Domain names, websites, e-mail and the internet generally can be daunting for those who are technically-averse or just new to the whole thing. So we have provided some information here to help you understand exactly how the whole system works.

And for those who think they understand it all, a quick review might just prove to be of value.

What is a domain name?

It’s an address on the internet, so people can find you.

The two uses people will be most familiar with are internet addresses, where the domain name is prefixed by “www” (for example www.yourname.physio) and email addresses, where the domain name follows the ‘@’ symbol (for example info@yourname.physio).

Each domain name is made up of a series of character strings (called “labels”) separated by dots. The right-most label in a domain name is referred to as its “top-level domain”, such as .physio. For all intensive purposes it is a category. The middle label is entirely up to you and is called a second level domain

Where can I register a domain name?

To apply for a .physio domain name, choose your preferred registrar and follow their application process. Some registrars provide services directly to the public, others may use resellers.

List of accredited .physio registrars.

What is registrar?

A registrar (officially known as the registrar of record) connects the registrant (person registering a domain name) with the registry (us). They are responsible for managing individual domain names. Only the registrar is able to renew, modify or redelegate the domain name on your behalf. To provide an analogy, if we are the wholesaler, the registrar is the retailer. To be able to access the .physio registry all registrars must meet strict requirements.

To find the registrar for a particular domain name, use the public Whois service.

Registrants are free to change their registrar at any time. The best way to do this is to initiate the action with the new registrar.

What kind of domain name can I get?

Pretty much whatever you want, however there are some exceptions and rules. Refer to our policy documents for all of the information.

Your registrar knows all the exceptions and rules so if you apply for something not in accordance with our policies, their system will simply let you know that you it is not available. Try again with an alternative.

How do I get a website and e-mail?

Firstly, you will need access the services of a hosting service in order to have the ability to upload a website and to have email addresses work off your new domain name. Most registrars or resellers you registered your domain name through will offer this kind of service as an add-on, but you are not limited to using them. There are many other hosting services available. It is entirely up to you.

To create your website you may need to employ the services of a web designer. Again your registrar or reseller may be able to help, or your independent hosting service provider. When sourcing a web designer, there are just a few points you will need to keep in mind:

  • You do not need to provide them with your domain name password in order for them to manage your domain name registration – treat the actual registration of your domain name like you do any other important aspect of your business – with care and complete control.
  • Hosting is a separate component of having an internet presence. You do not need to follow the designer’s advice with regard to hosting. You may take up a suggestion from someone else you know and utilise a hosting service that they recommend. The web designer then uploads the website to that other provider. Or you can follow the web designer’s advice and go with their preferred host. Irrespective of the setup, you should always have a copy of your web site stored in a place that you have access to should the web designer go out of business or the relationship sours. The copy should be updated as the site is updated.
  • If you need help with managing your domain name (as in delegating it to the hosting provider), you can seek help from the reseller or registrar you purchased your domain name through.
  • Keep a calendar reminder of when your domain name’s registration is due. You can renew a .physio domain name up to 90 days prior to its expiration date.

Domain name registration tips

Some people believe that domain names are entirely the realm of technically-natured people – but that is not totally correct. Granted that delegating website building and mail setup to a tech is understandable, domain name registration and domain name hosting are two separate areas of having an internet presence.

To register a domain name is to purchase a license enabling you, as an eligible entity, to have the domain name of your choice for a period. The technical part is really the manner in which you register domain names, which is essentially done online. The prevalence of online shopping and banking should also mean the concept of transacting online is one that should not be alien to a vast number of people. A domain name registration is simply another addition to the maintenance of your affairs.

Here are some basic tips to keep in mind for your domain name registration:

  • Do your research with whom you register your domain name through;
  • Perform the domain name registration yourself. There are a number of registrars or resellers who are happy to help you through the process (hence the research);
  • If you are unable or unwilling to perform the registration yourself, delegate it to someone you can trust. If it is a third party, ensure that you have clear terms and paperwork detailing the requirements of your registration (such as a contract or invoice that explicitly mentions the domain name or names). This can come in handy in a dispute;
  • Once the registration is completed, perform a Whois lookup of your domain name at http://whois.registry.physio to make sure that the registrant contact (and email address), registrant name and registrant ID are what you have specified. The latter being of significant importance to your eligibility and the ability to recover access to your domain name should the registrant contact details be incorrect;
  • Take note of the creation date and period of registration and enter in a calendar reminder 3 months prior to expiry of the domain name. You can renew a domain name up to 90 days prior to its expiration date. Admittedly it is in the registrars interest to get you to renew your domain name and therefore it is likley they will send you a reminder, but it is not their responsibility;
  • Add the maintenance of your domain name to any documentation that you have in your organisation (or personal life) related to the upkeep of your business (or personal matters).

An important aspect of domain name registration is the upkeep of contact information – the most critical of these, is the registrant email address. It is the method by which most domain name providers (registrars and resellers) attempt to contact registrants in order to send out renewal notices. Unfortunately, some registrants either forget, or neglect, to update their information once a change has occurred; and not all providers attempt to use alternate means to contact a registrant. As well, it is common practice for registrants to delegate responsibility for their domain name registration (in some cases without their knowledge or approval) to a third party to manage.

The loss of a domain name registration can have a significant impact on a registrant and if the domain name is of a generic nature, it is more likely to be taken by someone else as soon as it becomes available. And it is not always likely that the previous registrant is able to recover their domain name in such situations.

So, to avoid the situation of finding out that your domain name has expired or, even worse, been purged and registered by someone else, be vigilant in maintaining your domain name registration. Whenever your details change, contact your registrar or reseller and inform them of that fact. And double-check that the update has been performed.