Thursday, June 21, 2012

An Introduction to Buying and Selling Domain Names

The domain name industry is extremely active and competitive, which makes it no surprise that so many people are becoming involved in buying and selling domain names on a daily basis. Unfortunately, there is a lot of misinformation online concerning the value and selling process of domain names.

If you're interested in profiting from one of the fastest growing industries in the world, then it's important to have the facts on domaineering.

Types of Domain Speculation

Domain speculation is the art of judging the value of buying and selling domain names. For many individuals and businesses, this practice has become a full-time profitable job.

There are currently two main types of domain speculators: those that buy domains, build sites around them, and then flip the domain and accompanying website, and then there are those that buy and sell domain names without web sites attached. While both can be very lucrative businesses, the second type is much easier for novices to learn, and as such, shall be the topic of discussion for this article.

How to Obtain Valuable Domain Names

Buying a domain name is simple, however, finding one that will actually yield a profit is much more difficult. There are a myriad of factors that determine the value of a domain name, but the major factors are memorability and keyword/SEO optimization.

One of the best ways to obtain a valuable domain that is already search engine optimized is to purchase existing domains via auction sites. This strategy can be beneficial mainly in two ways. Firstly, any domain that has already been purchased was probably already researched for potential benefits. Secondly and more importantly, the second benefit is that many recently expired domains still retain some of the search engine optimization attributes that were built up by the previous owner. For example, a recently expired domain name may still have active backlinks on the web, and the page rank of the domain could still be high, giving the purchaser instant SEO gratification with minimal effort.

Using keyword research tools is another great way to find out which domains could prove to be valuable, as many webmasters use such tools when deciding which domains to buy. If you can obtain a domain name that contains a popular keyword, then you can easily find a buyer in most cases.

Selling the Domain Name

Acquiring what you believe may be a valuable domain name is the easiest part of the equation. Finding the right buyer is much more difficult. Using auction sites and forums is perhaps the best way to find qualified buyers that are interested in your domain, and using auctions will take some of the stress away from establishing the value of a domain name yourself.

If your domain name is related to a particular niche, then you may find success by advertising in forums that are related to that niche. Simply placing a link in the signature of your posts can tremendously speed up the selling process. While it may be possible to find prospective webmasters on niche-specific forums, it is generally better to advertise on webmaster forums, where there is a high volume of potential customers.

Most auction sites will be heavy with competition, and many of the domains for sale also include a full pre-constructed web site that may already be generating a profit. Before listing your domain for sale, it is important to ensure that you're not stepping into a market that is saturated with full website and domain packages.

Domain Name Squatting and Volume Selling

Unfortunately, most domain names take at least a couple of months to sell, especially without an attached website. Thus, there is no need to become discouraged if your domain name does not sell immediately. Most people make the mistake of quitting their domain speculation endeavor after waiting for several months to sell without success. In reality, domain name squatting can be just as profitable, and it is a valid form of long term investing.

Consider, for example, the domain name How much was this domain name worth in 1995 vs. 2010? For the domaineer with patience, sold in 2010 for $700,000, surely a significantly higher amount than it would have secured in the 1990s.

Instead of focusing on one domain name to sell quickly, try selling large volumes of domain names over longer periods of time. While this may require a more substantial investment, it will also return a greater profit in the long term. Remember, if you follow the basic principles of domain name speculation, there is good chance that your domain names will sell eventually.

How Domain Names Work

Most people understand that a domain name is simply the basic web address of a web site, but few people actually understand how domain names work. If you're struggling to understand the basics of how domain names function on a technical level, then the information contained herein may prove to be quite useful.

A domain name is actually a lingual representation of an IP address, which is a series of numbers separated by dots. Every web site is given an IP address, however it is much more difficult to remember this segmented sequence of numbers instead of remembering a simple phrase. This is the basic concept of domain names, but the process through which an IP address is translated into a domain names is a bit more complicated.

Domain Name Levels

Domain names are divided into three different levels that represent different parts of a domain name. The first level (also known as the top-level) of the domain is the extension of the domain. For example, in the domain name “,” the .com portion of the domain is the top-level domain (TLD).

There are also country code top-level domains that are referred to as ccTLDs.

In all, there are over 200 top-level domains (TLDs) or domain name extensions to choose from, most of which are country code TLDs. Generic TLDs contain three or four letters, like .com, .net, .org, or .info, while country code top-level domains usually contain two letters following a .co, such as (United Kingdom) or (India).

A complete list of country code TLDs can be found on the official IANA web site.

Domain Name Formatting

Domain names have to be at least two characters long and cannot exceed 63 characters total (minus the TLD). Domain names can include any combinations of numbers, letters and hyphens, but cannot contain any other symbols or spaces. The first and last characters of a domain name cannot be a hyphen.

Connecting Domain Names to IP Addresses

When you type in a domain name in the address bar of your browser, you're actually connecting to a specific IP address. The domain name is directly associated with this IP address upon registration, and the connection of domain names to IP addresses is managed and regulated by ICANN ( Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers).

The best analogy for domain names and IP addresses would be vanity phone numbers – you can call some numbers by inputting a word or phrase into the keypad of the phone, but in reality, you're actually accessing a phone number through your telephone line. Technically, you can enter the IP address of a web site into your browser and it will appear as usual, but this is rarely done because it is much less convenient.

Domain Name Registration

In order to associate a domain name with a web site or an IP address, you must first register the domain (by purchasing it). Registering a domain name is simple and requires no special skills or prerequisites.
ICANN continuously maintains a list of accredited domain registrars from which you can purchase domain names.

Domains are registered for a specified time period, after which the domain expires and is open for new registration by another individual or business. When a domain registration is about to expire, the registrant of the domain is notified via email or phone call within two weeks of the expiration date.

It is important to note that intellectual property rights do apply to domain names, so you are not legally allowed to register a domain name that contains a term or phrase that is trademarked or copyrighted.

Pointing a Domain Name

After registering a domain name, it is necessary to point the domain name to a web site. This can usually be done within the control panel of the domain registrar's web site. Simply change the name servers of your domain, and it will be pointed towards whichever nameserver you'd like.

Usually, you will need to obtain the names of these nameservers from your web hosting company. Most web hosts will include information on how to point your domain in the proper fashion.

It is important to note that it can take anywhere from a couple of minutes to several days for a domain to become active on the internet after the official completion of registration and nameserver adjustments.

The Basics of Domain Name Registration

Domain names are words or phrases that are combined with a domain TLD to access a website through a browser. In simple terms, the domain name is just the name of your web site. It is important to note that it is possible to have several domain names pointing to the same web site through the process of URL forwarding.

It is also possible to own a domain name without associating it with a web site; when this is done it is called a “parked” domain, as it is not yet being used.

Registering a domain is usually a simple process, and most people can do so without assistance. However, if you're having trouble understanding the domain name registration process, then you may want to consider the following information.

Where to Buy Domain Names

Domain names are sold by domain registrars that have access to the DNS database. Many web hosting companies are also domain name registrars, and some even offer package deals that include discounts for hosting plans and domain names bundled together. In fact, some web hosts offer free domain names with certain hosting plans. Often times you can receive a discount when purchasing multiple domain extensions simultaneously.

Aside from standard domain registrars, it is also possible to purchase aged domains from domain auction sites. Purchasing an aged domain has many benefits, including better search engine optimization attributes with no effort.

During the domain name registration, there are a variety of options to choose from, some of which can be confusing to the novice webmaster. The following information may help you make the best decisions during the registration process.

Domain Name Extensions

The first option you'll need to consider is the domain name extension, which is basically the letters that appear after the last dot. For example, .com is a domain name extension. While most people tend to choose a .com domain, it may be best to research the meaning of each extension before choosing one that is suitable for your web site. There are now an abundance of extensions, such as .org, .net, .co, .tv, and a plethora of country-specific domain extensions.

The domain extension is the main factor that will affect the cost of the domain registration. Dot com domains tend to cost the most, with a yearly registration costing about $10 from most domain registrars. The cheapest domain extension other than free domains is .info, which usually only costs about $1 per year. Free domain names include .tk and .cc, however, it is important to note that these domains generally have a harder time ranking higher in the search engine results.

Registration Length

When registering a domain, you have the option of choosing how long you would like to lease the domain. Usually, the typical time periods available are 1 year, 3 years, 5 years, and 10 years. Most professional business owners register domains for 10 years at a time, as this will prevent any unnecessary expiration and/or loss of the domain. However, if you don't want to spare the additional expense of registering the domain for long periods of time, then it should be noted that adequate notification is usually issued by the domain registrar before the domain registration expires.

Registration Privacy

Another important option to consider during the registration is whether or not you would like the domain ownership details to be private. When you register a domain name, by default, the contact and billing information for the domain are stored in a publicly viewable database known as the WHOIS database.

Contrary to popular belief, this database is often used by marketers (including telemarketers) to send harassing advertisements. The information can also be used for legal disputes or personal vendettas as well. If you don't want your name, address, phone number and other personal information available to the public, then you may want to consider private domain registration. The option for private registration is offered by most domain registrars, and it usually only costs about $10 extra per year.

