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Sales Questions? Call us Toll Free  1-866-494-HOST (4678)

  1. What is a Domain Name?
  2. Why should I register a Domain Name?
  3. What are the currently available Domain Names extensions?
  4. What are the valid characters for a Domain Names?
  5. How much will it cost to register a Domain Name with
  6. How do I find out if a Domain Name is available?
  7. What if someone is already using a Domain Name I want?
  8. Can I just register my domain name myself?
  9. What is DNS or Domain Name Service?
  10. How long will it take to process my registration?
  11. I'm not ready for a Web site yet, but I want to reserve my domain name before someone else gets it. Can Sidetrips help?
  12. I'd just like to get an email account that will stay with me wherever I go. ( Can Sidetrips help?
  13. What is Domain Hosting?
  14. How do we get started?

What is a Domain Name?

A Domain Name [] is an easy way to find sites on the Internet without having to memorize long strings of characters, complicated names, or IP addresses. is much easier than or

Why should I register a Domain Name?

A Domain Name will give you a unique identity on the Internet. Many organizations find it useful to have an e-mail or Web address that is similar to their company name or to their company product(s). Also, a Domain Name that refers to your product or service will assure higher search engine ranking.

If your organization's name is Example, Inc., you could register the Domain Name EXAMPLE.COM and your e-mail address could be Your customers would also be able to access your organization's Web site by visiting "" or "" with their Web browser.

Like any trade name, logo, or brand name, your Domain Name represents a part of your business identity - something customers and business associates can recognize, remember, and positively associate with your services or products. Registering your Domain Name will at the very least prevent someone else from using it.

With your own Domain Name, access on the World Wide Web becomes a simple matter of entering No one has to write it down, they remember it.

Similarly, every Email message affirms your name as your address becomes - simple, elegant, and effective.

Also, by doing business under your own Domain Name, a good service provider can offer you multiple Email "aliases," all going to a single or multiple parties. They can even be forwarded to people outside your physical location.

Finally....ITS PORTABLE! If you've ever had to change your service provider, or even move your physical business address, you know what an incredible hassle it is to notify everyone. Remember, that without your own Domain Name, your Internet address is tied to that of your service provider. Thus, if you want to change providers you also change your Web address and probably Email address as well.

Consider for a moment: Are your ready to print new cards, brochures, etc., or contact all your clients, suppliers, business associates, etc. and inform them of your new address? Can you even remember them all or reach them if you want to in a timely and cost-effective manner? And, every day you're in business the list gets longer. Your own Domain Name lets you avoid all that, giving you a permanent Internet address. You can change your service providers every month if you want, and your address will always remain

What are the currently available Domain Names extensions?

Domain Names fall into several different categories, otherwise known as top-level Domains [TLDs]. There are several top-level Domains:
  • COM - Most businesses fall under this category
  • EDU - Educational Institutions
  • GOV - Government agencies
  • MIL - Military Use
  • NET - Network Infrastructure machines
  • ORG - Non-profit Organizations

What costs are associated with registering a Domain Name?

Sidetrips does not charge any fees for Registering your new Domain and associating it with our DNS servers until you are ready for Hosting of your Domain. The fee for purchasing a new Domain Name in .com, .org, and .net is currently $70 (US). This fee covers the initial registration and updates for a period of two years commencing on the day of registration. Once this two-year period has lapsed, registrants will be charged $35 (US) annually to renew the Domain name. An invoice will be sent to the Billing Contact by postal and electronic mail one month before the InterNIC fee is due. Sidetrips does not collect these fees. They should be made directly to Network Solutions - who will bill you directly for the domain. .

What are the valid characters for a Domain Name and how long can it be?

The only valid characters for a Domain Name are letters, numbers and a hyphen [-]. Domain names cannot contain spaces or begin or end with a hyphen. Single letter Domain Names are not permitted ( Domain names must begin with a letter.

A Domain Name can be up to 26* characters long including the 4 characters used to identify the Top Level Domain (.NET, .COM, .ORG, or .EDU).

The following are valid Examples of Domain Names: (11 characters) (19 characters) (13 characters)

* Longer Names are NOW AVAILABLE! Email Support for information!

Note: The path is not a Domain Name. It is a uniform resource locator (URL) used by Web browsers to find documents and resources.

How do I find out if a Domain Name is available?

You can use our convenient Domain Name LookUp form . This form searches the Domain Name database and returns the status of your Domain Name request.

What if someone is already using a Domain Name I want?

Domain Names are unique. Domains are registered names on a first-come, first-serve basis. Once a Domain Name has been registered by someone, no one else can use it. It is critical you obtain your Domain as quickly as possible .

If the name you want is already registered, consider registering variations of the name desired. For example,, could be registered as, or
Our FREE search engine allows you to search for Domain Names that you may wish to register. Once you find a suitable Domain Name, you may want to consider registering variants of that Domain Name to prevent someone else from benefiting from a Domain Name similar to your chosen Domain Name. We can direct the additional domains to your primary domain.

Can I just register my domain name myself?

Good Question. Yes, with a catch. The Domain Name servers operated by Sidetrips (or any other provider) contain directories of all of the Domains that we are responsible for. A Domain Name must be "responsive" to queries by at least 2 Domain Name servers. Sidetrips provides the 2 Domain Name server addresses when registering the domain on your behalf and programs them to respond to Domain Name queries. Domain Names that are not responsive to " DNS " queries, will be deleted. If you have the equipment and DNS address of your won then you can register your domain, but if not Sidetrips will help. Sidetrips takes care of all this for you as part of the registration process.

Sidetrips will be happy to complete the registration process for you, based on the information you provide on the online signup form . Sidetrips will be the technical/zone contact, and you can choose the administrative and billing contacts. Generally, the administrative contact is the person responsible for day-to day operations of your website, (i.e., your support). The billing contact should be the personal responsible for payables in your organization. Please fill out all information completely. If you do not have a fax, leave this entry blank.

What is DNS or Domain Name Service?

Computers identify each other with numbers rather than words. Each Domain Name is therefore assigned a numeric equivalent, called an IP (Internet Protocol) address, which might look something like this: DNS (Domain Name System) is a set of distributed databases containing these numeric equivalents and their corresponding Domain Names. DNS has servers located all over the Internet which perform the translation between names and numbers for other computers. This arrangement allows users to invoke an easy-to-remember name ( rather than a difficult string of numbers when seeking out a site on the Internet.

How long will it take to process my registration?

The process of registering a Domain Name is coordinated through an automated process called an "auto-parser." Once you have submitted a complete and correctly formatted Agreement, your registration request will be processed immediately and you will be notified via e-mail when processing is complete.

Following the registration, updates to the Internet's root name servers are propagated seven days a week at which time the DNS information for the newly registered name becomes visible to the DNS system. Domain Names processed prior to 5 p.m. Eastern Time should be accessible on the Internet within 2 days.

Once a Domain is registered, who "owns" the Domain Name?

The individual who is the Organization is the Domain Name owner and controls the movement among different service providers. If you register and pay for a Domain then you own the Domain outright.

I'm not ready for a Web site yet, but I want to reserve my domain name before someone else gets it. Can Sidetrips help?

It's a very good idea to reserve now, because InterNIC registers over 100,000 domain names each and every month.

What is Hosting?

Hosting is a term that describes the service of making a web site [Domain Name and webpages] available through the Internet. This allows your site to be viewed by millions of people around the world, 24 hours a day, 7 day a week! For domain hosting services highly recommends Sidetrips Internet Services, Inc. for their Quality and Support.

Great. How do we get started?

Fill in our on-line order form . You can send any questions you have to .

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