Register a Domain Name

Register a Domain NameRegister Domain Name Registering a domain name is a simple process, but understanding the domain name system is more difficult. A common analogy to help people grasp the concept is comparing the domain name system to a phone book for the Internet. Generally, there are two important things attached to every website. The Internet Protocol or IP address, which is numerical and looks like 192.100.104.99 for IP version 4 or like 2001:500:90:100 for IP version 6. It is impractical for people to remember strings of numbers to find a website, so each IP address corresponds to a domain name like Microsoft. When a user searches for or types Microsoft into their browser, the domain name system translates the domain name into the numerical IP address of the website.

How to Register a Domain Name

  1. Decide on a name that has not yet been registered. This can be determined at a name registrar.
  2. Pick the Top Level Domain for the name to be registered. It is possible to register the same name for multiple TLDs.
  3. The name can be registered for one year or up to 10 years.

The Internet Hierarchical System

Domain names are organized in a hierarchical fashion, and each part of the name separated by a dot is a different part of the hierarchy. An Internet resolver will generally read from right to left using the URL until it reaches the host name that it uses to find the IP address.

  1. A string like http://www.microsoft.com is a Uniform Resource Locator or URL.
  2. The extension .com is the Top Level Domain or TLD.
  3. The name microsoft.com is the second level domain.
  4. The www part of the URL is the host name.

Top Level Domains

Top Level Domains or TLDs are part of the hierarchical Internet system identified by extensions like .com, .org, or .us. There were over 246 million registered TLD names as of the end of the third quarter in 2012. These registrations have a yearly estimated growth rate of 12 percent. The extension .com is by far the largest and most popular TLD with 105 million registered names as of September 30, 2012, and the extension .net is second on the list of commercial TLDs with 14.9 million registered names.

Country Code Top Level Domains

The country code TLDs or ccTLDs stand at 104.9 million registered names with an estimated yearly growth rate of 20.7 percent. As of the end of the third quarter in 2012, there are 280 ccTLD extensions in the root of the hierarchical system. The top 10 of these extensions make up approximately 62 percent of the country code TLD registrations. The .de country code of Germany currently has the largest number of registries by domain name base, and it is second only to .com in number of registrations. Some of the top ccTLDs are listed below.

1. The ccTLD .de of Germany is first as of September 30, 2012. It has been speculated that the meaning of de in Romance languages has spurred this country code's popularity, but the registered administration of the domain name must reside in Germany.

2. The ccTLD .tk of Tokelau is in second place. This tiny group of New Zealand atolls allows anyone to register with their country code free of charge, so it has developed a large web presence despite only having a population of approximately 1,400 people.

3. The ccTLD .uk of the United Kingdom ranks third with over 10 million registrations. Generally, registering directly under the .uk is not permitted, and Internet users must register with a second level domain name.

4. The ccTLD .cn of China is in the fourth position. The rapidly modernizing country of China has supplanted Germany several times in the first position in recent years, and there is still outdated information on the Internet declaring China to be in the first position. However, China is by the far the fastest growing of the ccTLDs.

IP Addresses

Each domain name can have more than one IP address attached to it. This is important to provide better service for large websites that attract a great deal of Internet traffic. Currently, 249 countries have a total of 3,483,928,889 IP addresses divided among them. The web presence of the top five countries looks a bit different from this perspective.

  1. The United States has 1,556,118,768 IP addresses.
  2. China has 329,867,591 IP addresses.
  3. Japan has 201,695,157 IP addresses.
  4. The United Kingdom has 128,575,767 IP addresses.
  5. Germany has 121,907,311 IP addresses.

Domain Name Dynamics

The domain name renewal rate for the top two TLDs, .com and .net, dropped slightly during the third quarter of 2012 to 72.5 percent from 72.9 percent in the second quarter. This renewal rate is closely tied to the domain name's connection to a website. Domain names that do not resolve to a website are unlikely to be renewed. The estimates for domain names resolving to a website on TLDs .com and .net are listed below.

  1. 66 percent of .com and .net domain names resolve to multiple page websites.
  2. 21 percent of these domain names resolve to one-page websites that are under construction, parked pages, or ad revenue generating pages.
  3. 13 percent of the domain names do not resolve to websites.