Business Certification

You'll also have the option of certifying the domain as an official business entity, which offers a variety of advantages. Certifying a domain usually only costs about $2- $5, depending upon the particular registrar. Having a certified domain will mean that you can legally prove ownership in court using a printed certificate of the domain registration. If you plan on using your web site to operate an official business, then you may want to consider the benefits of certifying your domain name during the registration process.

Understanding The Value of Domain Names

Domain names are an integral part of the way the internet functions, as they directly represent the name of a web site. Without domain names, a web surfer would have to type in an IP address in the address bar of their browser, which is basically a string of numbers separated by dots. Obviously, these segmented number sequences are much more difficult to remember than the standard web site name, thus domain names were invented.

Understanding the basics of domain names is rather simple, especially for those with adequate internet knowledge and a bit of technical sense. However, trying to judge the value of a domain name is much more difficult. In fact, there are even companies and individuals known as domain speculators that specialize in judging the value of domain names.

There are three basic factors that directly contribute to the value of a domain name: memorability, keyword/SEO optimization potential, and the value of the attached site (if applicable).

If you're curious about the value of a domain name, then you may find the following information to be quite useful.

The Length of the Name

Statistically, domain names that are shorter have been sold for higher profits. This is because shorter domain names are generally more memorable, and therefore, they become popular more easily than longer domain names. The length of the domain name is the most important factor that affects the memorability of the attached web site.

In addition, with a shorter domain name, there is a lessened likelihood of typos.

In today's competitive internet industry, it is nearly impossible to find a domain name that is shorter than six letters. Names like eBay, Ask, Google, Yahoo, Go, and Bing are all perfect example of incredibly popular domain names that are under six letters. Purchasing a domain name that is less than six letters usually requires you to bid on the name at an auction site, or purchase the domain directly from the owner. Either way, these domains are never cheap, and they are usually more than $10,000.

Keyword/SEO Optimization

Another very important factor to consider when judging the value of a domain name is whether or not the name contains and frequently searched for keywords. For example, although the word “basketball” is much more than six letters, it is a very common term that would most likely yield a lot of web traffic from search engines.

When people purchase domain names, ideally they'd like to put forth minimal effort to begin seeing progress. For this reason, many domain speculators and webmasters only buy domain names that already have a significant keyword value. Thus, it is important to consider the predefined popularity of name before judging its value. For example, while the domain name “” may sound appealing to some people, it has no keyword value because nobody is searching for that term. When registering domain names, it is best to ensure that your desired name has some inherent keyword value.


Although the term “commerciality” is not technically a word in the dictionary, it is commonly used in the internet industry to describe something with commercial value. If the domain name pertains to something that can be sold or marketed, then there is a very high chance that it will sell for a greater price. A domain name that is related to a popular product would be much more valuable than a domain name that is simply related to a funny phrase or a personal opinion, even if the “non-commercial” domain is shorter. The more of an opportunity there is to make a profit with the domain, the more likely someone will make a substantial investment to acquire the domain.

Letters and Numbers

Surprisingly, even though domains that contain hyphens and numbers are often more appealing and easier to read, these domain names generally rank lower in the search engines. Most people do not include numbers or hyphens when they submit a search engine query. Thus, most domain speculators recommend purchasing a domain name that does not contain any hyphens (-) or numbers.

Many people make the mistake of purchasing a domain name like “” simply because the alternative “” is not available. If you run into a roadblock like this, it may be best to move in to a new idea, rather than purchasing a domain name with hyphens and/or numbers. Choosing a domain name that is memorable, contains no symbols or numbers, and includes popular keyword phrases is the best way to ensure that your domain name investment is safe and profitable.

What is the Domain Name System?

The domain name system, also referred to as simply the DNS, is an intricate worldwide network of web servers that collectively comprise a global database of domain names and IP addresses. The domain name system is the central point of the entire internet, and it is directly responsible for the way web addresses are used.

The job the domain name system is to take standard web addresses and domain names and translate them into segments of numbers that are compatible with computer dialogue. These numbers are known as IP addresses, and they are an integral part of the way the internet works.

Domain Name System and Domains

The domain name system is organized into a carefully structured hierarchy of servers that transmit data, keep the DNS database secure, and ensure its continuity.

When you register a web site, the site that you used to purchase your domain name usually holds the DNS records for your domain. DNS servers are also referred to as simply “nameservers.” Domains are stored on the DNS servers to which they are “pointed.” Pointing a domain is as simple as changing a setting within the control panel of your domain registrar account.

Assigning DNS Servers

The owner of a domain has the right to point their domain towards any DNS they would like, and after purchasing a hosting plan, a domain owner will usually point their domain towards the DNS of their web server.

