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Registering your domain name

Small business owners work hard to ensure everyone can tell they are experts in their particular field. One important technology that radiates a professional public image to customers is the use of a company domain name. The domain name connects a company name with its Web site and e-mail addresses and is more professional than using free domains like hotmail, yahoo, AOL and others. For instance, Aura Information System Technologies owns the domain name “,” which tells our customers we are a commercial technology company.Domain names are managed by an international organization called the ICANN (the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers).Each domain name must be unique and, due to the huge number of companies with an Internet presence, it is rare your exact business name will be available. As a result, selecting your domain name often takes imagination and flexibility. Before selecting the domain name, one must consider the suffix to use. A suffix for a domain name defines what is called the top-level domain (TLD). Some of the most common TLDs include .com (commercial), .org (organizations / nonprofits), .edu (educational), .mil (military), and .net (network organizations / ISPs). Additionally, each country has a TLD; for instance, the United States is .us, Canada .ca, and Mexico .mx. For a complete list of the current TLDs see small businesses should choose .com, .org, or .net for their TLD. So, how do you know if a domain name is available for your company’s use? The easiest way is to visit an ICANN-accredited domain name registrar (see their list at The ICANN authorizes registered companies around the world to control the sale and registration of domain names. I prefer but any company on the ICANN list will do. Most of these registrar Web sites have a tool that is used to check if a domain name is available. Checking at the Web site reports that is not available since I own it, but .net, .org, and .info are available.Some tips to keep in mind when registering a domain name: Domain names can include letters, numbers and dashes. The dashes cannot be the first or last character of a domain name (i.e. is valid but is invalid). Also, domain names must be shorter than 67 characters. Finally, try to come up with a domain name that is short, catchy and says something about your company.Once you commit to a domain name that helps professionalize your company, it is time to register it so no one else can use it. Remember, domain names are a commodity so prices vary. It pays to shop around. I have seen prices for $7 per year to over $40. Registration is simple. The tool used to verify that a Web site is available will often lead you through the steps to purchase it. All you need is information about the company or person placing the registration (i.e. name, address, phone, etc) and a credit card to pay the annual fee.Read next month’s article to see how to use your domain name for corporate e-mail and Web sites. Send your comments or topic requests to for more information. Send your comments or topic requests to Information System Technologies,

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