So you plan to be the next www.filthyrichwebmogul.com? Plan to ride a nifty
push-bike to work, wearing flip-flops and capri pants and a sun hat? Or, better
yet, plan to spend your days at home, tele-delegating work amongst your
Like all start-ups in life, you'll first need a name. This might seem a mere
technicality, but beware. So far, over 97% of the words in Webster's Dictionary
are already registered on the world wide web. You'll need to use your thinking
cap and invent some sort of moniker that's both not taken and will draw visitors
to your site.
Recent adjustments in domain-registration rules make it easier to invent your
virtual title. Previously, the length-limit for domain names was quite
restrictive -- only up to 22 letters. Now, however, you can register a name
that's up to 67 characters in length. And while concise names are certainly
desirable, the lengthy ones are gaining acceptance. Check out www.verylongdomains.com for more info
on this particular trend.
So just how many domain names are already registered worldwide? Answer: over
10 million. A whopping 6 million of those are dot com's; by contrast, only 1
million of registered names end in the dot net suffix. With dot com names in
such high demand, national suffixes (such as .uk for the United Kingdom, .ca for
Canada) are gaining popularity. Some gimmicky national suffixes are even being
used by companies that have no connection with the countries in question.
Italy's suffix, .it, is handy for companies looking to sell.it, buy.it,
steal.it, resell.it. The Kingdom of Tonga will allow you to ship.to, fly.to, or
climb.to anyplace you want. Even such unlikely lands as Turmenistan (.tm) win
with this lucrative quirk of the English language.
The Nitty-Gritty on Registration
As you'd expect, there are oodles of websites devoted entirely to telling you
about the oodles of domain names that are already taken. You'll want to select a
reputable registration site, though, because there have been mix-ups in the past
(involving people who thought they'd scooped cool names after shelling out good
money for them, only to learn someone else had gotten to the name first -- and
then the unlucky bidder received zero compensation).
Speaking of money -- sites also differ in terms of the fees they charge for
registration. One of the biggest registration sites belongs to Network
Solutions, at www.nsi.com. In the earliest
days of the web, Network Solutions had a monopoly on the
domain-name-registration market. As a throwback to that era, www.nsi.com still
charges the standard, relatively high US$70 for a 2-year reservation of a domain
name. At www.register.com and at www.greatdomains.com, you can expect to
pay the same fees. Canadians will find a much sweeter deal at www.easyhosting.com, where the yearly fee
is a mere CAN$15 per annum. And www.reserveme.com charges the bare InterNIC
fee of US$20 for an annual reservation.
The actual registration process is quite straightforward on all these sites.
Just visit them, type in your idea for a wicked new e-appellation, see if it's
available, and then follow the step-by-step registration process (and have your
credit card at the ready, of course). Upon registration, you'll need to hook up
with either a web hosting company or an internet service provider to host your
newly-christened site. And you'll want to maybe come up with some content for
it, perhaps a design, some flash technology perhaps, plus a few dozen links, not
to mention advertising.