Today, everybody needs a website and to acquire a domain name has become a simple and very trivial task. But is it?
Buying and managing a domain name, is not always a simple task. One has to consider several marketing implications, and have a plan to protect themselves from competition. Buying one domain and then having a competitor with the same domain and different extension is not going to help your marketing. There are literally hundreds of new domain extensions to cater for everyone's need. As well as the classic ones like .com .org .net .co.uk .org.uk there are new ones that cater to specific industries, geographical areas and activities. So we get things like .london and .Scot (for Scotland) as well as .Photography, .cooking, .Recipes, .Expert, .Consultant, .Holidays etc.
And then we have the IDNs , the Internationalized Domain Names, which use non-latin characters (i.e. Greek, Cyrillic, Chinese, Thai, Japanese etc.).
Navigating through more than 1,100 (including IDN domains) it seems like an impossible task. Prices and services vary dramatically from one provider to the other, and some domains need extra documentation and evidence in order to register.
But one of the most crucial issues is finding out how your newly acquired domain was (if it was) used before, and who owned it. The most famous such story is that of the www.whitehouse.com that in 1997 when it was introduced it was a porn website called "the First Ladies". The White House had to take legal action to protect the institution of the President of the United States. (the White House had only registered the domain www.WhiteHouse.gov)