Domain names have become an essential part of creating a website or blog. Without domain names, the web would be a much harder place to navigate. We would be using a set of large, complicated numbers to open a website instead of a nice, easy to remember domain name.
What is a Domain Name?
A domain name is the "web address" of a website. It's the thing that looks something like this: quackit.com.
Although many domain names end with ".com", this is not required. There are many other domain extensions (or "top-level domains") that you can use. For example, here are some valid domain names that are currently in use:
As you can see, there are many different domain extensions than .com domains.
Do I Need a Domain Name?
Well, technically speaking, nobody needs a domain name, but if you create a website, imagine life without one!
If you have a website, but you don't have a domain name, you are making it very hard for yourself and your website's visitors. Without a domain name, in order to open your website in a web browser, you will need to type in your website's IP address. This will be a number that looks something like this: http://18.104.22.168/
Imagine the trouble your visitors (and potential visitors) will have when you tell them your website's address. Imagine telling your friends "Hey, check out my website at 22.214.171.124!". Or, imagine promoting your website; "For more information, visit our website at http://126.96.36.199/". Get the idea?
For the sake of a few dollars, most people think it's worthwhile registering a domain name!
How Do I Get A Domain Name?
Domain names are purchased through a registration process. This is known in the industry as "registering a domain name".
The domain registration is for a set time period, usually no less than a year. Generally, you can choose how long you want to register your domain for. Most people register their domains for either 1 or 2 years, but you can register them for as many as 10 years and possibly more.
You can register a domain name at any domain name registrar or partner site. Most web hosting companies enable you to register a domain name through their website. This makes sense, as most people who register a domain name will also need to host their website somewhere.
How Much Do Domain Names Cost?
Domain names can cost anywhere from around $10 dollars per year up to $30 or even $40, depending on who you register it with so it definitely pays to shop around. ZappyHost offers $1.99 domain names whenever you purchase a non-domain product (such as web hosting or email, etc), so this will reduce the cost of your domain name substantially.
What About My Email Address?
As well as the benefits for navigating to your website, a domain name can also allow you to have your own personalized email.
If you register a domain name with ZappyHost, you will receive a personalized email account. This means that you can have an email address at your domain (eg, firstname.lastname@example.org). You will also get other free extras too, including email forwarding, web hosting, blog builder, DNS control and more.