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Selecting a Domain Name
What is a Domain Name?
A domain name is a unique name you choose for your web site (www.yourname.com) that allows anyone in the world to find your site without having to remember a long complicated string of names and symbols. If you're serious about a web site, RESERVE YOUR DOMAIN NAME A.S.A.P. And don't think that someone else won't try to buy up www.yourbusinessname.com before you do. Anyone can (and they do).

Do I really need a domain name?
It depends. Several businesses don't have memorable domain names and do quite well. If you are only considering putting up a small web site or web pages for personal use, you can even use your Internet Service Provider (ISP). ISP's usually offer their dial-up customers space to put up a small web site (such as www.yourISP.com/~yourlogonname/). A note of caution, some ISP's will charge more if they know it is for business use. Any business serious about the web, however, will usually obtain their own domain name.

How do I search for available names?
A number of web hosting companies allow you to search for names using their search engines, but they all get their information from the Network Solutions web site. Go directly there to search for as many names and combinations you can think of, and write them down (if you're like us you'll start forgetting after the second or third search).

What if the name I want is taken?
You have two choices. The first is to find out who owns it and offer to buy the name (or consider legal action if applicable). email and phone numbers often accompany your search results from a "whois" search. The second choice is to select another name that is similar to the original name or purchase it under another heirarchy. Your name might still be available in the .net or .org heirarchy, even if it isn't available in the .com one. Many firms now purchase all three to protect their unique identity.

I found a name, now how do I register?
The best place to register a name is with the Host you intend to use. The Host will then pass your information to Network Solutions, Inc. and you will recieve a bill from directly from them.

Can I register a name without having a site yet?
Yes, several Hosts allow what is known as domain name "parking". You can't register a name without having a server, and some Hosts offer free parking in hopes that you will use their hosting services when you are ready to start a web site. If you are not starting your web site immediately, we suggest you park your domain name with the Host you intend to use to host your web site.

What does it cost?
Network Solutions, Inc. currently charges a rate of $35.00 dollars per year. The first two years need to be paid in advance ($70). Remember, this is only for a domain name, Hosting and Web Design fees are extra.

Now that I've registered my domain name, do I own it?
No, you have only payed for the right to use the name for the next two years. After the first two years are up you will continue to receive a bill once a year for the name.

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