If you wish to develop a web site, this implies that you need a cheap domain. A domain name is a human-identifiable name that you type in your web browser's location bar when you desire to go to a particular web site.
Why Do You Need a Domain?
This is an issue I introduce because a week ago my boss suggested the idea of establishing a site for our brand new project. That itself is not a problem, the problem is that he needs a web site, but has not decided yet what it should look like, what it should comprise, and so on. All that he revealed to me was the name of the web site - its domain name. Thus, we now have a web address for a yet-to-be-made website and nothing else.
Each web site is hosted on a physical server. That physical server has its own physical address, popular also as an IP address. Reaching a site by writing the Internet Protocol address of the server in your web browser, though, is not the best and most suitable thing to do, so that was how and why domain names came into being. Thus, a domain corresponds to an IP on the Internet. Once it has been registered, that is.
Registering a Domain
To register a cheap domain, you first have to select a domain name registrar. NTC Hosting offers the best solution for my current and future projects - they offer a Domain Manager plan, which can be effortlessly upgraded to a web hosting plan later on - when my boss eventually reaches a decision about what function the web site will serve.
Hence, to register a domain name, you have to pick a name for your web site. Next, you have to pick a top-level domain name - this is what comes after the dot. For example, in 'dictionary.com', '.com' is the top-level domain name (TLD). Apparently, '.com' signifies 'company', '.net' signifies 'network', '.org' signifies 'organization', and so on.
Once you've picked your domain name and your future domain name registration provider, you need to discover whether the domain name you want to register is free, since someone else might have registered it before you, however annoying this might be. Each registrar, including NTC Hosting, offers a search tool at their sign-up page, which ascertains the availability of a particular domain name. To carry on with the registration of a domain name, you need to fill out certain registrant details - the name, the physical address, the e-mail address and the telephone number of the domain name's owner.
You've Registered a Domain Name... Now What?
I registered .com, .net, .org and .eu domain names for our project, as per the wish of my still-uncertain-about-the-purpose-of-the-future-website boss. I tried out the domain management tool NTC Hosting is offering and found it very useful - everything is neatly organized and, from what I saw in the Control Panel demo at their website, after we upgrade to a cheap web hosting package, it will stay the same, just with many more features. This, thank God, will save me quite a bit of discomfort from having to manage my domain and web hosting user account separately. So, while waiting for the boss to make a decision about at least what the site should comprise, I was glad to find that the domain name management dashboard contains DNS administration and domain renewal options, and - a very convenient functionality (!) - a parked domain name template, which I used in order to create a "Coming Soon" page for our domain names.
Country-Code Top-Level Domains
I was very glad to find that NTC Hosting is offering multiple country-specific Top-Level Domains, since the project the web site is meant for is international. Country-specific TLDs are delegated to national registry operators, which allow domain registrars to register cheap domains, usually at rates that are lower than those offered to the end users. There are many country-specific Top-Level Domains: .co.uk for the United Kingdom, .me for Montenegro, .es for Spain, .us for the United States, .ca for Canada, .com.au for Australia, etc. This, I think, will make my boss happy since we will be able to set up a local version of the website for each country where the project will be introduced.