Pointing a domain is as simple as typing the web address of the DNS server into a box. A DNS server web address usually appears as NS1.WEBHOST.COM and NS2.WEBHOST.COM. Every web host has two nameservers for redundancy, or protection from any unexpected mishaps, such as server crashes and security attacks. Although nameserver addresses are frequently displayed in capital letters, they are not case sensitive.

Finding the address of your web hosts nameserver is as simple as asking a hosting agent or browsing the control panel of your hosting account. Most of the time, this information will be displayed within the control panel of your web hosting account.

How IP Addresses Are Loaded

IP addresses are managed by different organizations that independently own DNS servers. For example, all .com web addresses are handled by Network Solutions, Inc. Thus, when a .com web site is accessed in your web browser, the site is loaded from a DNS server at Network Solutions, Inc., and the data is then transferred to your computer based on the URL that is attached to the IP address. Most people don't realize that they can also enter in the exact IP address of the site instead of the domain name and access the same information.

In essence, the domain name system is simply a database that translates regular letters into numbers that computers can decipher and use for communication. The database is distributed evenly amongst thousands of servers to prevent data failure, ensuring that every web site remains active and can be accessed when entered into the address bar of a browser.

What is a DNS Server?

A DNS (Domain Name System) server is a type of web server used to interact with the domain name system, which is the global directory of domain names and corresponding IP addresses. DNS technology automatically translates long and confusing IP address (which are segmented number sequences separated by dots, such as into standard domain names that are easier to remember.

The domain name system is comprised of thousands of domain name servers around the world, which accumulatively make up the largest digital database on the planet. DNS servers operate using special software that transmits data from the DNS server to various web hosts upon request.

In basic terms, the internet would fail to exist as we know it without the Domain Name System and DNS servers.

What is a DNS Root Server?

DNS root servers are the base of the domain name system, communicating only with each other using private network encryption protocols. These web servers are at the top of the internet hierarchy, storing all information related to a domain name and its IP address.

There are only 13 root servers in the entire world, each one labeled a letter of the alphabet, up to M. Ten of these crucial servers are located within the United States, with one in London, one in Japan, and one in Sweden.

What is the DNS Hierarchy?

The domain name system is operated in a hierarchy that keeps the domain name database separate, and the only servers that house the entire database are the aforementioned DNS root servers. The rest of the DNS servers in the world house only fragments of the database for particular web hosts and web sites. Most of these low level DNS servers are owned by Internet Service Providers or private businesses.

When you browse a web site, your web browser is actually directly communicating with your ISP’s DNS server to retrieve data from other domains before displaying it on your screen. In some cases, the DNS server will not need to communicate with another server to display the page; however, in many cases, especially when you visit a foreign or private web page, your ISP’s DNS server will have to act as a DNS client and retrieve data from another DNS server.

Your Connection to DNS Servers

Every computer that is connected to the internet is also connected to a DNS server. When you setup a connection through your Internet Service provider, you are actually establishing a connection with their DNS server. You are given a public IP address that is used to identify your computer on the network.

If you are a webmaster, then you will need to learn the web address of your web host’s DNS server in order to point your domain to that server. Doing this is usually as simple as typing the web of the DNS in your domain registrar’s control panel.

What Are DNS Records?

DNS stands for Domain Name System, which is the largest digital database in the world, containing information about every web site on the internet. Every web site online has an IP address that is its actual internet location, and this number is used to locate the web site within the database. The data that tells the web server how to respond to your input is known as the DNS records, or zone files. These records play a vital role in the functionality of the internet, and any aspiring internet technology expert should learn the following facts about DNS records and how they are used.

DNS Records Explained

DNS records are basically mapping files that tell the DNS server which IP address each domain is associated with, and how to handle requests sent to each domain. When someone visits a web site, a request is sent to the DNS server and then forwarded to the web server provided by a web hosting company, which contain the data contained on the site.

Various strings of letters are used as commands that dictate the actions of the DNS server, and these strings of commands are called DNS syntax. Some DNS records syntax that are commonly used in nearly all DNS record configurations are A, AAAA, CNAME, MX, PTR, NS, SOA, SRV, TXT, and NAPTR. The following paragraph details the meaning and usage of each of these syntax.

DNS Syntax Types Explained

An “A” record, which stands for “address” is the most basic type of syntax used in DNS records, indicating the actual IP address of the domain. The “AAAA” record is an IPV6 address record that maps a hostname to a 128-bit Ipv6 address. Regular DNS addresses are mapped for 32-bit IPv4 addresses.

The “CNAME” record stands for “canonical name” and serves to make one domain an alias of another domain. CNAME is often used to associate new subdomains with an existing domain's DNS records.

