Domain Names FAQ

The following FAQs provide general information on domain names and the domain name registration and transfer processes.

For detailed information on registering domain names with NetNation, transferring registrations from your current registrar to NetNation or using the services and features included with NetNation's domain name registrations, see the Domain Name Registration FAQ.

Selecting a Domain Name

Registering Domain Names

Transferring Existing Domain Names

What is a "domain name"?

A domain name is the label used to identify your Web site, for example It usually describes some aspect of your site and is easier for your visitors to remember than your Web address, also known as your IP address.

In order for visitors to access your site on the Internet, you must select a unique domain name and register it with an accredited domain name registrar. NetNation can register your domain name for you.

What kinds of things should I consider when choosing a domain name?

Because your domain name will represent your business, you should make sure that the name you choose is memorable, descriptive and that it instills confidence, particularly if you plan on selling goods and services on your site.

Your domain name can be up to 67 characters long and can include any combination of letters, numbers and dashes (although it cannot start or end with a dash). A domain name must end with a domain extension, such as .net, .com, .org or .edu. The letters “www” at the beginning of a name are not considered part of the domain name.

What kind of domain name extensions can I use? Can I use international domains such as .ca, .us,, .cn or .au?

You can use any official domain extension that you like to host your site at NetNation. For domain registration, we can register an available common domain extensions for you such as .com, .net, .biz, .info and .org as well as international domain extensions such as .ca, .us, and .cn.

NetNation cannot, however, register other international domains. You will need to take special steps to register an international domain. See How do I register a non-US domain name for more information.

I picked out a domain name. How can I find out if it is available?

You can quickly check to see if a domain name is available at Locate the Domain Availability box in the upper left corner of the site, type the domain name you are interested in, including the extension, and then click Go. NetNation will search to see if that name is currently available. If the domain name is already registered, you may want to try variations of the name.

Remember, the domain extension is part of the domain name— is not the same as

Someone else is already using the domain name I want. Is there anything I can do?

Once a domain name is registered, it belongs to the person or company that registered it. If you are really interested in having a domain name that is already registered to someone else, you can contact the owner of the domain name to find out if the name is for sale or you can wait for the registration to expire.

Can I have more than one domain name? Can they both point to the same Web site?

You can have as many domain names as you like. You can have each domain name point to a different site, or you can have multiple domain names point to the same Web site (but not to different pages within the same Web site). Many companies register several domain names and have them all point to the same central Web site. This is known as a “domain alias.”

Registering multiple domain names for the same site not only brings the largest draw to your site but it also can prevent competitors from poaching your potential customers. When picking multiple domain names—or aliases—for the same site, consider variations of your name such as common misspellings as well as both singular and plural versions of the name.

I have decided on my domain name. What is the process for registering it?

Once you have decided on a domain name and have checked that it is available, you will need to register it. NetNation can register your domain name for you. See How do I register my domain name.

I want to reserve my name, but I'm not ready to post my site yet. What are my options?

You have a number of different options. If you think you may want to get your site up and running in the near future, you can go ahead and register your name and sign up for a hosting plan now. You will receive a parkging page that all your site's visitors will see until you are ready to publish your site.

If you think it may be a while before you are ready to publish your site, or if you want to reserve your name "just in case," you can select a plan that offers only domain name registration. With this plan, your domain is registered so that no one else can use it, but you do not have to pay for a complete Web hosting plan. This is sometimes referred to as "parking" your domain. You can also select a domain name registration plan that provides you with several email accounts. If you decide you want to go ahead and publish a Web site later, you can quickly upgrade your plan.

How do I register my domain name?

Once you have decided on a domain name and have checked that it is available, NetNation can register your new domain name for you. You can register a domain name on NetNation's Web site, or, if you are already a NetNation customer, within AccountManager, your Web-based control panel. Select Domain Name > Register New Domain Name. The domain name propagation process normally requires 48 to 72 hours.

Of course, you can always take care of the registration process yourself by working directly with an another domain name registrar and then transferring the domain name to NetNation. See I already have a registered domain name. How do I transfer it to NetNation?

How do I register a non-US domain name?

Although NetNation welcomes and currently hosts many international domains, we do not register all of the international domains. The process may vary slightly from country to country and there are several basic steps you should take to register an international domain name.

First, check with the appropriate domain registration agency to verify that your new domain name is available.

