What's a domain?
When talking about domains, you can draw parallels with an address and the postal code. Both can be used to find a destination. Web hosting is similar. In the background, you can only go to a website and connect to it by knowing its IP address. It is inconvenient to constantly type IP addresses to the browser's address bar and remember their associations with pages.
In our case, you would need to type "184.108.40.206" instead of "advertis.ee" in the browser to reach our page. This numeric combination is long, difficult to remember, and has nothing to do with the content of the page. To resolve this issue, a domain or a textual interpretation of your page's IP address is registered.
Registering a domain
Domain registration is purchased as a service. This service is probably also provided by your web hosting provider and you should contact them first. Alternatively, there are global services like A2, GoDaddy or Namecheap. The domain name should be something related to your brand or company. For example, the name of the company or the name of your most well-known service. The selected name will take users to your website, so you have to choose carefully. Domains are typically registered for a year and prices vary from 3€ to thousands, depending on the demand for the domain.
Domain already registered?
If the planned domain has already been registered by someone else, you should consider three options. You can contact the domain owner through the same domain registration service providers and try to buy it from them. Alternatively, you can register a domain with the same name with another top-level domain.
If companyname.com is taken, alternatives could be (top-level domains in bold):
- Any other top-level domain (E.g target country)
Without changing the top-level domain, the third option is to play a word game with the domain. Omit or add letters so that the meaning does not change much or remains the same.
A subdomain is, at a hierarchical level, one level lower than the domain name itself. You don't have to register a subdomain elsewhere other than your own web hosting provider, because you already own the main domain. You can create as many subdomains as you want. The easiest way to understand this is with an example. Suppose you want to divide your company's services or departments into different subpages, for example, the website addresses might be the following (subdomains in bold):
You can create subdomains according to your needs for any purpose, you still pay only for the main domain (companyname.ee).