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domain names

Domain Name

Let me tell you a real story. Virtualave.com is once a free web hosts. Many people lauched their first website with them and had their site address as something.virtualave.net, which is a sub domain address. They DO NOT own the address but Virtualave. And what happened now is Virtualave no longer offer free hosting and if you want to keep your address, you need to pay at least $10/month!
Another story is even more scary. Xoom.com is also once a popular free web hosts, actually one of the best. It will be a nightmare for people who have established a site with a XOOM address that look like members.xoom.com/mywebsite (a subdirectory address). WHY? because they are out of business and the address is no longer available even if you are willing to pay $1,000/month for it! For all the time, you are promoting your website with someone else addresses. You make all the references to your website with somebody else domain name. And now imagine if you have 1,000 visitors hitting the old address everyday? You LOST 1,000 visitors just because you didn't choose to promote your site with your own domain name at the very first place!
A domain name will also make you look BIG and professional. Let's say you are a web designer. Do you think your customers will be more interested to take the services from michaelwebdesign.com or davidwebdesign.netfirms.com? Netfirms is currently the most popular free web host, but who can guarantee if they will not end up like Virtualave or Xoom, which were also once POPULAR?
The reasoning above also show you why you shouldn't host your site with a free web host. If you want a free web host, you must look for some that will host your own domain name. Protect yourself and don't bet your live with other's fortune. And keep in your mind, nothing is really FREE and someone will have to pay the bills.

How do you register a domain name?

You register your domain name with a domain registrar.
And there are really a lot of domain registrars available and prices do vary among registrars even for registering the same domain name! That's why if you know where to register for cheaper domain names, you can save a few dollars. I am happy that you have read until here because I will tell you that!
Currently, you can register a domain name for as low as 100 LE at icons! All you need to do is to check your domain availability and pay for it. That's all. icons currently offer registration for .com, .net, .org, .biz,.info and .us only.

DNS (Domain Name System) Servers

Each domain name must be associated with 2 or more DNS servers. The DNS information act as a bridge between your domain name and your host. That means in order for the internet to know who is your web host, they will need to look at the DNS info associated with your domain name. That's why your web host cannot keep you hostage because you can simply change the DNS info and your domain name will be pointed to your new web host!
Each web host will setup their own DNS servers. They look something like ns1.yourhost.com and ns2.yourhost.com. All you need to do is to enter the 2 DNS servers given by your web host to your domain name. Your domain registrar will have a place where you can fill up these information. It is a simple and straightforward task. If you register your domain name through your web host, they will enter the DNS information for you.
Because the internet is so large, after you register a new domain name or update the DNS setting, it usually takes 1-3 days for the entire internet to notice the new DNS setting. This process is called DNS propagation. That's why new web hosting customers will not be able to see their website immediately after they setup their hosting account. It is normal and don't blame your web host on this! Your website will appear after the DNS propagation is completed.
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