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What is a domain name?

What is a domain name

Let’s just jump straight into the juicy part of what a domain name is and what it means in our beautiful country of South Africa. The technical term for explaining what a domain name is, is a string of letters, numbers and certain characters that identify a certain realm of presence, authority and or by means of control on the world wide web.

Wow, that’s a mouthful! Let’s start by breaking it down on what the purpose is of having a domain name.

What is the purpose of having a domain name?

Having a domain name means you own a certain set of identification on the internet. So instead of people reaching out to your IP or Internet Protocol, they can make use of your domain name. But what do we mean by this? An easy example is reaching out using your email account linked to your domain name. A practical example might be:

info@webfast.co.za

Now, this is not your domain name but just a certain subset of your domain used specifically for emails. You can easily spot a domain name by looking at the unique identifier followed after the “@” symbol. In our case its “webfast.co.za”.

Every domain has their own unique name and cannot be duplicated, replicated or copied within the world. So this means that no one else within the world wide web can register “webfast.co.za”.

Knowing your TLD’s.

Let’s quickly clarify what a TLD or a Top Level Domain is. It refers to the end of your domain name where and what your domain is referring to where you are or what you are selling. An example is the end of www.webfast.co.za. The part “.co.za” is the TLD.

As your probably would have noticed is that after the name “webfast” you have a “.co.za” identifier.

This is used specifically for referring to the country code. You might have noticed that some domains use the country identifier called “.com” which doesn’t really refer to any country or region.

Domains such as “.org” refers to a non-profit organization website. “.tv” for video content. “.info” for general information to the world. But making use of these doesn’t mean you need to make it a non-profit, just informative information or video content. You can make use of the domain in any way the you please, as long as it’s legal of course.

How much does a .co.za domain cost?

Coming in at R0 when hosting any website with us, which includes a domain and email boxes.

If you don’t have a domain name or emails we are able to register a “.co.za” domain name annually for R199.

Working out the cost for a domain is quite easy as it is a fixed amount yearly. Registering the domain is usually not the expensive part. Where the price starts to increase is hosting a website or emails, as this has running costs for us as Webfast. You are able to do a monthly or yearly payment for emails for your domain name. Other domains such as “.africa” and “.capetown” comes in a little more expensive at R299 – R399 annually.

Is it worth getting a domain name for my business?

As a web design / development business we encourage all businesses to get their unique domain name even if it isn’t in use, you will most likely need to use it in the future and by then someone else could’ve registered it and you are unable to get it for yourself.

In short the answer is Yes, as soon as possible.

There aren’t really any downsides to just having the domain registered as it has extremely low running cost as for a .co.za domain name is only R199 annually. Which works out at R16.50 per month. That’s less than a 2L bottle of Coca-Cola!

In Summary

A domain is used for many things such as emails, websites and other forms of communication. We have learned that each domain name in the world is unique and that there are unique identifiers to say where or what type of website it is. Yet it doesn’t mean that you need to be in that country, city or profession to register that identifier. We have also learned that domains really aren’t expensive at all but when it comes to hosting a website it could become a little more expensive, but yet still very affordable for anyone or any business.

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