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Home > What is a Domain Name?

The naming of cats is a difficult matter,
It isn’t just one of your holiday games.
At first you may think I’m as mad as a hatter,
When I tell you a cat must have THREE DIFFERENT NAMES.

T.S. Eliot, Old Possum's Book of Practical Cats

In some ways, finding a name for your website can be a bit like naming a cat – not as easy as you’d think! Like the cat of T.S. Eliot's famous poem, your site could even end up with three different names – as we’ll see.

So what is a domain name? It’s a web address, just like amazon.com or yahoo.com. Although every computer on the Internet has a number, domain names were invented so that people wouldn’t have to bother with them. Even though you might find it hard to remember a domain name, you’d probably find it even harder to remember a 12-digit number!

The first thing you’ll be asked to do when you buy your site here at 2-Minute-Website.com is to choose your domain name. This may take some thought as, like your postal address, it will need to be unique to you. If somebody else has already registered the name you want, you'll have to think again! Your domain name could contain your business name, e.g. www.yourbusinessname.com or anything else you like. If you already have a domain name, you can transfer it to 2-Minute-Website.com (just send us an email and ask).

When you enter your chosen domain name on our site, you will be told whether it’s available. If so, then once you've bought it, it’s legally yours to do with as you wish (unlike names registered by some of our competitors). However, registering your domain name doesn’t mean you get to keep it for life. It’s valid for a year and then you’ll have the option of renewing it if you want to. Apart from that, you can transfer it any time you want to and we won’t charge you extra (again, unlike some of our competitors).

Though you will have heard Internet businesses being referred to as ‘dotcoms’, domain names can have different endings. When you sign up with us, you will have the choice of .com, .net or .org. These suffixes were originally used for different types of organisations, but more recently they have become interchangeable, and you can choose whichever you like, with no restrictions. They are all international and can be used for websites based in any country.

It may be a good idea to buy up all three versions of your domain name - yourbusinessname.com, yourbusinessname.org and yourbusinessname.net. This can be useful to protect trademarks and brands, and — though other domain name suffixes do exist — will stop any speculator from obtaining the most common variations on your name. Hence the “three different names”!

Once you’ve chosen and purchased your domain name, it takes about three to five days to start working. Then all you have to do is make sure that everyone gets to know about your “Deep and inscrutable singular Name”.

Caroline Helder
Customer Care Manager, 2-Minute-Website Ltd

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