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How do domain names work?

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Last Updated: December 27, 2007 6:19 PM

Registering a domain doesn't automatically make your Web site appear when visitors enter your domain into a Web browser. You have to upload your Web site to a computer that hosts the site and assigns a numeric address, called an IP address, to your domain. Your domain and associated IP address are stored in a database with every other domain and associated IP address. When visitors enter your domain into a Web browser, your domain works like an address forwarding service by forwarding visitors to the IP address where your Web site is stored. We use domain names instead of IP addresses because most people find it easier to remember a name rather than a series of numbers.

When you register a domain, you do not have to create and upload a Web site. You can also:

Sell it. Domains can be a great investment. If you have registered a domain that you are not using, maybe someone else can. Log in to your Account Manager and set up a For Sale parked page for your domain. Don't forget to include your contact information.

Protect your brand online. The more domains you register, the better. Prevent others from registering a similar domain to yours—just to steal away your customers. What to do with all these names? Forward them to your main domain.

Hold on to it. Maybe you haven’t decided what to do with your new domain. Don’t worry – there’s no rush. You can leave it parked with us for the length of your registration.

For new .COM and .NET domains and updates, it may take up to eight hours for changes to become effective. It may take up to 48 hours for changes made to all other domain extensions to become effective. This is because of the number of networks and agencies involved. Delays apply to all domains and registrars. Please allow for this delay when planning Web sites or configuring a domain to work with your email.