In principle, participants can also be reached on the Internet without a domain name - the correct IP address is sufficient in most cases. However, numerical IP addresses are generally much more difficult to remember than meaningful names. In addition, a domain offers other advantages such as accessibility at the same address even after changing servers, virtual host names and load distribution via DNS . Making your own server or servers accessible by name is therefore an essential prerequisite for a successful Internet presence.
A simple and cheap option is to register a subdomain in an existing domain. Assume that the fictitious company Example-GmbH uses the domain of its service provider ISP . Then the name of the domain could look like this: www.beispiel-gmbh.isp.com . A registration is not necessary here, as in principle (with a few exceptions) only domains are registered that are directly below a top level domain .
Normally, however, separate names are desired (e.g. www.beispiel-gmbh.de ). In this case, a domain must be registered with a registration organization - a domain name registrar . This ensures on the one hand that all formal rules are adhered to and on the other hand guarantees that no one else is using this domain.
The end customer is called the registrant, i.e. the person who actually wants to register a particular domain. For legal or other reasons, this designation may be national uncommon, in Germany it is called, for example, the domain owner (english "Domain Holder").
Domain registration alone is not enough to publish domain names on the Internet. First of all, each domain must be present on one or more name servers in a zone file . A reference (delegation) to this name server must then be entered in the zone that contains the higher-level domain. For this process, DENIC uses the term connection in the German-speaking area .
A domain registration is therefore always associated with entries in the higher-level name servers. The registrar automatically enters the required NS resource records in cooperation with the responsible registry in these higher-level servers. When registering, the client must specify the name servers - usually his own or provided by his provider - on which the new domain is authoritatively stored. As a rule, the registrar and the registry check this information before the connection to ensure that the delegation does not point to nothing.
In the case of smaller domains that only contain very few resource records , a separate name server can be dispensed with for some top or second level domains (such as .de ). The resource records can then be stored directly from the registry on their name servers.
Questions to be clarified before registering
Choosing a name
First of all, the name of the domain and the superordinate domain (usually a top-level domain such as .com or .de) must be specified. It should be checked whether the rights of third parties are being infringed (e.g. registered brand names). Each name can contain letters, numbers, or hyphens, with no distinction between uppercase and lowercase letters. The registrar specifies the exact rules (e.g. "a name must not begin with a hyphen"). Depending on the top-level domain and registrar, other special characters may be used. The German registration office DENIC , for example, allows 92 additional letters (e.g. ä, ö, ü, á, æ) but no other special characters (e.g.!, # Or%). The letter "ß" was equivalent to "ss" in the DNS until October 2010, but was not automatically converted by many browsers when it was entered. Since then, only .de domains that differ from one another with a “ß” and “ss” can also be registered as different ones, whereby holders of existing domains with “ss” are granted a preferential right during the introductory phase.
The Whois service can be used to determine whether the desired domain name is available at all. Many providers provide more or less extensive query tools for this on their website. The country-specific registration organizations also offer options to check whether a domain has already been assigned. However, usually only the own top-level domain is included there. For example, DENIC only publishes information on domains that end with .de.
With some top-level domains (TLDs) there are restrictions that can prevent registration. For example, for the .de and .fr domains, the applicant or his administrative representative (Admin-C) must have a postal address within the country concerned. The same applies to the .eu domain. The nationality of the applicant does not matter.
Selection of a registrar or service provider
There are usually several ways to register your domain:
- through a direct contractual relationship with the operator of a (top level) domain (often expensive, often not very easy, sometimes only possible as a bulk buyer)
- with a registrar for the desired parent domain
- via a service provider working with a registrar
- through a reseller or dealer who works with a service provider or registrar
Private individuals and small businesses usually prefer the service providers or their resellers, as they are significantly cheaper and the service provider takes on tedious detailed work and offers many necessary services plus domain registration from a single source. As a guideline for the costs of registering domains common in the German-speaking area, you can assume around 0 to 100 € for registration and 6 to 180 € per year for support. This varies with the top-level domains and with the service providers, as well as the scope of the services they provide.
Setting up the name server
In addition, it must be clarified who operates the name servers on which the future domain will be located. These can be your own servers or managed by an Internet service provider. If only a few DNS names are required, some registries do not need to operate their own name servers. The names are then entered on the registry's name server. DENIC, for example, allows up to five names per domain in these cases.
The name servers must normally be available at the time of registration and already contain the new domain. In addition, the name servers themselves must be registered. The owner of the parent domain is responsible for their registration. For example, the registration of the name server ns1.example.com must be carried out by the owner of the domain example.com .
