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  Services Explained : Domain Name Registrations - United Kingdom

How to register your own domain name (web site address)

By John Walker, 2003

Many web sites have their own domain name/s. Google (the search engine), for example, uses the domain name to help people find them on the web. Amazon uses and the BBC uses

How domain names help the web work

In its most basic form, Google is a computer program that sits on a computer somewhere in the world. That computer is connected to the web via an Internet Service Provider (ISP). It has been assigned a unique number that, like a telephone number, acts as an address that allows it to communicate with other PC's, devices, faxes etc. This unique number is called an "IP address".

If you want to search the web, all you have to do is type "" into your browser's address bar and press 'Go'. Your computer will send a message to your Internet Service Provider (ISP), the people who you pay to get connected to the internet, asking them to direct you to the proper destination.

Google needed to register a domain name, so that your ISP can find out what Google's IP address is, so they can send you there to use the Google computer program.

Finally, when you decide to view some of the pages that are thrown up by your search on Google, you click on a web link, and the whole process starts again.

So, if you want to set up your own search engine (to rival Google), or build any type of web site, you will need to register a domain name for a few years and then find someone who will hire out a computer to you. That is, one that is permanently connected to the web and can have an IP address assigned to it. A web hosting company can offer such a service. can help you register a domain name and host your website, easily.

They make it easy for you to sift through the domain name registries (using what's called a WHOIS service) to find a good domain name for you that is unlikely to have been registered already.

All you have to do, is visit their website and type your desired domain name into the box. (Tip: leave out the ".com" or "" parts of the name that you want to check.)

There's lots more to learn about domain names, but this may have helped you to work out some of the basics.

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