Do you plan on starting a new online business or a blog in 2022? If so, you’ll need to buy and register your domain name. When you build a website, the first step is to find a domain name that fits your vision and register it. We’ll touch on how to buy this critical component, what a DNS is, and more below.

Defining a Domain and DNS

On the internet, every site comes with an IP address. An IP address gives the website’s location, and you can think of a domain as GPS coordinates. The IP features a number set, but remembering this string of numbers can be difficult, especially when you have more than one website to remember. This is where your domain comes in.

DNS is short for Domain Name System, and it works to translate the IP address into a word or name that is much easier for you to remember. This translated name is your website’s domain name. The domain name is what anyone will type into the address bar to get to your website. The IP address is the GPS coordinates, and the domain is the street address.

To buy a domain name, you’ll:

  • Pick a domain name registrar
  • Check to see if your chosen domain name is available
  • Buy the domain
  • Verify the ownership

Make a note when your domain name expires, and be ready to purchase it again to keep your name. If you don’t, someone else can buy it from under you.

DNS History

When the internet was new, it was easier for people to link specific computers with separate IP addresses. As more people and devices joined the network, connecting the IP addresses with the devices became harder. It’s possible to type in an IP number string and go to a website, but people preferred and still prefer to type in easy names to get to the website. Elizabeth Feinler at Stanford University was the person who assigned the names and addresses in the 1970s and 1980s. She created a text file called HOST.TXT to keep a master list of all internet-connected computers.

Paul Mockapetris was a researcher at USC who invented a more reliable solution to this text file. He developed a system called DNS. The name may have changed over the years, but the program still works the same way at a fundamental level.

Benefits of Buying a Domain

  • There are several benefits that come with buying a domain, and these benefits include but are not limited to:
  • Adds professional credibility to your business
  • Establishes your business as forward-thinking and tech-savvy
  • Provides brand visibility
  • Lends mobility for your presence on the internet
  • Gives worldwide marketability
  • Increases your site’s search engine ranking

Disadvantages of Buying a Domain

Just like there are benefits, there are also disadvantages to buying a domain and to the DNS system as a whole, and they include:

  • Have ongoing registration costs
  • The namespace can be cluttered
  • Hosting a domain can be expensive
  • It can be challenging for some people to understand
  • Have to rebuy the domain name periodically

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-InContext Staff