."  Another great post!  BTW:  How can I find out if a domain name I registered is trademarked?  Also, I'm curious as to how you get an email address with yourfirstname@yourlastname?
    Apr 28, 2008 05:35 PM
    Peter Nikic
    Broad & Bailey Realty LLC - Valhalla, NY

    Denise - thank you. I just did a search and found several sites. try: http://www.uspto.gov/main/trademarks.htm this is a gov site so it should be free. if in doubt, I say register it but when confronted by a major corporation don't try and fight them.

    As far as the email address: you have to register your last name, which I did a long time ago, your last name is already registered (and in use) by:

    Silva, James  jims@JSTECHNOLOGIES.COM
    JS Technologies
    8912 Chinaberry Ln Concord, NC 28027 US
    704 795-1215 fax: 704 414-1943

    unfortunately your email (first@lastname.com) is not an option. I suggest you marry a man with an unusual last name.  check to see if his last name is available before you commit though:-)

    Apr 29, 2008 01:00 AM
    Denise OnullDell
    Santa Clarita Mobile Notary - Santa Clarita, CA
    Mobile Notary Public/Real Estate Agent
    Thanks for the info Peter... and you're very funny! lol
    Apr 29, 2008 05:10 PM
    Peter Nikic
    Broad & Bailey Realty LLC - Valhalla, NY

    Denise - I just had another idea, change your last name to Nikic, I will give you a free email. btw, the "c" has a "ch" sound (Nikich), you should know how to pronounce it if you decide to take it:-)

    denise@nikic.com hmmm...there's a nice ring to it;-)

    Apr 30, 2008 12:03 AM
    Pam Dent
    Gayle Harvey Real Estate, Inc. - Charlottesville, VA
    REALTOR® - Charlottesville Virginia Homes / Horse

    Hi Peter - Go Daddy has been my domain host of choice.  You gave us lots of good information - Thanks.

    Jun 09, 2008 01:28 PM
    Doris Freeman
    Reliant Realty - Gallatin, TN
    Broker/Agent, Realtor

    Great information, Thanks for sharing.

    have A Great Day

    Jun 09, 2008 03:26 PM
    Peter Nikic
    Broad & Bailey Realty LLC - Valhalla, NY

    Pam, I hear that godaddy is good. It looks good to me, but I've been using others that I'm perfectly happy with since way before godaddy.

    Doris, you are welcome, thanks for visiting.


    Jun 10, 2008 05:21 AM
    Craig Sparling
    LEAP Real Estate Systems - Chicago, IL

    I setup a lot real estate website property websites etc for clients.  As you said domain registration is simple.  I have two caveat though.

    1. Setup your own domain names!  So many of my clients setup their domain name through another provider, who then needs to be tracked down to handle simple things like email forwards.  Worse yet, if that person lets time slip by and your domain expires you entire business can be turned upside down if someone else registers it.

    2. Godaddy.com is the juggernaut.  They have the name recognition and the advertising, but their site does way more than simple domain registration.  With all the cross sold products there are alot of distractions and often people endup spending way too much money on auxilary services they don't need and don't use.  Plus I got a bit burned by their systems once on a clients email, so they fell considerably in my regards.

    Jun 11, 2008 03:24 PM
    Peter Nikic
    Broad & Bailey Realty LLC - Valhalla, NY

    Craig, Thanks for your comments. I didn't know anything about the email handles. The two domain name regristrars that I've used (www.register.com and www.enom.com), don't have anything to do with emails. Thank you for pointing out expirations/renewals, enom.com has automatic renewals to prevent expiration so I never have to think about it. They also send me an email a couple of weeks before telling me wether a name is going to automatically re-new or expire.

    People seem to love godaddy. I've never used it, so I can't say anything negative about it. I could see what you mean about excessive auxiliary services. This is also why I like to use a registrar whos business is just registering domain names, so that you're not constatntly bombarded with services that you don't need. 

    Jun 12, 2008 01:20 AM
    Ginger Walker
    Keller Williams Realty - Stafford, VA
    Realtor e-PRO,CSP

    Hi there, Great post!  I also would suggest DirectNic if you are looking for a domain name as they are reasonable in price and easy to work with!

    Jun 26, 2008 07:15 AM
    Ryan Martin
    Pacific Continental Realty, LLC - Bellingham, WA
    Bellingham Commercial RE Broker

    Peter ~ "What is in a Domain Name"? I usually see letters, numbers and sometimes some dashes. What do you see?

    Jun 26, 2008 07:21 AM
    Peter Nikic
    Broad & Bailey Realty LLC - Valhalla, NY

    Ginger, I'll check it out, thanks for sharing.

    Ryan, depends on how much I've had to drink ;-)

    Jun 26, 2008 07:31 AM
    Ryan Martin
    Pacific Continental Realty, LLC - Bellingham, WA
    Bellingham Commercial RE Broker

    Peter ~ LOL... Fair enough. I suppose that I see some crazy stuff sometimes too :D

    Jun 26, 2008 07:40 AM
    Peter Nikic
    Broad & Bailey Realty LLC - Valhalla, NY

    Ryan, what was the mood when you saw letters, numbers . . . ? :-)

    Jul 02, 2008 01:58 AM
    Whveoer wrote this, you know how to make a good article.
    Oct 24, 2011 10:09 PM