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FAQ's Domains


What is a domain?
A domain is like a street address, it simply gives an identity to your website, or allows you personalized email addresses, which relates to your company, family, organization.

Can I register an all-numeric domain name?
You can use the characters a-z and 0-9 (in any combination). You can also use hyphens (-), although your domain name cannot start or end with a hyphen. You cannot use any other characters, nor should you use punctuation.

What's the minimum number of characters in a domain name?
Most domain name extensions require a minimum of 2 characters for a domain name, although a few countries have set higher minimums for names registered under their extension.

What information will I receive when ordering a domain name?
Some registrars will mail you a paper record of your domain name registration. Others send you an email confirmation. Others simply display a confirmation screen in your web browser upon completing an order. It is always a good idea to print out any information supplied by your registrar during the registration process so that you will have access to it later.

How much should I be paying to register a domain?
Most domain name registrars charge from $9-25 per domain name registration for .com, .net and .org names (one year registration period). Many of the more expensive services bundle domain name registrations with other services, such as email forwarding, website pointing and URL redirection, and Under Construction pages. Also, you will frequently find that the more established registrars charge a little more than newer competitors.

What extra services can I expect when I register a domain name?
Some registrars offer "name only" services, where they do nothing more than register the domain name for you. Others offer a wide variety of other services (but they may charge a higher registration price to reflect these additional services). The most common such services include:-
  • email forwarding: email sent to is forwarded to your current email address. This is a very cheap and easy way of having your own "custom" email address
  • website forwarding : This comes in two flavours: pointing your website at a given IP address, and pointing your website at a directory. The latter is great for anyone hosting a site on an ISP's site, as you will not need to move the site. The name will automatically be resolved to point to the correct directory.
  • under construction page : depending on your personal preference, you may prefer to have point at a standard "under construction" page rather than not point at anything at all.
sample page : some registrars allow a single free "sample" page so that visitors to the site would see your company name and address and maybe a phone number or a simple description of the services your company provides.

Somebody else has already registered the domain name I wanted. What can I do?
You can offer to buy the name off its current owner, or look for an alternative domain name. If your company holds a trademark on the terms in the domain name, it may be worth seeking legal advice about the possibility of recovering your domain name.

I want to register a domain name in country X. How can I, and how much will it cost?
The answer to this question would take up more space than this entire FAQ! Each country has its own rules, restrictions and pricing levels.

I registered a domain name, but I made a mistake while registering and registered the wrong name/changed my mind about registering it after paying. Can I cancel my registration?
Under the current Domain Name Service Agreement that all accredited Registrars operate under, all sales are final. If you want to register a different domain name, you'll have to pay again.

I'm thinking of registering the ".org" of a well-known .com domain name. Is that a good idea?
While this tactic may get you some "free" traffic, it's also a great recipe for a lawsuit. If the .com domain is trademarked, it's better to steer clear of trouble. If the .com domain is "generic" (that is, it is a dictionary word which is not trademarked) then you're safer. Ultimately, it's your decision.

I want to buy a domain, but I don't want to move my existing site from its current location at [long URL]. What can I do?
Make sure that the registrar you buy the domain name through offers "website forwarding" - i.e. a service that will automatically redirect visitors from your new domain name to your existing URL.

I want to "point" more than one domain name at my site, so that it can be reached via several different domain names. Is this possible?
Certainly, though there may be an additional fee to pay to your hosting company. Hosting companies typically charge a one-off fee of $5 or $10 to set up DNS services for an additional domain name, though some hosting companies include multiple domain packages free of charge.

What are the "hidden costs" of domain name ownership?
It's important to remember that a domain name is only "yours" for as long as you keep paying the renewal fee. If you keep a domain name for 5 years, you'll have to pay 5 separate fees (although some registrars will let you purchase names for several years up front, sometimes at a substantial discount).

What happens if someone else has applied for the same domain name as me, and their application is pending?
Although the information returned by a Whois search is only updated once or twice a day, domain names that have been purchased are essentially "locked" instantly so that they cannot accidentally be sold to two separate parties. In other words, even if somebody beat you to a domain name by just 1 second, you're out of luck - and in a day or so you'll be able to see their ownership details through the Whois tool.

What should I put in the "Company Name" field of the registration template if I do not have a company?
Many people make up interesting-sounding company names to fill this field; however, it is usually better to simply repeat your full name again there as it avoids billing and invoicing confusion later.

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