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A domain name is the unique text name of  a website, which corresponds to the numeric IP address of a computer on the internet.  Internet users access a website  through the domain name, as they are more easy to remember. Domain names can be a maximum of  63 characters long. More than one IP address can be assigned to a domain name, usually for busy sites with lots of traffic.  For small websites , many domain names are hosted on a single server (virtual hosting).

URL ,Uniform Resource Locator is prefixed by http://www.  The URL for the domain name  example.com is as follows
URL: http://www.example.com/
Domain name: example.com
A  domain name ends in a top-level domain (TLD) name, which is  either one of a  list of generic names (gTLD) like .com, .net, .org or a two characters country wise code (ccTLD)  like .in for India, .uk for United Kingdom , .us for USA , .au for Australia. Some countries restrict registration of  country code top-level domains only to residents of the country.

ICANN (Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers) is responsible for managing the DNS. It controls the root domain . For ccTLDs, the domain registry is typically controlled by the government of that country. Due to  the popularity of  the internet, the domain names for popular words can be very valuable. Registration of  generic top level domains costs approximately. US$10 for a year  but  registration of  country wise domain names can be more expensive . For India the cost of registering the .in domain name is  nearly 70% more expensive than .com or .net domain name

Some companies offer  low cost or even free domain registrations,  but in such cases they often retain control of the domain name.  You may pay them for hosting , but after your website becomes popular, they can hike their hosting rates or even sell off  the domain name without your permission. The only way you can retain control of  your domain name  is by having access to a control panel from the registrar.  Most registrars do not allow you to transfer away a domain name for 60 days after registration.  The domain name should remain locked to prevent domain name hijacking. Domains are registered for an initial period of 1 year and can be renewed for a period of up to 10 years at a time. 

Network Solutions, Enom, GoDaddy, DirectI are some of the large domain name registrars. The control panel provided by Enom resellers to customers does not allow them to unlock the domain name and transfer it away. Network Solutions is the oldest domain name registrar and has a good user interface, but domain name registration for .com at US$35  per year is most expensive.  Yahoo offers domain registration at US$2.99 per year, but you have to read the fine print carefully. In some forums, users have complained about hidden charges. Domain name with significant type in traffic like Rent.com have been resold  for millions of dollars.

If you do not have time to develop your website, you can resell your domain at websites like sedo. You can create a logo for the domain name using a free photo editing software and auction off the domain on eBay. Many webmaster forums also allow to list your domains for sale.

 Check if your domain name is available and register it

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