If you are just getting started with the world of domain registration in Kenya, then you will find the concept of domain name, how it works and its importance quite overwhelming.
Most people usually confuse a domain name with a website. Just know that the two are completely different, though complementary to one another.
In this brief guide, we will discuss everything you need to know about domain names, and domain registration in Kenya. We will also discuss how domains work.
By the end of the article, you will have a solid knowledge about domains. You will also have all the information you need to choose the perfect domain name for your business in Kenya.
What is a domain name in Kenya – domain registration in Kenya
A domain name simply refers to the address of your website on the internet.
It is a unique name that those searching for your website type in the browser URL to be directed to your website.
Think of your website as a house located somewhere on the internet, and the domain name is its address.
How Domain Names Work
To have a clear understanding of how domain names in Kenya work, let us start by examining what happens when you first type it into the browser.
Any time you enter the domain name of a website into a browser, a request is first sent to a global network of servers that are part of the DNS – the domain name system.
The servers that make up the DNS then search for the name servers that are associated with the domain name you entered.
Once they find the name servers, they then forward the request for your domain name to those name servers.
For example, if you did your domain registration in Kenya and hosted your domain with Raysco Web and Net Solutions, then the name servers of your domain in the DNS records may look something like this: ns1.rayscoweb.com and ns2.rayscoweb.com.
It is the web hosting company that is responsible for the management of the nameservers through web servers.
The web servers will then serve you web pages and send them back to the browser that initially made the request.
What is the difference between the domain name, a website and web hosting
A website is what you need to gain an online presence. Typically, a website comprises files such as HTML pages, style sheets, and media files such as images, videos and audio.
A domain name, on the other hand, is the web address leading to your website. Web hosting is the physical location on the server where your files are stored and served to the browser.
Think of it this way: A website is like your house or shop on the internet. A domain name is the address that takes people to your house or shop.
Web hosting, on the other hand, is the actual space/plot within the internet where your store or shop is located.
To create a website, you must have both domain name and hosting. However, you must remember that domain name registration in Kenya and web hosting services in Kenya are two separate services.
But, you are always free to buy them from two different companies.
Types of domain names available for domain registration in Kenya
When you go for domain registration in Kenya, you will find a variety of extensions for you to choose from.
The most popular domain extension is .com, though there are others such as .net, .org, .me, .online, .tv, .info and many others.
If you are registering a domain to serve your business in Kenya, however, Kenya also has its domain name registrar with a unique Kenyan extension – .co.ke.
Here is a detailed look at the domain types that you can always choose from-:
Top Level Domains – TLD
Top Level Domains refer to generic domain extensions that sit at the very top of the global domain name system.
There are hundreds of these kinds of domains, however, the most popular ones are .com, .net, and .org. Others such as .biz, .info, and .agency amongst others are not so popular and we don’t advise that you use them for your websites.
Country Code Top Level Domain
Country code top-level domains refer to country-specific domain names. Usually, you will find them ending with the extension of that country, such as .ke for Kenya, .uk for UK, .ug for Uganda and such.
They are ideal if you are considering creating a website that will cater for audiences from that specific country.
Sponsored Top Level Domains
These domains usually represent a specific community or interest group and they normally have a sponsor.
Examples of domain extensions in this category include .gov for government institutions, .edu for educational institutions, and .mil for military institutions.
Second Level Domains
Second level domains are domain names that you will find before the top level domains.
For example, in a domain such as raysco.com, the raysco is the second-level domain while the .com is the top-level domain.
The second-level domains are used by domain registries to create some sort of hierarchy for the top-level domains.
Who Controls the Domain Name System
It is the responsibility of ICANN – Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers, to manage the global domain names system.
This is a not-for-profit organization whose role is to create and implement relevant policies for the worldwide domain name systems.
It is through ICANN that domain registrars located in different countries or jurisdiction get their permission to sell domain names.
The domain name registrars have the power to sell domains, make changes to the domain name registry on your behalf, manage domain name records, renew and also transfer domains to other registrars.
As the owner of the domain name, it is your duty to tell the registrar where you want them to send your domain. It is also up to you to renew your domains when they expire.
How To Register a Domain Name in Kenya
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The process of buying a domain and domain registration in Kenya is very simple. All you have to do is search for the availability of your domain.
If you find that it is available, you then go ahead and simply pay for it through your preferred domain registrar in Kenya.
If this sounds too technical for you, then simply contact any of the numerous domain hosting companies in Kenya for immediate help.
Don’t forget that once you purchase a domain, for you to do anything meaningful with it, you will have to purchase hosting as well.
Most of the reputable companies offering domain registration services in Kenya also sell hosting packages.
As such, it is always convenient to get both the domain name and the hosting from one company.
We recommend Raysco Web and Net Solutions for both domain registration in Kenya and web hosting in Kenya.