Domain Names

What is a domain name?   
A domain name is made up of words and/or letters (but can include numbers and hyphens). Each domain name is unique. A domain has several 'levels'. These levels refer to parts of the domain that are separated by periods. The top-level domain, or TLD, is the .com, .net, .org, .info, .us, etc., portion. In the name "", the "ablehost" portion would be considered the second-level domain.

What happens when I register a domain name?  
When you register a domain name, you reserve it for your exclusive use. The domain cannot be used for any service, however, until a hosting company  configures its name servers for your domain. By doing this configuration, you are able to send visitors to your website, receive email and more.

Is the name I want available? 
There have been over 30,000,000 names already registered and more are being taken every day. There are many domains that are properly registered but do not have web pages. If you want to know if the domain name you want is still available, you can check here to see if a domain name is available

How much does a domain name cost?  
The cost for a domain name registration depends on the top-level domain and the length of the registration term (one year or longer).  Pricing for top-level domains can vary because the prices are set by the registrar who has responsibility for that top-level domain.

How long can I keep a domain name?  
Domain names can be registered for one or more years. For .com, .net, and .org domains, we offer registration periods of 1-5 years. There are a few domain name types that require an initial two-year registration. You retain the domain name for as long as you maintain current registration. If you let it lapse, then anyone else can register it.

How do I choose a domain name?  
You should choose a domain name that reflects the name and/or purpose of your business and website. Something that is easy to say out loud often works well. You should try to stay away from trademarked words or phrases. If you register a name that someone else has a claim to, then can use the legal system to take it away from you. Remember that people have to be able to remember it. They also have to be able to spell it. Often people will register common misspellings of their name just to make sure they don't lose any visitors.

What restrictions are there for choosing a domain name?  
The only valid characters for domain names are letters, numbers and hyphens "-". Other characters such as underscores "_" or exclamation points "!" can not be used. In addition, the domain name cannot begin with a hyphen. Domain names can have a maximum of 67 characters, including the .com, .net or .org top-level domain (this means 63 characters before the dot).

How soon will my domain name be active once I sign up with 
If you have requested a new domain name, it will usually be active and working in 1 to 2 business days. (All domain names, no matter where they are registered, take 1 to 2 business days to be entered into the Verisign root servers and propagate throughout the name servers.)

How do I pay for domain registration renewals? 
When it is time to renew your domain name, we will contact you through the email address in the billing contact you listed for your domain name. You will be asked to return here and renew your domain name with a credit card payment.

I have forgotten my domain name password. How can I get it again? 
If you registered the domain name through us, you can go to the Support Site / Domains and complete our Forgotten Password Form, and we will send the password to the Administrative Contact email address for your domain.

Is www. part of a domain name?  
The www. prefix is NOT part of the domain name. When you register your domain name, you do not include the "www." as part of the name.

What is the difference between HardDriveHotel, the InterNIC, and Network Solutions? 
InterNIC is another name for ICANN, the nonprofit corporation that oversees domain names and root server systems. They approve which companies can register domain names, but do not themselves register domain names. Network Solutions (NSI) is one of the companies that can register domain names (they were the original company that did all of the domain name registrations). HardDriveHotel is another company that can register domain names and is less expensive than most other registrars.

Will domain names registered through work everywhere?  
Yes, unlike some alternate top-level domain plans, the domains registered through HardDriveHotel participate in the legitimate DNS root, and will work everywhere in the world.


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