Introduction to Domain Names

If you want to have an internet site you will need a domain name – what you name depends on what you need and the type of contract you can afford.

Free Domain Name with Internet Access

If you have an internet contract you will usually have the option for free web space. This has the advantage that it is free. The main restriction will be the name that you can call the site – it will be what is called a sub-domain of your ISP. Thus your ISP’s name will be part of your main address.

There are three main negatives with using the ISP’s domain – the first is that if you change ISP you will lose your domain name.

The second is less important – some people say that search engines like Google will tend to rank sub-domains lower than named domains, but in any event the site will be more difficult to remember and the URL or domain name will usually be longer.

The third is a technical one and depends upon the type of web space that your ISP gives you and what you want to do with your web site. In simple terms some types of site cannot be run from free space because of technical limitations, but if you want a simple ‘static’ html web site you should be fine.

Your own Domain Name

A domain name of your own is not expensive – you should allow about £10 per year for the registration of the name. To retain it you will have to pay this every year but it will often come with web space for your site too, so if you move and want to keep your web site then nothing changes, including any literature you produce.

Most ISPs who provide domain names will have a useful tool to check site availability, for example OVH (the largest provider in France) offer one HERE

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