Getting Your Own Domain Name

Getting Your Own Domain Name

Generally a Web page's address or URL is made up of the name of the server along with the path to the file on that server. When you use a Web host, they rent you a piece of their server and your Web pages take the name of that Web host, by default. For example, in my case, my Web host's server name is and thus the URL for my pages might look something like

However, if you don't want your Web host's server name to appear in your Web page's URL, you can register your own domain name (for around $10 a year) and then ask your Web host to create a virtual domain on their server with your domain name. In my case, while my pages are still on Crocker's server, they look like they're on my own server: Even if your visitors don't know about servers and where the files actually reside, having your own domain name makes your URLs simpler and easier to type, and thus easier to visit.

They also have one very important advantage. If you ever decide to change your Web host (or if they go out of business), you can move your domain to another server and all of your URLs will stay exactly the same.

To get your own domain name:

Point your browser at a domain registrar (see for a list) and check to see if the domain you want is available.

Once you've found a domain name, either register it yourself or ask your Web host to set it up for you. Charges vary from host to host, but less than $10 a year is not uncommon. Some Web hosts offer domain registration as part of a discounted hosting fee.

1. Go Daddy is one of the accredited registrars of domain names. You can use their site to see if a desired domain name is available.

Figure. If the name is available, you can either register it through Go Daddy or call your Web host and get them to do it for you. (Now you know: the very useful domain can be yours!)

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