A domain name is a word sequences users enter in their browser’s location bar to visit your site, but are not a web site's true address. Domain names are attached to DNS (Domain Name System) servers, which are used to translate numeric addresses (known as IP addresses) into words. Each site you visit on the net has a numeric IP address behind its name, which represents the site's true address on the Internet.

Domain names are typically categorized by their extension, which is their identifying code. The three most popular types of Top Level Domains (TLDs) are:

.COM: Short for .commercial. Domain names with the .com extension are by far the most popular, and can be purchased by any individual or business.
.NET: Short for .network, this domain extension was originally designed to be used by technical Web sites. However, domains using this extension can be registered by anyone.
.ORG: Short for .organization. Originally designated for non-profit firms and any other organizations that did not fit under the .com or .net extension, any individual or business may now register a .org domain name.

Although .com, .net and .org are typically the most widespread and talked-about domain name extensions, they are not the only fully-functional ones that are available for use.

A domain name using a Country Code Top Level Domain (ccTLD) has a country code as its suffix instead of the typical .com, .net or .org extension. Each country has its own domain extension; Australia, for example, is .au.

A ccTLD can provide regional-specific branding that a typical TLD cannot, as ".com" Web sites are typically perceived to be American. There are a number of restrictions placed on exactly who can register a ccTLD, such as .com.au and .net.au. Read the the domain agreement to see if you are eligible before registering.

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Maximizing a domain name's value takes thought, creativity and effort - and it requires selecting a good name in the first place. Here are a few tips to maximizing your domain name's potential.

My domain's taken. Should I use hyphens?
Simply put, the answer is no. Hyphens make a domain name longer. Although a domain like Bobsinternetresources.com is long, it's not as long as bobs-internet-resources.com. Try describing that URL on the telephone: "It's Bob. hyphen. internet. hyphen." It can become very cumbersome.
Consider a ccTLD
From a functional perspective, country code Top Level Domains (ccTLDs) work just as well as any TLD. Therefore, more webmasters are choosing country-specific domains, as better names are typically available than when choosing a domain under the .com, .org or .net extensions.
Promote your domain to search engines
Once you have configured your domain to point to your Web site, you will need to ensure that search engines are aware of it. If they aren't, your site will receive very few visitors - even if you have managed to find a memorable, snappy domain name.
Think before you buy
In conclusion: because of their widespread availability and low price, domain names can often be an "impulse" buy. Most domains bought on a whim, however, are rarely used. As a result, consider multiple word combinations and domain types before you buy. Think hard before selecting you're domain; after all, you will be stuck with it for at least a year.
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