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The Internet domain names


Internet has become a place of choice to market your business, your brand, your products and your passions. Essential in a communication plan, domain names are a key element for a successful outcome of your project. Whether it is to protect your name, publish a personal website or an e-commerce shop, choosing a naming strategy must be carefully considered.

Many people feel a little abandoned and lost in this digital world perceived as very or too technical. The emergence of the Internet, its constant evolution and rapid change of consumption patterns, often make it a barrier for amateurs or beginners who give up their web presence.

Through the following sections, we will try to present clearly the world of domain names to give you the keys to understand its main aspects.

What is an Internet domain name ?

This is an alphabetical Internet address made of a name that you choose and an extension separated by a dot.
The name will correspond to your desires, your products and services or just in your own name by ensuring not to violate the rights of others.

The name syntax

Domain names must follow a few syntax rules:

  • Extension excluded, the length must not exceed 63 characters.
  • The minimum number of characters depends on the extension but is, in general, 2 or 3
  • Letters without accents, numbers and character - can be used
  • A name can not begin or end with - or contain spaces
  • A name can not contain a point (.) appart from its extension
  • Uppercase or lowercase does not matter

In addition, some extensions can accept accented characters. We call these : IDN domain names ("International Domain Name"). More information about accented domain names

The extension

There are two major types of extensions:

  • Generic extensions (as known as "gTLD for generic Top Level Domain") correspond to a meaning, an industry or a community. Among these extensions, .COM, .NET, .ORG are the best known but there are many other less common such as .MOBI, .TEL and .XXX.

  • Geographical extensions (as know as "ccTLD for country code Top Level Domain") correspond to a specific territory. There is as many geographical extensions as countries in the world like .FR for France, .CA For Canada, etc..

There is also specialized extensions, represented by a national extension but used for a community or an industry. For example, .TV corresponds to Tuvalu but is marketed as the extension of Television, web TV and other video content.

A revolution is underway for gTLDs, as the years 2013/2014 will bring over 1900 new extensions shoving the Internet landscape. Indeed, these new extensions correspond to cities (.PARIS, .BERLIN, ...), to sectors (.BANK, ...), to jobs (.ARCHI, ..), to sports (.SKI, .BASKET, ...) or brands (.GOOGLE, .BMW, .AUDI, ...). We do not hide that it will significantly complicate the sector for both registrars and users!

Learn more about the list of extensions

Registry, Registrar, Reseller, who's who?

It is sometimes difficult to distinguish and know the scope between the various stakeholders in the management of domain names.

The Registry

This is an organization that is responsible for the administrative and technical management of one or more extensions. Sometimes Association, a private company, university, the registry can be independent or supervised by a supervisory authority, as ICANN for gTLDs, or government institution.

These organizations set the rules for the allocation, management and evolution of domain names, which any registrar and any holder of a domain name must comply. In general, it is not possible for the end user to register a domain name from the Registry.

The Registrar

The Registrar is accredited with the Registries to market their extensions. The Registrar is the technical and administrative liaison between the end user and the Registry.

The Registrar is the only one able to make changes to the domain including achieving renewal. If you manage your domain names with FranceDNS, never agree to pay a renewal invoice that does not come from us.

The Reseller

The Reseller is usually a company that does not have the technical or financial capacity to access the Registrar status or just has another activity that simply requiring the resale of domain names to his customers.

This is usually the case of web hosting provider, web agencies, or communication/marketing/IP consulting companies.

The reseller is another third-party between the owner and the official Registrar.

What about FranceDNS ?

In our goal of transparency and quality FranceDNS aims to position itself at the highest level in the naming hierarchy as an accredited registrar to remove intermediaries and be directly linked to the Registries.

Unfortunately, sometimes we can not reach this status in some countries due to local restrictions. In this case, FranceDNS acts as a Reseller with local registrars with whom we have signed partnerships.

In some countries, the Registry itself sells its extensions without having established the concept of Registrar. Therefore FranceDNS acts as technical and billing contact to manage domain names directly.

Our contracts related to domain names, including special conditions, clearly explain the rules of each extension and the naming hierarchy.

How does this work ?

All available data on the Internet are usually stored on servers, computers designed specifically for this activity, or sometimes simple personal computers. These are then connected to the Internet with a single IP address ("IP for Internet Protocol"), represented by a sequence of digits, in order to make them reachable among the millions of other devices in the worldwide network.

