What Is A Domain Name?
A domain name is the part of a website address that comes after the "www" and ends in ".com", ".net", or dot whatever.
For example, the domain name of the website you are on now is "cowboyway.com".
A domain name does not have to end in ".com". It can also end in ".net", ".org", and others.
Below: Horses, farms, and ranches may all benefit from having a domain name - even if they don't use it. See next.
Why You Might Benefit From Having A Domain Name (Even If You Don't Want One)
If you don't have or want a website, you might still benefit from having a domain name. The reason is simple: You may want to register a domain name simply to prevent someone else from using it.
For example, if you have a farm or ranch you might not want someone else to develop a website using the same name your farm or ranch also happens to have.
Below: If you don't register the domain name of your farm, ranch, horse, etc., someone else probably can.
If you're like a lot of folks, you use your farm or ranch name to uniquely identify your business or hobby. You might have your farm/ranch name on business cards, painted on your truck or trailer, embroidered on hats, coats, or jackets, and so on.
However, if you have not registered your farm or ranch's name as a domain name, there is nothing to prevent someone else from registering it and using it on the World Wide Web.
The same is true if you have a horse (or cow, bull, dog, etc.) that you are showing, standing at stud, or in some other way promoting. If you do not register your animal's name as a domain name, someone else could.
Then there's your own name. If you are showing or competing, you may be working very hard to associate your name with your riding and/or training skills. You probably don't want someone else to register your name as their domain name.
What Is "Registering" A Domain Name?
"Registering" a domain name gives you the exclusive right to use that name.
No one really "owns" a domain name, even though the term "own" is often used in casual conversation when the correct term should actually be "register."
If You Register A Domain Name, You Don't Need To Do Anything With It
If you register a domain name, you don't have to do anything with it (like make a website). Registering it will simply make it unavailable for someone else to use.
Many smart business people register domain names with no intentions of ever developing websites.
Of course, if you decide to develop a website using your domain name you can do that, too.
Check If A Domain Name Is Available
You can use this link to visit NetworkSolutions.com to check the availability of a domain name. It's free.
If the name you've chosen is available, you should be able to register it for yourself.
How Do I Register A Domain Name?
To register a domain name, you first have to make sure no one else has registered it already. To check a domain name's availability (it's free), you can use this link: NetworkSolutions.com .
If the domain name of your choice currently isn't registered, you can probably register it for yourself.
To register a domain name you fill out a short, easy form with information like your name, address, email address, etc., then pay for the registration fee (usually by credit card).
Registration fees vary, but approximately $35.00 per year is common, and sometimes first-time registrations are lower.
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