Domain name - what is it?



Domain Name FAQ


When you sign up for virtual hosting at Virtual Empire we will either register your domain name or transfer it from your previous provider. (you also have the option of using a sub domain such as yourname.virtualempire.com)

What is a domain name?

A domain name is used to identify the location of a website on the Internet. Here are some domain names you might be already familiar with:

virtualempire.com - Virtual Empire
google.com - google the best search engine out there
facebook.com - Social network website
microsoft.com - Microsoft
yahoo.com - Yahoo


What is an IP address?

Every computer on the Internet has a numeric address called IP-Address that is used to identify the location of the computer. An example of an IP address is 128.44.1.42. This kind of addressing system is cumbersome and hard to remember for humans. Having a domain name will eliminate the need to remember an IP address.

Network solutions charges $35 to register a new domain name for .com, .net or .org. This fee covers the first year. They will bill you at a rate of $35 per year after the first two years.

Virtual Empire offers domain registration at $15.00 per year, how can we do this? simple, we do not mark up the service.

We can also host non-U.S. domains, but you will need to register your domain with the appropriate foreign domain name authority yourself after signing up with Virtual Empire.

In either case, you will own the domain name. You are free to transfer the domain name to a new provider, sell it, or modify any of the information on your registration anytime you wish directly with InterNIC.

Can I register a non-US domain name?

Virtual Empire can serve domain names other than .com, .net, or .org, but the end user will be responsible for registering their domain name with the proper local authority within your country. When signing up for your account, Virtual Empire will provide you with an IP address that should be used on your domain application form.

Currently hosting your domain elsewhere? Looking for a painless transition to an new new webhosting provider?

Virtual Empire's easy transfer program makes moving your domain to our servers a breeze.

If your website is currently active on another server, uptime during the transfer period is of utmost importance to your business. Our setup program will ensure that your business has no downtime during the period when you move your website to our servers.

1. Sign Up for your site using our online order form. Virtual Empire will setup your account in about 10 minutes and provide you with conection information.

2. If you request a transfer when you open your account, Virtual Empire will contact InterNIC immediately to transfer your domain.

3. Upload your existing website your new Virtual Empire account. If you need assistance, please email our support team!

4. Our Email forwarding system will ensure that you don't miss any messages during the transfer period.

5. InterNIC will then contact you via email for your approval. Do not approve the transfer until you are satisfied your website is working on your new site.

6. Reply to InterNIC and authorize the transfer of your domain name. The propagation of your new IP address on our servers will take up to 5 days, after which you may close your former webhosting account!

Virtual Empire can host any international domain name (i.e. - .ca, .es, .us, uk, .au, de, .fr, .jp, .br, .mx, .sg, etc.) on our network! Please note that all international domains are responsible for transferring their domains to our network. Please contact your local domain registrar.

To have Virtual Empire host your international domain name simply select "Alternate Domain" when prompted for a domain type in our sign up form. The signup program will give you any the connection information you may need to give your local domain registrar (see above).

Here are the steps for activating a non-US domain:

1. Check with the agency in your country who manages domain names (local domain registrar) to obtain their registration procedures. You also need to get the proper form or template that is required for the registration.

2. Signup for a Virtual Empire account via our online form and use your domain name (ie. your_name.de or your_name.es ). Select "Alternate Domain" when prompted for a domain type.

3. Virtual Empire will create your account and e-mail you an activation notice that will include any connection information you may need to provide to your local domain registrar.

4. Complete the necessary information on your domain form or template for your local domain registrar and be sure to include the connection information that was provided by Virtual Empire.

5. Begin uploading your pages to your new site. Your site is already setup, and will be accessable by your new international domain name as soon as your local registrar finishes their end.

How long can a domain name be and what are the restrictions?

A domain can have a maximum of 26 characters including the extensions (.com, .net, etc). A domain name can contain numbers, letters or a dashes. A domain can not start or end with a dash.

What is a DNS?

DNS stands for "Domain Name Server". It translates domain names into IP addresses that computers understand. For example, if someone wants to access Virtual Empire's website (www.virtualempire.com), the DNS will translate the domain into the IP address, which will allow the computer to locate Virtual Empire's web server.

What is a registry?

Organizations similar to InterNIC are called Registries. They register domain names into central computers which are accessed by individual DNS servers. InterNIC is responsible for the domains .com, .net, .org, .edu and .gov. Other common registries include Nominet for .uk, and CaNet for .ca. Some registries like InterNIC charge an annual fee. InterNIC currently charges $70 for 2 years.

What is a URL?

It stands for Univesal Resource Locator. Some people refer to it as a web address (although URL is not limited to the web). An example of a URL is http://www.virtualempire.com. Please note that a URL is a unique identifier. No two websites can have the same URL. This is the reason why you should register your domain name before someone else does.

What if the name I want to use is already taken?

You can choose an alternative domain name, or if you feel that you a right to that domain name you should read InterNIC's domain dispute policy and try to regain your domain name.

How long does it take to register a domain name?

If the information provided is correct, it should take less than 24 hrs. Please check the whois database at http://www.virtualempire.com to see whether your domain name is registered or not.

Once a domain is registered, who "owns" the domain name?

The domain name is owned by the organization that is on the whois database. Virtual Empire registers domain names in such a way to make it easy for customers to move domain names to a different web hosting or ISP company in the future (although that rarely happens).

Please see our Answers Page if you need more information. Our support staff will do their best to answer your questions.

Many international NICs require that the account be open on our servers before they will allow the name to be registered. In those cases, you should allow 24 hours after your account is opened before attempting to register the domain name, as our nameservers will not require an authoritative response.

You can find more information at:

List of foreign domain registries
NIC links
Asian Pacific region
RIPE - Europe
Mexico
.US domains
Singapore