A website lives on a server connected to the internet. For people to find your website on the web, their browser needs an address to search for the website.
The location address you may be familiar with is called a Domain Name such as apple.com or britishgas.co.uk. Computers however cannot directly read that address so cannot connect you with a website without a little help.
Any location on a computer is always referenced with an IP address such as 254.235.1.12 - However as this is not really a memorable way to identify a website, the internet employs clever computers call Domain Name Servers which act as directories to look up the relevant IP address for a given domain name and then directs your browser to the correct location of the website. For this reason all domain names are unique. You can however have multiple domain names pointing at the same IP address or website such as yoursite.com and yoursite.co.uk can both point to the same website if you wish. This can be really helpful from a marketing perspective.
Your website name can therefore be a valuable advertising tool whenever your web address is published in print.
The domain name can also be allocated to a mail server as well as a web server, and these may even be on different servers or even in different countries - the Domain Name Servers will have been told which location to send web or mail communications to.
The issue of domain names is controlled by registrars. When you purchase a domain name you will need to ensure the information for the web and mail traffic is set correctly in the domain control panel (don't worry, most registrars are also hosting companies and domains are automatically set up to point to their servers).
We bulk buy our domain registrations and are able to then set the required information such as registered owner, technical contact. admin contact and the relevant information for the IP address of the web and mail servers.
There are now so many more domain name extensions - in the good 'ol days there was a handful of top level domains such as .com .org .gov and lower level country extensions such as .co.uk or .com.au - now there are literally thousands of extensions such as .guru .biz .info .tv .club .kitchen .marketing etc. The options are almost limitless.
Prices vary according to specificity and vary generally from £9.99/yr and can reach into hundreds per year of registration.
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