The link between the domain name and IP address that contains its data is performed with DNS ("Domain Name System")

DNS name servers

The DNS establish the correspondence between the domain name of your site (e.g : www.francedns.com) and the IP address where it is hosted (e.g : on the Internet.

Each domain name has its own DNS configuration to define which IP addresses used for the website, the email management, etc.. This configuration is stored on DNS servers, dedicated servers..

To be active on the Internet, a domain name must have at least one DNS name server. However, it is preferable and sometimes mandatory to have two or more DNS name servers to take advantage of redundancy (if one of the servers becomes unavailable), thus ensuring the availability of a domain name permanently.

DNS servers are usually provided by the registrar within its services or by the hosting service provider. As DNS records which can be modified according to the user's needs.

Learn more about our DNS service


When visiting a website, the browser queries the domain name's DNS name servers to know the IP address of the server which store the data in order to download and display the web pages to the user.

Therefore, a website requires a hosting service to store its pages, images and videos. This service is usually an additional one or sold as packs with the domain name.

Learn more about our hosting packages


When sending an email, the messaging software queries the domain name's DNS name servers to know its mail servers to transmit their message.
The mail server then stores the email in the recipient's mailbox in order to make it available to the user.

To fully exploit custom email addresses with your domain name, a messaging solution can be subscribed giving many features.

Learn more about our messaging solution

How to choose a domain name ?

Choosing the right domain name can be a difficult exercise because you must take into account the allowed syntax, determine the appropriate extension, find available terms while finding the most representative of your original idea. Moreover the domain has a significant interest in the ranking of your site in search engines.

The domain name is your identity and your address on the Internet, your naming strategy must be reflected. A brief overview of the main criteria!


It should above all be simple, intuitive, easy to remember and not to present ambiguity about the spelling when pronounced.


If the term to be registered consists of several words, they may be separated by dashes or not. Similarly, consider the singular / plural and possible spelling mistakes.

Users can type your domain in many ways, it is better to register all its variants in order to catch maximum traffic and avoid cybersquatting on a similar name.


It is preferable that it contains keywords for your business or brand. Indeed, search engines perform searchs on keywords in the name of the page, in its content, in the domain name itself. Remember to separate keywords with dashes or search engines could understand the name as one sole keyword.


There is a large number of extensions between generic / geographical and as many naming strategies following your project's scope : international or not.

In general, if the .com is free, it would be a shame not to register it...

For an individual, choose your national extension.

For non-personal projects, choose the national extension or corresponding generic extension, such as .org fo associations.

For commercial projects, your online communication strategy, SEO and target markets will determine the extensions to be registered.

Think about the future, it would be a shame to register only your national extension and be stuck in a few years if the domain is no longer available in the target countries. Sometimes it is cheaper to register the domain names from the beginning of the project rather than spend large sums to redeem them, if it is even possible.

If in the end, if you have multiple domain names, extensions or variants, you will still be able to redirect to the main domain name using the web forwarding services included with their registration.

Every need is different and requires a global reflection on the naming strategy. If you have any questions regarding the choice of your domain name, contact us

Domain names and Brands

A domain name can be described as distinctive sign in the same way as a brand, name, trade name. A distinctive sign used to identify and distinguish a company from its competitors. The domain name allows to distinguish, on the internet, a company from its competitors.

However the domain differs from the brand because it is not an industrial property title. In other words, owning a domain name gives you no right to the name even in the corresponding country if it is a geographical extension. Register a domain name does not amount to register a trademark.

The brand gives a right to use the name in the country of registration and thus the corresponding domain name.

Disputes between a domain name and an earlier brand

The owner of a brand that believes that a domain name reserved subsequently affect its brand may institute an action for infringement. The judge may order, in addition to conventional sanctions for infringement, cancellation of the domain name or transfer the trademark owner.

However, the complainant must prove that:

  • The consumer may confuse the brand and the domain name
  • The domain name is used for commercial purposes
  • The domain refers to products and / or services
  • The domain name acts in the territory protected by the trademark

Disputes between a domain name and a later brand

A trademark confers rights to the holder only from its official registration, the holder of a brand registered after a domain name registration can not bring any action against the holder.

In contrast, the holder of the domain name could bring an action for annulment of the brand, or a tort action.

According to Terms and Conditions of a domain name's registration, the licensee shall ensure that the name complies with the intellectual property rights. It is therefore necessary to conduct an audit in the public databases to ensure the name is not already registered as a trademark.

Extensions price list
Our choice
* Price if the holder of the domain does not resides in the country concerned.
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