Why Are Domain Names So Important?
Anyone who has ever used the internet will have used the Domain Name System (DNS). Put simply, a DNS helps computers exchange data on the internet and private networks. It turns a user-friendly domain name into an Internet Protocol (IP) address. This is usually made up of four sets of numbers that computers use to identify each other on the network.
Because numbers are difficult to remember, domain names are used instead. The IP address is used to send a request to the right site in the same way that dialling a phone number connects to a person you are trying to call.
Because of the Domain Name System, you connect through a domain name server which handles a massive database connecting domain names to IP addresses. Without DNS servers, the Internet would shut down very quickly
DNS names are structured in a hierarchical manner that allows for distributed administration. The highest layer is the Top Level Domain Name. A TLD, as it is often called, is the last set of a DNS name.
Currently, there are 7 TLDs, plus one for each country. The first 3 can be used by anyone while the last 4 are restricted to those who meet certain qualifications. The seven TLDs are:
- .org – used by non-profit organizations
- .net – supposed to only be used by network providers but typically used for more
- .com – used by commercial organizations
- .edu – used by four year educational institutions
- .mil – used by the United States of America Military
- .int – used by international organizations
- .gov – used by governments (i.e. the UK is .gov.uk)
Why are they good for my business?
A country code Top-Level Domain (ccTLD) lets you promote your business directly to the residents of a specific country — plus, it helps prevent competitors and copycats from infringing on your brand. You don’t need to speak the language to connect with customers in a different country.
Registering a European Domain Name
You have to register a domain name with a registrar. The main users of .eu domains are websites with pan-European intentions and audiences. It is the country code Top-Level Domain for the European Union and is available for organizations and residents in EU member states.
The .eu domain name is often used to emphasise the European identity of a website rather than it being a more global (.com) website address.
In most EU countries the national TLDs have the major share of the market with the rest spread over .com, .net, .org, .info and .biz.
How Can I Get A Domain Name?
Any individual or organisation residing within the European Union is eligible for a .eu name.
The TLD is administered by EURid. EURid is the European Registry for Internet Domains, an organisation appointed by the European Commission to regulate .eu Top-Level domains. The EURid accredits registrars, who in turn register individual domain names for companies, organisations and people who wish to use the .eu Top Level Domain (TLD) for their website.
Registration of a name for up to ten years can be done with a .eu accredited registrar.
When you register a .eu domain name, your details are recorded in the database along with the domain name. For privacy reasons EURid only publishes your email address and language if you are a private individual.
By registering a .eu domain name you become a registrant or domain name holder giving you the right to trade, transfer or delete your .eu domain name but you must not use the .eu name to violate third-party rights, laws or regulations, or discriminate on the basis of race, language, sex, religion or political views.
European Domain Names
Aside from being the second most popular ccTLD in the world, the economic benefits generated from the 2012 London Summer Games by having two-thirds of the world tuning in to witness the spectacle, will ensure the spotlight shines bright on .co.uk for many years to come.
By registering a .fr domain name you can enjoy maximum visibility among French Internet users – 82% of which prefer to use the services of companies that use the .fr TLD. Aside from already being used by more than two million individuals, companies and organizations to reach the French-speaking world, the .fr extension reinforces the feeling that the company is represented in all French territory.
Once registered, the location of your web site and email service are recorded so that they can be found when someone types in your domain name in a web browser or sends emails. Often the registrar offers a package where the domain name fee is included. You can change registrar and move your website and email services to a new registrar at any time without having to change your domain name.