What is DNS ?
At the heart of the internet is the Domain Name System (DNS), this enables computers real names known as IP addresses (e.g. 184.108.40.206) to be resolved as names (domain names) easily understood by people.
So who maintains the DNS ?
ICANN (The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers). The new authority who assigns the top level domain names, ".com, .uk, .biz, .info, .cd" etc. Every domain is like a folder / directory on your PC which can be further divided into new names, these are sub domains of the top level domain. Thus ".co.uk" is a subdomain of ".uk", and the authority to create ".co.uk" comes from the governing authority who runs ".uk". Sub domains under ".co.uk" are issued by Nominet Ltd. Other companies issue other subdomains such as CentralNic for example who are in charge of ".uk.com" domains.
How do i change / update / transfer my domains DNS ?
Please use the controlpanel Modify DNS section. You should have the DNS servers ready provided by your new hosts before you modify your domains DNS. Nameservers are usually named in one of the following fashions although this is possibly not the case : ns1.xxxxxxx.xxx dns0.xxxxxxxxxx.xxx someword.somehost.net etc... You may be supplied with anywthing between 1 and 6 nameservers to attach to your domain (at least 2 is recommended) and each of these may be accompanied by IP addresees (123.456.78.90 etc...) although do not worry as IPs are not compulsory. Click here to modify your DNS.
How long until my DNS changes take effect ?
When you make a change to your DNS you will have to allow 24 hours for this change to propogate itself. This 24 hour period is required because DNS entries are cached (usually in 24 hour periods) and your ISPs nameservers may contain the old nameservers.
What makes one domain better than another ?
Technically nothing as ".com" is just as useable globally as ".co.uk" or ".org" for example. Image is what its all about. If you trade mainly in the US, choose ".com" if you can get one as most are already taken. If an individual was to guess at a domain name in attempt to reach a website the most common suffix to be tried first will be ".com". Only after ".com" will the individual expore other suffixes. If you want to be instantly recognisable as a UK trading company you should choose ".co.uk". As the web can be accesses from anywhere in the world, country specific domain names are becoming less and less relevant i.e. Dell computers can be found at www.dell.nu (".nu" stands for Nuie, a small island in the Pacific ocean). A memorable word name can make your site stand out amongst many others competing for attention.
My domain is already registered, what can i do ?
Firstly you can try an alternative suffix, i.e. .biz, .net, .info, .cd etc. Secondly you should be aware that simply changing the name to plural (adding an 's' to the end) or adding a hyphen (-) inbetween words is perfectly legitimate and could yield far better results. But with 160,000 names registered every month the best idea is to register sooner rather than later to avoid disappointment. If you are worried that someone else may register using your name you should register as many permutations as you can afford.
What is a dispute policy ?
All TLD's are subject to ICANN's Uniform Domain-Name Dispute Resolution Policy. Details of this policy can be referenced here http://www.icann.org/udrp/
How long can i register a domain name for ?
.com, .net, .org, .biz .info, & .cd domain names can be registered for any period from 1 - 10 years in yearly increments. All .com, .net, .org, .biz, .info and .cd domains can only be registered for a maximum period of 10 years at any one time. You are more than welcome to increase your registration period at any time by visiting the domain renewal page in your control panel.
What is DNS ?