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icon of a government building.Registering your domain (website) name

The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) manages the name and number systems of the internet. Additionally, each top-level domain is maintained and serviced by a registrar responsible for maintaining the database of domain names and associated information. This information is published using a special service called “whois”, a protocol used for querying databases of registered domain names, IP addresses and other internet resources. This is the main reason that no two parties can ever hold the same domain name simultaneously. It's quick and easy to check www.whois.com to see if your domain is available. Just enter your domain name and press "Search". You'll receive an instant answer as to whether the name is available.

Your domain name is your own unique identity - your brand that gives you a professional image on the World Wide Web. The only way to obtain a domain name is through a domain name registrar service such as whois.com. There are hundreds of other registrars on the internet, which means you can purchase domain names for a competitive low yearly fee. Most web hosting companies offer domain registration services and will register your domain name for you (for a small fee), but it's super easy to do yourself.

You can register a domain name for a year or more, depending on the registrar. You need to make sure that you renew it before the expiry date otherwise you will no longer own that domain name. Your registrar can then sell it to someone else. If you lose your domain name you can lose your whole online identity. So it’s a good idea to register your domain for multiple years.

NOTE: Domain registration and domain hosting are two different things. Your domain name is the name of your website or your URL (www.mywebsite.com) and can be purchased by going to a domain name registrar (as mentioned above). But in order for your website to appear on the internet, the files (code) need to be uploaded to a server and hosted at a hosting company such as GoDaddy, Bluehost, Inmotion Hosting and dozens of others.

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