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|FAQ: Domain Registration|
is a domain name?
Will BigBiz register a domain name for me?
What's the difference between registering and reserving a domain name?
How do I register a domain name on my own?
Do I need to register more than one domain?
I already have a registered domain. Can I move it to BigBiz for hosting?
How do I add additional domains to an existing BigBiz account?
Can I change my domain name?
Should I keep my domain record up-to-date?
My site stopped working! / I can't get email!?
A domain name is an address that uniquely identifies an entity on the Internet. It can be personal, a business, a non-profit organization, an educational institution - any entity that exists on the Internet. Since each domain name is unique, it must be registered with an authority that has been granted (usually by a goverment body) the right to register Internet domains. The top-level domains are divided into two categories: global domains (.com, .org, .net) and country-specific domains that are identified by a two-letter country code (e.g., .ca for Canada, .de for Germany). Global domains may be registered by anyone as long as the name has not already been taken. Registering under one of the 191 country-specific domain names is bound by each country's registration requirements. Some country codes are restricted and anyone who wishes to register under that domain must meet strict regulatory, tax, trademark, and residency requirements. Other country-codes are wide open to anyone who wishes to register, as long as they pay the fee, most notable are .to, .cc, and .tv.
A domain name is hierarchical construct, that is to say, is made up of several parts, each of which occupy different levels, and each name at the same level of the hierarchy must be unique. For example there is only one .com at the top-level and only one bigbiz.com at the next level, and so on.
The top-level domain is the right-most portion of a domain name. There are two different categories of top-level domains that are commonly available to the general public: global domains (.com, .org, and .net) and country-specific domains (identified by a two-letter country code such as .ca for Canada and .de for Germany). There are also several restricted domains which are reserved for special use: .gov for the US government, .mil for the US military, and .edu for accredited universities.
BigBiz can (and does) host ALL domains - global, country, even restricted domains.
BigBiz is an accredited OpenSRS reseller - we can register .com, .net, .org and many other domains for you. The cost starts at $10 per domain name per year. For a list of the domains we can register and their prices, please see this list.
We can also transfer your existing domain name to our registrar. The transfer is free, but the domain name must be renewed for a minimum of one year.
If you are a new customer, we may require pre-payment for the domain registration and the first month's hosting fee.
You are not required to use our registration system. If you prefer to use another registrar, you are free to do so. Just make sure you set the correct nameservers for your domain name. Please follow the instructions outlined in How do I register or reserve a domain name myself?
When you register a domain name, you must provide technical information that is used to locate the entity pointed to by a domain name on the Internet. To obtain this information, you need to open an account with a service provider such as BigBiz. You will be assigned one or more nameservers that are responsible for translating your domain name to a numerical IP address. Without a nameserver, no one will be able to locate your domain on the Internet. Your intention is to put the domain name to use.
Reserving a domain name means you are setting aside a name you plan to use in the future and to make it impossible for someone else to use it. Sometimes this is called "domain parking". At BigBiz we can park your domain for free. If you want to register and park a domain you still need to register the domain and pay the domain registration fees.
To register/reserve a domain name, you must contact the registrar responsible for the appropriate top-level domain. In most cases, it involves providing some basic information (name, address, contact telephone numbers, etc.) and paying a fee. The fees differ from domain to domain and country to country. If you are registering a domain, you will need to supply a technical contact and two or more nameservers. For BigBiz clients, please use the following:
TECHNICAL CONTACT, ZONE CONTACT
Contact Name: Network Administration
Address: BigBiz Internet Services
2464 El Camino Real, PMB 536
Santa Clara, CA 95051
NIC Handle: DL842
IP Address: 22.214.171.124
IP Address: 126.96.36.199
IP Address: 188.8.131.52
NOTE: You may only be asked for two nameservers. In that case, use only nameserver 1 and 2.
Beware of domain name brokers - they usually charge a high fee to register your name, a procedure that may only take you a few minutes. In addition, certain country-specific domain registrars do not charge for name registration, but you will be charged by a broker for filling out a form.
This depends on the scope of the business you are conducting and whether you have a trademarked name. For corporations that have interests in more than one country, it is generally a very good idea to at least reserve the appropriate domains world-wide. For example, IBM (ibm.com) has registered ibm.ca (Canada), ibm.fr (France), ibm.co.jp (Japan), and many others. There are some services, such as idNames, that provide world-wide domain search and registration assistance.
