What are Domain Names ?
Why are some addresses .COM and others .CO.UK?
Is there a limit to how many domains I can buy?
Can you explain about some of this terminology?
I use frames based forwarding/cloaked addressing is that a problem?
What if I already have a domain?

What are domain names?

Domain names are the names you enter into your web browser or are part of the information behind email addresses. A domain name is a way to identify and locate computers connected to the Internet. A domain name must be unique; no two organizations on the Internet can have the same domain name so it may not be possible for you to have your first choice of domain name as it may already have been registered.

Domain names should really be read from right to left - the rightmost part of the address is the top level domain. For example .co.uk or .com

A typical domain name consists of a second-level domain and a top-level domain, such as "bigco.com". In addition, hostname and subdomain information can be added, for example: "tiger.newyork.bigco.com". The top-level domain name describes the type of organization or the country with the domain name (EDU, COM, GOV, UK, etc.).

Each domain name corresponds to numeric IP addresses which is used by the Internet to transmit data. The Domain Name System completes the task of matching domain names to IP addresses so that users of the Internet only have to remember domain names, not numbers.

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Why are some addresses .COM and others .CO.UK?

Domains are organised into different types - most types are geographic with the last section representing the country (.uk for GB/UK, .it for italy etc), there are some three letter domains which are an exception to this, .com, .net, .org etc.

More information on Domain names can be found on Nominet's site (for .uk) at http://www.nominet.org.uk/news/guides/reg2.html and at the Internic (for .com, .net, .org) at http://www.internic.net/faq.html

Xhost is a Nominet UK member and tag holder and can therefore offer domains ending:
.co.uk - for commercial enterprises - the largest SLD in the UK
.org.uk - for non - commercial organisations
.plc.uk and .ltd.uk - for use by Registered companies only
.net.uk - for the network providers
.sch.uk - for schools

We also have an arrangement which allows us to obtain .com, .net and .org addresses.

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Is there a limit to how many domains I can buy?

No, you are welcome to buy as many domains as you wish. Special prices may apply to non-standard domains (eg other countries or other top level domains). If you have a specific requirement please contact us at domains@xhost.co.uk

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Can you explain about some of this terminology

When you purchase a domain - for example mydomain.co.uk, you need to register it with a registrar. Which registrar is the right registrar depends on which top level domain you choose (for example, .co.uk or .com). Registrars are identified by IPSTAGs. We will automatically select the right registrar for you

Information about the domain is held by Name Servers (also known as Domain Name Servers or DNS). You can look at information about your domain using a facility called WHOIS. There are typically three types of information displayed:

  1. NS Records - These determine which Name Servers have the definitive information for the domain, and dictate which Internet Provider(s) are responsible for it's management.
  2. SOA Records - Annotation of the responsibility for the domain. This includes the authoritative name server, i.e. where the buck stops when it comes to information about this domain, the contact email address for this domain and various figures governing how often the domain's information should be refreshed.
  3. MX Records - These govern how and where mail for the domain should flow.

So how does this help you get your web site on line?

You need to define some hosts for your domain. Typically you would register www.mydomain.co.uk as your web site address and you might also choose to register a mail handler such as mail.mydomain.co.uk. In order to process mail for the domain, you will also need an MX record pointing to the host which is handling your email.

When you order a domain from us we will create www.yourdomain.co.uk, ftp.yourdomain.co.uk, mail.yourdomain.co.uk and appropriate SOA and MX records for you automatically.

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I use frames based forwarding/cloaked addressing is that a problem?

It's certainly less than ideal.  

We strongly recommend customers to either use our nameservers or have proper nameserver records created on their chosen nameservers.  

Frame based forwarding is unreliable, causes people to have problems bookmarking your site and can cause your site not to be listed in some search engines.  If you really have no choice but to use frame based forwarding then please let us know and we will accommodate you but we really recommend that you use an alternative and cannot be responsible if your site isn't listed or other problems occur.

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What if I already have a domain?

Then you have a choice:

If you are happy with your current registrar, then you can do one of the following:

  • either ask them to change your name server entries to point to us:
    • www.yourdomain.co.uk to point to,
    • mail.yourdomain.co.uk (if you've chosen the mail handling option) to
  • or ask them to change your domain details to use our name servers: 
    • ns0.xhost.co.uk -,
    • ns1.xhost.co.uk - and
    • ns2.xhost.co.uk -
    • (if taking this option it is important that you notify us at domains@xhost.co.uk before the change is made so that we can create the records in our nameservers to minimise the risk of you experiencing downtime for your domain).

If you are not happy with your current registrar then:

  • ask them to transfer the domain to our registrar by -
    - for .co.uk, .org.uk, .plc.uk, .ltd.uk, .net.uk, .sch.uk etc changing the IPSTAG to XHOST
    - for .com, .org, .net etc if your domain is registered with CORE then request a registrar change to JOKER and update the handles to tech_handle:COCO-593002 zone_handle:COCO-593002 admin_handle:COCO-593002
  • ask them to change the name server to our name servers as listed above
  • Please note - this may take some time, some registrars can be very slow to release domains.  We can arrange temporary access to your site while the domain is being transferred via <yourname>.xhostcustomers.co.uk type name.

If you wish to use our name servers then please ensure that you notify domains@xhost.co.uk so that we are informed in good time to create the DNS records.

Also please be clear whether you wish us to handle your email of if you have existing email arrangements which you want to keep - we need to know this in order to set up your mail handling records correctly.  If you are not sure what your current email handling is then you can use Sam Spade at http://www.samspade.org/t/dig.cgi to look at the current settings for your domain, you're looking for the MX record for the domain.

Please note: Many registrars charge to transfer a domain.  In almost all cases you will need to  arrange the transfer yourselves - for security reasons registrars require the owner of the domain to request any changes the exception is Network Solutions where, once you have told us what sort of transfer you require we can initiate the change but the timescales are wholly dependent on the admin contact approving the change.  Please contact domains@xhost.co.uk if you have any queries on any aspect of a domain transfer.

If you have problems transferring a .uk domain then you can use Nominet's process - click here for details.  Nominet UK is the Registry for .uk Internet Domain Names - There are a number of Second Level Domains (SLDs) within .uk and Nominet UK manages the most popular of these:

.co.uk - for commercial enterprises - the largest SLD in the UK
.org.uk - for non - commercial organisations
.plc.uk and .ltd.uk - for use by Registered companies only
.net.uk - for the network providers
.sch.uk - for schools
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