Activity Industry Sector
Information & Communication Technologies

Activity Originally Created By: Dave Niemeyer

Activity #5

Part of Lesson Plan: How To Secure A Domain Name For Your Web Site

Activity Overview / Details

Your assignment is to find a unique, short, correctly spelled domain name for the company for which you’ve made a web page.  Do a whois search, and let’s limit our discussion today to .com extensions for commercial businesses or .org extensions for non-profits. 

Be creative, but keep it simple.  If your business is “C. L. Harry’s Restaurant and Fine Dining” you might search for clharry clharrys clharrysrestaurant or even clharrysdining, but it should be simple, as short as possible, and easy for people to remember.  All of these traits are hard to come by so you might have to settle for the best available that has as many traits as possible.  Incorrectly spelling the name is not a solution for us in this assignment. 

There will be some comical names that you could come up with.  We can share that for fun but don't even bother to choose it or do research for it unless it can seriously be used for the business, representing the business in a respectful and reputable way.

Go ahead and begin searching at any of the whois service sites and be ready to report the best 5 names available to you.  You will report these to your teacher at the end of the period and also report this information to your business owner.  Let them choose what domain names they would want to buy.

WARNING:  You do NOT want to advertise your personal email address, name, address, etc. on the Internet.  You business owner will be the owner and administrative contact for this domain name, not you.  Additionally, you can opt for a “Private Registration” that protects your business owner’s identity, although usually costing more (like an additional $10 per year) when you purchase the domain.

Allow students approximately 15 minutes to do this search and report their findings on paper.

The next job would be to actually purchase this domain name.  You could do it today at a site like Network Solutions.  Let’s just follow that idea but not actually purchase it today.

Let’s say we want to keep this domain name for three years minimum.  We would also want to maintain ownership of that name even if we forgot to renew.  That is a service that these companies call “auto renewal.”  So we’ll opt for that service as well.

Unfortunately, just about the only way to pay for this is by a credit card, although payment by check is possible.  We’ll assume your business owner has a credit card and would be willing to sit down with you at a computer and input their information to actually purchase this domain name.  Let’s just follow the steps at Network Solutions and act like we’ll purchase this name today.  Do so, but don’t put in any personal information or credit card information.  Just find out what the procedure is for your business owner.

After you see what the best price is at Network Solutions for three years, without a hosting package, go to other registrars and see what the best price is that you can find for three years.  Let’s avoid package deals requiring us to purchase hosting services (keeping our web page at their servers) or the use of banner ads (commercial advertisements at the top of our site).

Allow approximately 10 minutes for the students to see the procedures for purchasing a domain name.  Obviously there are many options and many other sites to purchase from other than Network Solutions.  And there are many “package” deals allowing you to purchase the name for free if you purchase a “hosting” package.  We’ll discuss that in the next lesson about web hosting services.

After enough time has passed for all or most students to see this procedure, have students report back on the prices at Network Solutions and other registrars that they find.  Many will report costs of free or nearly free domain names, but these probably come with stipulations of banner ads or package deals with hosting included.  We’ll avoid these for now.