Many users also register their names in all 3 .com, .net, and .org, example: forsale.com, forsale.net, forsale.org
It may sometimes be appropriate to register variants of a name under one domain, for example coke.com, cocacola.com, coca-cola.com, etc.
If you need to register multiple domain names for your site - we can "alias" all of them into a single account so they all point to your primary site. See the answer to "How do I add additional domains to an existing BigBiz account?".
The short answer is yes and we will do most of the work for you. BigBiz will even give you your first month of service free of charge! However you should be aware of the procedure and the time it takes, typically three to six working days. In addition, there are a few small things you should check beforehand to make sure the transition goes as smoothly and with as little service interruption as possible.
A domain move typically involves changing the nameservers and technical contact to the ones BigBiz use. You need access to your domain record at the registration service you used to register the domain. This would typically be access on the web with a userid and password, or by email to the administrative contact on record.
BigBiz allows you to subdivide your existing account into new domains. These domains will point to subdirectories under your main account. There will be one primary account and several secondary domains under it. For example, if your primary account is mystore.com where you sell books, clothes, and antiques, you may choose to register three secondary domains booksforsale.com, clothesforsale.com, and antiquesforsale.com. The three secondary domains will be set to point to subdirectories under your main directory:www.mystore.com ---------> ~/html
www.booksforsale.com ----> ~/html/booksforsale
www.clothesforsale.com --> ~/html/clothesforsale
www.antiquesforsale.com -> ~/html/antiquesforsale
When you upload pages for mystore.com, you will transfer the files to the directory ~/html. If you upload files related to booksforsale.com, you will transfer the files to the directory ~/html/booksforsale.
You may also alias a new domain name to an existing domain. For example if run an online business called cheapbooks.com, you may want to have a secondary domain called bookscheap.com to point to the same web space as cheapbooks.com. In this case, there are no subdirectories under your main directory.
For more information on shared domains, consult this information page. To open a secondary domain, please use the online Secondary Domain Agreement. There is a $20 one-time setup fee for processing this form. You will incur an additional monthly charge of $10 if the new domain will point to a subdirectory on your main web site. If the new domain points to the same web space as the primary domain, there is no additional monthly charge.
Once you register a domain name, it is yours for the duration of the registration. If you decided a different domain name would be more appropriate, you would need to ALSO register the new name. There is no refund for domain registrations.
At BigBiz, you can request we delete the original account and open a new account for the new name. Or if you already began doing business under the old name, it may be wiser to "alias" in the new domain so people can still use your old name. This will give you a much smoother transition to the new name.
Your domain record includes the following information:
- Registrant - who legally owns the domain
- Administrative Contact - who can authorize changes on the domain
- Billing Contact - who pays for the registration and renewals
- Technical Contact - usually your ISP (BigBiz!)
- Nameservers - a list of specialized "nameserver" machines at your ISP
It is VERY IMPORTANT to make sure the information in your domain record is kept up-to-date, especially the administrative and billing contact's address and email address. We've seen many cases where a domain has expired because the owner could not be contacted about renewal, or the owner want to make a change but cannot because the email address isnt up to date.
Your registrar should be able to help you update your record. If you used BigBiz's OPENSRS registration system you can edit the domain info, email us for details.
Use the Domain Tool to lookup your current domain record.
A common situation for why your site is down is because your domain name has expired. Remember registrations are for a period of time, typically 1 or 2 years, and need to be renewed yearly after that.
All registration services will have a procedure for renewing a domain. Typically you will need to pay their renewal fee and your domain will be back online within 24-48 hours. If you registered your domain using the BigBiz/OPENSRS system, just email firstname.lastname@example.org to renew. In most cases you can renew the registration for multiple years, up to 10 years. This may be appropriate if you prefer not to have to renew each year.
It is also likely your domain record is out-of-date, your registrar has attempted to contact you about renewing, but cant because your address or email address is too old. You should make sure your domain record is up to date, see the previous answer.
If your expired domain is not renewed it will lapse and become available for other parties to register. If owning the domain name is important - you need to renew it.