Second, check to see whether the domain registration agency for your country requires an account to be created on NetNation's servers before they will proceed with the domain registration procedure.

If so, submit your order to NetNation before requesting the registration of your domain name. We will then email to you important information about your account, including your Web address (IP address) and information about nameservers and their Internet addresses. This is the information typically required by your country's domain registration agency to register the domain.

You should wait 48 to 72 hours between receipt of your order confirmation from NetNation and submission of your domain registration request in order to allow time for the nameserver information to propagate.

What does it cost to register my domain name?

The costs for registering your domain vary depending upon your plan and the domain name extension. For detailed information, visit For questions regarding your NetNation account billing, you can contact NetNation’s billing department directly at

How long will it take to register my new domain name?

NetNation registers your domain name immediately after receiving your request. The propagation process normally requires 48 to 72 hours.

I already have a registered domain name. How do I transfer it to NetNation?

If you want to transfer your registration from your current registrar to NetNation, you can request that NetNation transfer your domain name for you using AccountManager. For detailed information, see the Domain Name Registration FAQ.

If you are leaving your registration with your current registrar but want to move your domain to NetNation and use our Web hosting services, you will need to change your current nameserver information to NetNation's information. You can log on to your registrar's systems and transfer the domain name yourself using the user name and password they assigned you.

Log in to your registrar's site using the user name and password they provided you and change your current nameserver information to NetNation’s nameserver information. You can find your NetNation nameserver information by logging in to AccountManager and selecting the Domain Name section.

I don’t remember who my registrar is. What can I do?

Use NetNation's domain name search tool available at Enter your domain name and search for the registrar.

Do you have contact information for the most common registrars?

Here are some links to domain manager interfaces for some registrars:

My registrar requires that I go online to transfer my domain. What information do I need to give them to successfully transfer my domain name to NetNation?

You will need to provide your current registrar with NetNation’s nameserver information. You can find your NetNation nameserver information by logging in to AccountManager and selecting the Domain Name section.

How long will it take to transfer my domain name to NetNation?

Typically the transfer should be completed within about 48 to 72 hours. You may want to check with your registrar to see exactly how long it should take to complete the transfer.

How long will it take for my domain to be active?

There may be a brief delay between the time your domain name registration or transfer is completed and the time when your domain is active and can be accessed by everyone over the Internet. This is due to the propagation process.

What is propagation?

When visitors type your domain name into their Web browsers, their request is referred to a nameserver that indicates the physical location (the IP address) of your domain on the Internet. When your site location changes to a new IP address, or when you deploy a new site with a new domain name, nameservers around the world must be notified of the change. This process of notification is referred to as propagation.

Propagation typically takes 48 to 72 hours. During this time, if you are transferring your domain, some nameservers will still refer to your site’s old location while nameservers that have already been notified of the change will refer to the new location. As a result, visitors accessing your site may be directed to either the old or new location, depending upon which nameserver they connect to.

If some visitors are still being directed to your old site location after 72 hours have elapsed, you should contact your previous Internet Presence Provider and request that they update their DNS and delete your domain from their servers. Once this has been done, and this change has been completely propagated, the transfer to your new location will be complete.

If your site is new, your site may not be recognized by all nameservers until the propagation period has completed.

During the propagation period, you will need to use your Temporary URL to upload files and view your site. You can find your temporary URL by logging in to AccountManager.

How can I avoid downtime while I wait for the new information to propagate throughout the Internet?

While waiting for the new nameserver information to propagate throughout the Internet, we recommend maintaining your site at your current host to avoid down time for your site. During this time, you can use the temporary Web address (URL) that we gave you to mirror your Web site on NetNation's servers until the transfer is complete.

If your site is new, you can use your temporary URL to begin publishing your Web site while you wait for the propagation period to complete.

My site is not showing up when I type in my domain name. What’s wrong?

If you have recently set up your account, this probably means that your domain name has not been propagated to all of the possible domain nameservers.

Test your domain by typing your temporary Web address in a Web browser. If you can access your site using the temporary Web address (URL), wait a day or two for the propagation period to complete. If after 72 hours the domain name still does not resolve correctly, contact NetNation support by submitting a support ticket in the Support section of your AccountManager.

You should also check that you have given your home page a valid file name (such as index.htm or default.htm) and that you uploaded the files to the correct directory. For more information on these types of problems, see the Publishing Your Web Site FAQ.

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