A domain registration takes place online via web interface, via email, via API , via a proprietary application or via conventional forms , which are then sent by fax or by post. However, certain processes, such as deleting the domain or changing ownership, cannot be carried out automatically in many cases, but require a form that you have signed yourself.
When registering, the name of the domain owner and various administrative and technical contacts must be given, as well as their postal addresses. It should be noted that this information may be accessible to anyone via the Whois service, depending on local data protection regulations.
At the same time as the domain registration, some DNS names and IP addresses are entered. Usually two or more NS records are required and glue records may be required . For individuals or small businesses without their own name servers few can A- and MX - RRs also be managed on the name server of the registrar.
The registry specifies the modalities. DENIC, for example, used to require at least two name servers, which also had to be in different subnets. In the meantime, however, the name servers can also be located in the same / 24 network .
Many customers also only register a domain with the option of parking it (not using it) or reselling it. There are service providers who provide name servers for such temporary purposes.
There are legal implications associated with registering a domain.
Registrations are generally limited in time. A domain cannot be acquired permanently. For initial registrations, terms of one year are usual, which are automatically extended when they expire. Most domains (not .de) also allow longer intervals of up to ten years. When the domains of some top-level domains such as B. .com, .net and .org - for example because the payments are missing - these are put into a blocking state lasting 30 days or more , in which the owner has the opportunity to reactivate them. If they are not reactivated, they are finally released after about five days. The providers of expired domain services use these facts to register domains that are subsequently vacated.
Subsequent changes to the registration data are usually made online. The owner can edit the data at any time via a password-protected web access or other means. An often difficult operation is the domain transfer , in which a domain is moved to another registrar. The latter is often referred to as a provider change, since the domain transfer almost always transfers the domain from one service provider to another or the new registrar is also the new service provider.
A controversial point within the current registration practice is the publication of personal data of the domain owner and his administrative and technical representative in the central database of the relevant top-level domain. Information such as postal address or e-mail address can be accessed by anyone via the Whois service and is therefore potentially subject to abuse, for example by professional address collectors. On the other hand, in the event of possible legal violations by the domain owner (e.g. improper registration of third-party brand names), the domain owner must be legally accessible, i.e. in particular have a deliverable address.
Anonymous registration offers a compromise solution. The registrar uses its own data or data from third parties instead of customer information. Thanks to a special contractual relationship, the anonymous customer nevertheless remains in possession of the domain, even if he himself is not listed in the Whois database. The registrar acts as a trustee on behalf of the customer.
For individual TLDs, e.g. B. for .ch (Art. 2.5 and 3.2 GTC of SWITCH), there is an obligation on the part of the registrant to disclose his correct identity. If this does not happen, the registry can delete the domain name.
Historically significant domains
The company Symbolics registered on 15 March 1985 symbolics.com the first .com domain. A total of six .com domains were registered in 1985, 54 in 1986 and 47 in 1987.
The registration of .de domains has been possible since November 5th, 1986. In March 1988, DENIC , which was then based at the University of Dortmund, already had six .de domains: dbp.de , rmi.de , telenet.de , uka .de , uni-dortmund .de and uni-paderborn .de (in alphabetical order).
The first German umlaut domain (introduction of Umlautdomains on March 1, 2004) was öko.de .
- Top-level domain
- Domain Name System
- Internet service provider
- Zone (DNS)
- Root name server
- CORE (Registrar)
- Expired domain
- DENIC (responsible for .de domain names)
- SWITCH (responsible for .ch and .li domain names)
- nic.at (responsible for .at domains)
- EURid (responsible for .eu domain names)
- InterNIC (responsible for .net domain names)
- Registro.it (responsible for .it domain names)
- NORDU.net Whois Record. domaintools.com, accessed September 23, 2012 .
- 100 Oldest .COM domains. iwhois.com, accessed September 23, 2012 .
- Oldest .com Internet Domains from 1985. (No longer available online.) VB.com, archived from the original on September 19, 2012 ; Retrieved September 23, 2012 . Info: The archive link was inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice.
- Dr. Klaus Herzig: Press release: DENIC completes the dozen - now 12 million domains registered under .de. (No longer available online.) DENIC , April 14, 2008, archived from the original on February 7, 2013 ; Retrieved September 23, 2012 . Info: The archive link was inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice.
- IDN start phase at DENIC has been completed. (No longer available online.) DENIC , March 3, 2004, archived from the original on February 17, 2013 ; Retrieved September 23, 2012 . Info: The archive link was inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice.