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Web Design Fundamentals is a survey of Web design and development techniques and technologies, fundamental concepts, terms, and best practices involved in professional web design. Instructor James Williamson examines popular web development tools, server-side software solutions, content management solutions, and cloud-based software, providing a high-level overview of the world of Web publishing.
Although it seems like choosing and registering a domain name would be one of the more simple tasks in web design, it can actually be quite frustrating. There are so many registered domains that finding the one you want can be almost impossible. In this movie, I'm going to offer some suggestions to picking your domain name, and then discuss some of the different ways that you can register them. The first thing to consider is which domain or domains you want to register your site to. Common top-level domains are .com, .org, .net or .info. Many people try to register their site with multiple domains, so that visitors don't have to remember whether it is a .com or .org site.
Often the availability of the domain name may prevent that, but I highly encourage this practice when available. It keeps competitors from registering the same name in a different domain and then redirecting client to their sites and oh yes, that does happen. It also makes it easier for clients to find your site. If none of the top-level domains are available, you could try one of the country code level domains available, such as UK, DE and FRM. While these are generally more available, they could cause some confusion as to where your company or client is located, so make sure you take that into consideration.
When choosing a domain name it's important to be a bit flexible. Make sure your client understands that their company name might not be available, and have a list of alternate names or variations that they find acceptable. If I'm designing a site for Maurice Flowers, for example, I'm not only going to look at mauriceflowers.com, but flowersbyMaurice, Mauricepetals, Mauriceflorist, and other variations as well. I'll also examine .net and .org to see if those versions are available. Discussing this with the client before you register the domain name is important to make sure the client knows that their top choice might not be available.
When possible, try to make sure that your domain is memorable for visitors. While that is getting harder these days, it shouldn't be too hard to make sure that your domain is one that people can type in from memory. If visitors can only get to your site by clicking or by looking your site address up, your site isn't going to be as successful as it should. Don't let length scare you off. James Williamson Design is a long string of characters, but at least it's memorable. Shorter URLs are better, but memorable is the most important aspect of all. When you're ready to register your domain name, you have two choices.
You can use a dedicated domain registry company, or register the domain through a hosting company. Cost is rarely an issue, as most registry companies charge a minimal fee, and many hosting companies will make it part to their hosting plan. If you have a hosting company, you may want to take advantage of their registry services. Several hosting companies will have plans that'll allow you to register multiple or even unlimited number of sites. This can be a great time saver if you plan on using them for hosting as well. Make sure that you own the site that you're registering, not the hosting company or the registry company.
It is very, very rare these days for hosting company to register the site in their name instead of yours, but it does occasionally happen. It's very important for you or your client to actually own the domain. If you don't, you won't be able to transfer the domain to know the server without the owner's consent, so be sure to double check that before registering with some one. Once you're ready to register a site, go ahead and do it right away. Don't check the availability of the site and then think about it for a while. The Web is unfortunately full of unscrupulous people, and it's not uncommon to find that the domain you researched yesterday is now gone, but available for a higher price.
Now once your site is registered, make sure you know the primary and secondary name servers that it gets assigned to. If you are using a registry service, this will usually be listed under the DNS information. For hosting companies it should be a part of your normal site information and found within your control panel. You will need this information once your site goes online, so that your domain gets directed to the proper site. Hosting companies will usually handle this for you, but if you're using a registry service, you'll need to either point your site to the proper name servers or transfer the DNS once you choose a hosting company.
So, the overall process of choosing and registering a domain name is not a complicated one. You just want to make sure that you use a qualified domain registry company or a hosting service that you trust.
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