What is a domain name?

Updated: August 21, 2008

Applies To: Windows SBS 2008

A domain name points to a unique place on the Internet, and it is a Web address (for example, www.contoso.com) where customers, clients, and vendors can find your business. The first step to get your business online is to acquire your business domain name. The domain name protects your business brand from competitors, and it also reserves a customized address for a future Web site or future e-mail accounts. In Windows SBS 2008, you can use the Internet Address Management Wizard to purchase a domain name.

Purchasing a domain name

You can purchase a domain name either through a domain name provider that is participating with Microsoft to provide domain names using Windows SBS 2008 or through an independent domain name provider.

Using a participating domain provider

In Windows SBS 2008, you can purchase a domain name from a participating domain name provider by running the Internet Address Management Wizard. If you use a participating domain name provider, your server configures the DNS settings at the domain name provider’s Web site. If you use the Set Up Your Office Live Small Business Web Sites Wizard to redirect your domain name to the new Office Live Small Business Web site, your server automatically updates the DNS settings at the domain name provider’s Web site to point to the new Office Live Web site.

Using a non-participating domain name provider

If you purchase your domain through a non-participating domain name provider, if your server does not manage your domain name, and if you want to redirect your domain name to the Office Live Small Business Web site, you must manually update the DNS settings at your domain name provider’s Web site.

Time requirements

After you purchase your domain name, it can take up to 72 hours before the domain name is available for Web site redirection. Therefore, you should run the Set Up Your Office Live Small Business Web Sites Wizard at least 72 hours after you purchase your domain name.

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