The “MX” record stands for “mail exchange” and is basically a list of mail exchange servers that are to be used for the domain.

The “PTR” record stands for “pointer record” and maps an Ipv4 address to the CNAME on the host.

The “NS” record stands for “name server” and indicates which Name Server is authoritative for the domain.

An “SOA” record stands for “State of Authority” and is easily one of the most essential DSN records because it stores important information like when the domain was last updated and much more.

An “SRV” record stands for “service” and is used to define a TCP service on which the domain operates.

A “TXT” record lets the administrator insert any text they'd like into the DNS record, and it is often used for denoting facts about the domain.


DNS records are an important, yet unseen aspect of how the internet works. If you're studying internet technology or training to become a server administrator, you will definitely need to learn more information about all of the aforementioned DNS record types and their uses.

Common TLDs and Their Uses

A TLD (top-level domain), also referred to as a domain extension, is simply the letters that appear at the end of a domain name. For example, in the domain name “,” .com would be the TLD.

All of us are familiar with .com, and most internet savvy individuals are aware of its intended uses, being that it is an abbreviation for commercial. However, there are many other types of TLDs assigned by the IANA (Internet Assigned Numbers Authority) that are commonly used, and many many people are not familiar with their meaning or their usage.

If you're interested in learning more about common TLDs and their uses, the following information may be useful.

Most Common TLDs

At the moment, there are 20 different TLDs available that are not country codes, including some less conventional and seldom mentioned ones like .aero. The following list depicts some of the most popular TLDs and their intended uses.

• .com (commercial) – The most popular TLD, .com was meant to be used for commercial purposes, but is now used for virtually every cause imaginable.
• .net (network) – Intended for network web sites, this TLD is also commonly misused for a variety of purposes.
• .org (organization) – Another commonly misused TLD, .org was originally meant for sites that represent organizations and non-profits.
• .edu (education) – This is usually used by colleges and other educational institutions, and it is not typically available for public registration.
• .mil (military) – Restricted to military use only, .mil is not available for public registration.
• .gov (government) – Restricted to government use only, .gov is not available for public registration.
• .co (company) – A newly launched TLD, .co is speculated to become popular and a runner-up alternative to .com.
• .biz (business) – This is one of the rarer TLDs on the list. .biz is intended for business use, but its popularity pales in comparison to the .com TLD.
• .info (informational) – This TLD has gained a lot of popularity because, surprisingly, it has the potential to rank highly in the search engines, even though registration only costs about a dollar.
• .me (personal) – The least common on this list, .me is often used for personal websites.

Uncommon Facts About TLDs

Since .com, .org and .net tend to have higher search engine rankings, these are the most popular and misused TLDs. Aside from .me and .info, most of the common TLDs contain three letters, however one of the most important TLDs on the internet that is seldom mentioned is .arpa. ARPA stands for Address and Routing Parameter Area, and this is the TLD used to maintain the integrity of the internet. Most .ARPA domains are designated to domain servers that maintain the domain database of the internet.

Country Code TLDs

Unlike conventional TLDs, country code specific TLDs contain two letters following a .co. For example, the country code TLD for the United Kingdom is The popularity and prevalence of country code domains depends upon that particular part of the world because search engines return geo-targeted results.

While the above list contains only nine of the most common global TLDs, there are approximately 200 country specific TLDs available for registry at the moment. The new .co domains were originally intended to represent sites in Columbia, but has now been transferred to global commercial use and is being marketed as an alternative to .com by some registrars.

What is a DNS Lookup?

DNS stands for domain name system, which is the database responsible for storing all of the information pertaining to IP addresses and domain names online. DNS servers are used to carry and transmit this data from one computer to another. All of this data is stored on a network that is backed up by thousands of separate DNS servers and stored on single root DNS servers in the United States, Japan, London and Sweden.

These servers carry tremendous volumes of data, and every day, the network is growing. Fortunately, there is a way to conduct a DNS lookup to obtain some of this data for whatever reason you see fit. The following information outlines the process of conducting a DNS lookup and some of the reasons why people usually use DNS lookup services.

WHOIS Database

The database previously mentioned that stores all of the DNS records of the world is called the WHOis database and can be searched through several different web sites. The main site for WHOIS lookups is Network Solutions, Inc.'s site (a company that is partially responsible for maintaining the records). is also commonly used to obtain domain registration details and DNS records.

Unfortunately, there is no way to verify whether the information you find in the WHOis database is accurate or truthful, as there are no requirements for providing authentication of data when registering a domain name. In other words, anyone can register practically any site they would like in any name, with any address, with the exception of government or military sites.

Nonetheless, many times, the WHOis database will return enough information to proceed with your investigation.

