Frequently Asked Questions

Here are answers to some frequently asked questions about domain names.
  1. What do we mean by TLD? This is an acronym for Top Level Domain. For example when you have a domain name like the extension .info is the top level domain, while DomainWorld is the second level domain.
  2. Why do I need a domain name? The most obvious answer is to host a website, but it also frequently serves as part of your email address. Some domain names are actively used, while others are held as investments, for potential future use or as a protection against someone else using that domain name.
  3. What is the difference between a registry and a registrar?
  4. What is ICANN? It is the organization that governs domain name issues. As well as many other things, they approve new domain extensions, set the rules for assigning and using domain names, and help to promote effective and orderly use of domain names. You can read about what they do and how they function at their website.
  5. How does a domain name transfer take place? We wrote an article at NameTalent on exactly that topic. It takes you through the steps, including some options such as push (see next section). A domain transfer is easier and faster than you probably think. Often it can be done with only minutes of actual work and all in a time period from start to finish of only a few hours.
  6. What is the 60 day ICANN delay period? ICANN set a period of 60 days after an initial registration, or a transfer of ownership, during which another transfer can’t take place. This is to provide some stability and to prevent those trying to hide identity by many rapid transfers. This only is a restriction if you want to register at a different registrar that where the domain name is currently held. You can push a domain name (or sell via a registrar marketplace) and have it transferred to your name without this restriction. You could later transfer it out to your account at another registrar (but not until 60 days after your purchase of the domain name).
  7. What do we mean by hand register? If a domain name is not currently registered it is referred to as a hand registration. Note that even if the domain name was previously registered, if it has been allowed to lapse, it is still considered a hand registration.
  8. What is the difference between a registrar and a registry? The registry controls one or multiple extensions - for example Google control a number of domain extensions including .app, .dev and .page. The end user does not directly purchase from the registrar, however, but registers the domain name through a registrar such as GoDaddy, Namecheap, NameSilo, Epik. AlpNames, Uniregistry and Dynadot (among many others - there are literally thousands of registrars).
  9. What is meant by a domain name push? The simplest way to move a domain name from ownership by one party to another is for both parties to have accounts with the same registrar and essentially just change the ownership records on the domain name. The 60 day time delay does not enter into this sort of transaction. As well as ease of transfer, there are other advantages to domain name push as we explain in this article.
  10. Does the time already registered go with the domain when it is sold? Yes, it normally does transfer. Let’s say a domain name is currently registered until April 1, 2020. If it is transferred using an authorization code to a new owner at a different registrar the new owner will need to add a year to registration (paid to the new registrar) but now the registration will be until April 1, 2021.
  11. What does DNS mean? DNS means domain name server. It is a record that designates what should happen when a user enters the domain name. If the site is developed the DNS settings for the name point to where your site is hosted. If the name is for sale, you probably have it pointed to a landing or parking page for the domain name. Network Solutions have a good explanation of DNS here.
  12. Does Google favour certain extensions in search results? At least according to their statements, no. The search placement depends on the content and authority of the information, not on the domain extension used.
  13. How many domain names are there? According to the most recent Verisign quarterly report there are just over 342 million registered domain names.
  14. What does ngTLD mean? New generic top level domains.
  15. How popular are new gTLDs? About 26 million new global top level domains (new gTLDs) have been registered at the time of writing. You can get current statistics both for the total number and breakdown by extension at this site.
  16. How many domain extensions are there? The number keeps changing, but in addition to the legacy domain name extensions there are just over 250 country code domain names, almost 700 general availability new domain extensions, as well as several hundred operational brand extensions that are limited to use by the sponsoring company.
  17. Are alternative TLDs as valid as .com? Early on there were just a few top level domains (TLDs:) .com, .net. .org, .edu plus those for specific countries. Later a few other options including, .biz and .pro were added. Before long the best names had been taken, and a few years ago a decision was made to make many other TLDs available. In terms of uniquely pointing to a website, these are every bit as valid as the popular early TLDs. While about half of actively used domain names are .com, and there is no doubt about their value, the new domain extension offer a chance for a name that is more representative of what your organization does. That being said, surveys show that the general public have limited knowledge of new domain names and have some concerns about whether alternative domains are more susceptible to spam, phishing or other practices. The actual abuse of many of the new extensions are similar to the legacy extensions (some are worse, some are better) so the perception is somewhat in error.I expect that gradually that will change as more websites utilize a new domain name.
  18. Do all domains renew for the same amount? No, each registry sets the rate for both initial sales and renewal of domain names. In the case of .com the allowed price is controlled by the US Government.
  19. Does owning a name give you the rights on the name as a trademark term? No, trademark is a totally separate process. You must not infringe on the registered names and trademarks of others.
  20. Do you own or rent a domain name? The common terminology is that you buy domain names, but really you are renting the rights to use the name for a set period of time (a year usually). The owner of a domain is entitled (as long as it has not been used for some illegal purpose) to renew it as long as that is done before it expires, so in that sense you own it. Once you have made the initial purchase you can keep it forever as long as the registration annual fees are paid.
  21. Can you briefly describe how the domain name and website process works? You first need to purchase rights to the domain name, (and thus have the domain name registered in your name), select a web hosting service where your actual web documents reside, and set the DNS records to point to your website. An excellent explanation of the process for domain purchase, DNS listings, and web hosting is given by Christopher Heng at
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Note some of these FAQs are adapted from our companion website

This page last updated Oct 3, 2018