SHCC WYSIWYG Article from May 2000

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This article (question) was written (answered) by Jerry Carson, in the "Ask the Expert" column.  This article appeared in the May 2000 WYSIWYG newsletter.

Domain Names

by Jerry Carson

Q: Dear Ask The Expert,

I have been looking into registering a domain name.  Have you gone through this? The couple of sites I have looked at (which do registrations) make it appear as though you're leasing the domain name for one or two years as opposed to 'owning' the name.  What's going on?

WannaBe.com


A: Dear WannaBe.com,

I haven't actually done this yet, but I did look into it quite a bit.

You are in fact leasing the name.  In the olden days, you would register a name and it was yours forever.  (It was also free.)  But, alas, due to abuses of the system, names are now leased for a 2-year basis.  Generally it costs about $70 for the first two years and $35 a year after that.  Some sites will give you a discount if you pay for 5 or 10 years in advance.  As long as your name does not infringe on a registered trademark, you should always have first refusal on renewing your lease.  So, if you want yourname.com, you should be able to keep it as long as you keep renewing the lease.

Once you receive the name, you must do something with it.  This can be as little as registering it with a Domain Name Server (also known as parking) which simply reserved the name for you but you cannot have any web pages, email addresses, etc. (although some services do present an "under construction" web page).  Usually, you'll want someone to "host" your site.  This means you pay them a monthly fee and they hold your web pages and allow you access to change them as needed.  They will also handle routing your email.  Finally, if your ISP will assign you a static IP address, you can host your own web site.  Make sure your connection is fast enough that it doesn't annoy people wanting to view your site.

If you're really interested, here are a few sites that will help you register your domain name:
www.networksolutions.com
www.register.com
www.dotster.com

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