Preventing Spam

One of the reasons why people use the WHOis database to look up information is to prevent spam attacks from a particular web server or IP address. When your site is attacked by spam repeatedly, it is possible to obtain the IP address(es) of the attackers and then use a reverse DNS lookup tool to obtain site registration information of that IP address (if there is any).

It is important to note that these reverse lookup tools differ from the conventional WHOis searches because you are obtaining information based on the IP address, instead of an actual domain name. It may be very difficult to obtain the identity of the spammer, but it is possible to contact their web host and have them shut down if the right information is obtained from the reverse lookup service.

Maintaining Site Security

Even more violent than spam is the dreaded DDoS attack , which is basically a security attack on your web site from dozens or even hundreds of IP address simultaneously. The DDoS (Distributed Denial of Service) attack in particular is geared towards causing your server to crash due to an overload of fake traffic in a short period of time. However, some hackers will use the same method to guess your site's passwords by repeatedly sending requests until the correct password is retrieved.

If you notice an unusual amount of traffic suddenly, then you may want to conduct a reverse DNS lookup and get to the root of it before it becomes a problem, especially if the traffic is originating from a group of similar IP addresses.

Types of DNS Servers

A DNS (Domain Name System) server, also known as a name server, is a web server that is specifically designed to connect with a massive database that stores all information about domain names and their corresponding DNS records. These records include the registrant of the domain, the web host, active nameservers and other information.

A domain name's DNS servers are listed in the WHOis database and the web hosting control panel, and appear as NS1.NAMESERVER.COM and NS2.NAMESERVER.COM.

The Basics

There are thousands of DNS servers around the world that contain pieces of the database, but there are only 13 root DNS servers that contain the entire database on each server.

There are two types of DNS servers – primary and secondary. It is important to note, however, that any DNS server can be used as a primary or a secondary server, depending on the preference of the sever administrator. It is even possible to have the same server be a primary server for one zone and a secondary server for another.

If you're interested in learning more about primary and secondary DNS servers, then you may want to consider the following information.

Primary Master DNS Servers

A primary master name server reads data for the domain zone from a file located on the web server of the hosting account. This server usually also sends information to the secondary server as well.

Zone data is the information specified by the server administrator that tells the server how to behave and communicate with other servers. When a primary server communicates with a secondary server, it is called a zone transfer because zone data is being transferred from one DNS to another.

Two DNS servers are assigned to each domain to make administration easier and provide more security than just a single server. Once zone data has been created for a primary server, it does not need to be copied over to the secondary server because the two servers automatically share zone data.

Secondary DNS Servers

A secondary DNS server, also called a slave server or simply a slave, receives zone data from the primary server automatically after starting. In Microsoft's DNS manager software, secondary DNS servers are referred to as secondaries. Every time a secondary server functions, it requests information from its master server.

It is important to note that a secondary server does not need to pull data form a primary server because another secondary server can be set up as the master server.

Secondary DNS servers are just as important as primary servers because they provide security in the form of redundancy. They also lessen the load placed on the primary server and ensure that there is always a server working to deliver data. By diversifying the administrative structure of domain name servers, the security of web sites and the internet in general is ensured.

The Difference Between DNS and Name Servers

The DNS (Domain Name System) is a massive network of servers that comprises the largest digital database on the planet. This database is maintained, managed and regulated by several internet authorities, including the IANA (Internet Assigned Numbers Authority) and ICANN (Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers).

Many people confuse the various terms associated with the DNS and mistakenly refer to them as either the same thing or completely separate entities. In truth, they are neither separate nor are they the same thing; rather, they are integral pieces to the puzzle that is the world wide web.

If you're interested in learning the difference between a DNS and a name server, then you may want to consider the following information.

What is the DNS?

Contrary to a seemingly popular misconception, DNS does not stand for Domain Name Server or Domain Name Software. DNS is an abbreviation for the aforementioned system that catalogs every domain and IP address on the internet, including registration information, as well as their relation to other domains and web hosts. The DNS is the central database of the internet, and without it, the internet would cease to exist as we know it.

Before the domain name system was devised, computers would connect to each other via IP addresses, which are strings of segmented numbers separated by dots. An example of an IP address would be (a common IP address for a local router). The domain name system attaches a name to this number so that site visitors can easily remember and return to web addresses.

What is DNS Software?

DNS software is a program that is installed on a web server and used to facilitate the transference of data related to the domain name system. Technically, any web server can have DNS software installed on it, making the server a name server; however, some web hosts will not allow you to install or configure software within your hosting control panel, especially in shared hosting plans.

If you’re interested in installing DNS software on a web server to create a custom nameserver, you'll either need a VPS or dedicated hosting plan, unless you'd like to invest several thousand dollars in a private web server.

What is a Name Server?

A name server is a web server that has DNS software installed on it, particularly a server that is managed by a web host that is specifically designated for managing the domain names that are associated with all of the hosting provider's accounts.

Name servers are often called DSN servers as well, and this is likely the origin of all of the confusion associated with name servers and the DNS.

Every web site has two name servers to which it is pointed, and this process must be done by the webmaster upon purchasing a domain and a hosting account. If you have more questions about domain name pointing and your web hosting name servers, it is recommended that you contact your web hosting provider.

The Benefits of Country Code TLDs

A TLD (top-level domain), or domain name extension, is basically the letters that appear after the main part of the domain name. For example, in the domain name “,” the TLD would be .com.

Choosing the right TLD can have a substantial impact on the search engine ranking and subsequent popularity of your site, and once it has been chosen, there is no way to change it other than buying a new domain, which is why it is important to make the right decision the first time around.

What are Country Code TLDs?

Country code TLDs, also referred to as ccTLDs, are domain extensions that are specific to a particular nation. There are a variety of benefits to using a country code TLD, most of which are listed below. If you’re interested in receiving targeted traffic or opening a web site for your local business, then you may want to consider the following information.

Local Targeting

Perhaps the most notable advantage of country code TLDs is the fact that you can target traffic form specific areas of the world. This is possible because search engines return different results depending on the IP address of the person searching. When the results are returned, there will be many local results shown on the first page. For example, if a person in India visits the Google web site, they will be brought to, which is the Indian version of Google.

Any web searches they conduct will be far more likely to return sites with the TLD than with a TLD. However, it is important to note that .com domains and other regular TLDs will still be the predominant search results, regardless of the country in which the search is being executed.

If you own a local business and you would like to attract targeted traffic to your site within that area, then you will need to choose the appropriate country code TLD. Aside from using a country code TLD, you can also list your site in local business directories online to enhance targeted traffic levels.

Better Domain Names

Another benefit of country code TLDs that is often overlooked is the fact that there is a wider selection of premium domain names available within the country code TLD database. This is because the conventional .com, .org and .net domains are all extremely saturated, and most all of the good names have been taken. Most people don’t realize that it is possible to register a domain name with a foreign country code TLD that is very similar to another site's domain name, as long as it is not in violation of copyright laws.

For example, instead of trying to purchase, which is certainly not be available, it may be wiser to try and purchase (the Australian version). Although this would only give you access to the Australian market, you could repeat the process with the same domain name for every available country code TLD, registering and so on until you have targeted a decent amount of countries.

How to Create a Name Server

When you purchase a web hosting plan, you are given two name server address that you must input into your domain registrar’s hosting account in order to point your domain to the web server you are leasing. After doing this, you can log back into your hosting account and then confirm ownership of the domain, thereby associating the domain with your hosting account for easy management. A Name Server will appear as NS1.NAMESERVER.COM and NS2.NAMESERVER.COM and is issued by your hosting provider within the control panel of your hosting account.

The addresses of your name servers are publicly displayed within the WHOis database for anyone to see, unless you opt for private registration. If you made the mistake of not opting for private registration, it is possible to create your own name servers to at least conceal the identity of your web hosting company.

If you own an online business and you want to portray professionalism, then creating your own name servers can help you appear more independent than you actually are.

If this sounds interesting to you, then you may want to consider the following information about creating your own name servers.

Installing DNS Software

The first step in creating your own name server is installing DNS software on your web server. It is important to note that some hosting accounts, especially those that operate in the shared hosting environment, will not allow you to do this, and the best type of hosting plans to do this is with dedicated hosting or VPS hosting.

In order to install the DNS software, you also need to have access to the server's root, and most shared plans do not allow this, but in some cases, the hosting provider will make an exception.

Before going through the hassle of finding the right DNS software, it is important to check with your web host to make sure you're able to perform the aforementioned actions.

Obtain IP Addresses and a Domain

You'll also need access to at least two IP addresses within your hosting account, which is important to note because this is usually only offered with dedicated or VPS hosting plans. However, it is possible to purchase additional IP addresses from the hosting provider if your plan currently only includes one. If the hosting provider will not sell you an additional IP address, then you will need to change hosting plans.

You'll also need a domain name to associate with your name servers. This can be the domain that you are currently using, or you can purchase an additional one especially for this purpose.

Adding the New Name Servers to the Control Panel

Although this process generally differs depending on the hosting provider and the type of DNS software you’re using, most people can do it without any previous training. Simply by visiting your hosting provider’s control panel, you can add new name servers.

You'll need to choose the name of your name server, which will be added as a subdomain before the domain name of the name server. For example, you can choose or

Then, it is as simple as walking through the steps outlined in the name server portion of your control panel. You will add the name you have selected for your name server, and with a few clicks, the process will be completed.

However, if your hosting control panel does not contain a name server section, then your hosting provider may need to assist you with the configuration.

How to Choose the Right TLD for Your Domain

Choosing the right TLD (top-level domain) or extension for your web site can be a difficult process, especially when the .com version of the domain name is not available. Most people tend to look for a .com site before progressing on to other ideas as an alternative when they are unable to find a good .com domain. This, however, is not always the best way to choose a TLD because there are many available, and each one has its own intended purposes.

For someone that does not understand these uses or the sheer variety that is available, it can be easy to skip the TLD selection and choose the first domain that comes to mind. It is important to note that this decision cannot be reversed, so the right TLD should be chosen initially by using the following tips.

Determine the Purpose of the Site

Before selecting a TLD for your site, it is important to consider the desired purpose of your site. Will it be a commercial site that sells products (.com/.biz), or will it be a site that represents an organization or an idea that you would like to promote(.org)? Is it going to be a personal blog about yourself and your family life (.me)? Or will it be an informational site that educates people about a particular topic(.info)? Maybe you would like to create a mega network site that embodies all of these concepts and links them together(.net)?

Deciding what your site will be used for is the best way to begin the TLD selection process, however it is important to realize that you can technically choose any TLD you'd like, even if the purpose of the site does not suit your selection.

Consider Local Targeting

Do you want your site to attract local visitors that are geographically located in your area of the world? If so, you may need to consider the benefits of country code TLDs, which allow you to better target your site's audience and therefore improve your business or personal outreach.

There are currently over 200 country code TLDs, which means you should not have a problem finding one in your area. Some of the more common TLDs are .us (United States), (United Kingdom), and (Australia).

Country code TLDs usually cost about the same as a conventional .com site, which makes them a suitable option for any aspiring webmaster.

Consider Search Engine Optimization

Before selecting your TLD, it is best to consider the SEO aspects of the prospective TLDs. Some domain name extensions are more likely to rank highly in the search engines than others, which is why most people select a .com domain. Surprisingly, even the commonly used $1 .info TLD has the potential to rank in the top position in the search engines.

In theory, every TLD can rank number one with the right search engine optimization practices, and most people don't realize that the only reason why .com is ranked at the top most frequently is because it is the most popular domain TLD.

When to Use Domain Forwarding

Having a web site with a popular name is a great way to gather residual web traffic with minimal effort. Unfortunately, most people don't realize that they can double this effect through the practice of domain forwarding, which is a grossly underused and highly effective tactic that has many uses.

Domain forwarding is also known as URL forwarding. It is a practice often utilized by advanced webmasters, but can be easily done by anyone with a web hosting account, a web site and basic technical knowledge.

The following information outlines the process of using domain forwarding, including how it is done and what benefits it provides for certain situations.

Changing the Name

Most people are quick to choose the name of their first web address because they are excited to begin their endeavors on the world wide web. Unfortunately, after the name has been chosen, there is no way to change it, so you'll have to live with it forever unless you buy a new domain name, or so is the common misconception. Obviously, the best way to avoid this would be to be very careful when selecting a domain name for your site. After the fact, the only option left is domain forwarding.

Some webmasters that are new to search engine optimization would simply buy a new domain name and transfer their site's pages to the new site. If the search engines have already indexed the pages on the old site, the new site will be hit with a duplicate content penalty and rank poorly after the files have been transferred over. To avoid this dire situation, you can use domain forwarding within your control panel.

Extra Domains

Some people purchase large volumes domain names that are related to a specific niche and do not use them for an extended period of time. After letting the domains sit for a while, they decide to utilize them, but they don't want to go through the hassle of building multiple sites. If you still want to utilize those extra domain names in your niche, you can forward them all to the main domain name and then begin advertising the extra domains across the internet.

Domain forwarding can also be a useful tactic if the extra domains contain keywords, as it is possible to get these domains to rank highly in search engines before forwarding them by simply adding a bit of content to them and waiting a few weeks. After each domain has built up a small amount of backlinks and PR, you can then forward these domains to the main site to increase search engine traffic for a short period of time and utilize the additional domains without having to completely construct all of the sites.

URL Redirection

URL redirection is very similar to domain forwarding, except instead of forwarding the entire domain, you can forward a specific page on a domain to another page within the same domain. This is incredibly useful if you've recently moved content or rearranged the structure of your site. URL redirection and domain forwarding are two tactics that every webmaster should learn and utilize at some point in their career.