1. What is a domain name, gTLDs, ccTLDs and gSLDs?
A domain name is a name commontly used to locate an Internet address.
“gTLDs” is a Generic Top Level Domain such as .COM; .NET; .EDU; .ORG; .INT; .BIZ; .INFO; .NAME; .PRO; .AERO; .MUSEUM; .COOP and other Generic Top Level Domain stipulated by competent Internet resources-related international organizations.
“ccTLDs” is a Country Code Top Level Domain, for example .VN for Vietnam.
“gSLDs” is a Generic Second Level Domain which include the following:
- VN: for organizations, enterprises and commercial individuals;
- VN: for organizations, enterprises, business individuals, similar to .COM.VN;
- VN: for organizations, enterprises related to education and training;
- VN: for agencies, organizations of the State mechanism at central and local level;
- VN: for agencies, organizations, enterprises implementing network functions;
- VN: for socio-political organizations and agencies, organizations, enterprises participating in socio-political field;
- VN: for international organizations in Vietnam;
- VN: for research organizations and agencies, organizations, enterprises working in research field;
- VN: for organizations, individuals working in professional fields;
- VN: for organizations providing information sources on economic, political, cultural, social field and agencies, organizations, enterprises related to information sources and private information;
- VN: for medical and pharmaceutical organizations and agencies, organizations, enterprises in medical and pharmaceutical field;
- VN: for personal names involving in Internet activities;
- Other domain names stipulated by the Ministry of Posts & Telecommunication.
2. Domain Name Characteristics
A domain name of Vietnam can contain the numbers from 0 to 9, the letters from a – z and the hyphen character (“-“). It is however noted that domain names cannot begin or end with a hyphen.
A domain name can contain up to 63 characters. Basically, a domain name contains three characters. In case of need, you can register a domain name with two characters if you can prove your legal interest in registering and using that name.
One final proviso: Vietnam domain name registry forbid domain names that contain phrases of words in violation with national interest; or inappropriateness with social morality, and jeopardize the national benefits, inappropriate to the social virtue, national habits and customs.
3. Domain name registration principle
i) General principles
– Universal usage of domain name under .VN is encouraged. Domain names getting direct involvement in business in Vietnam is given priority;
– Selection of domain name is at discretion of registrants in compliance with existing laws, and in conformity with legal regulations on intellectual properties and provisions of the Regulation;
– Registration of domain name shall be made on the principles of equality, regardless of registrant is an individual or organizations and on first come, first served basis;
– Domain name shall only be allocated once registrants supply full information on DNS server or targeted domain name it points to;
– Registrants shall explain the correlation between registered domain names and their business and is liable for the accuracy of information provided to Vietnam Internet Network Information Center.
ii) Registered domain namesshall not contain phrases of words in violation with national interest, or inappropriateness with social morality, and jeopardize the national benefits, inappropriate to the social virtue, national habits and customs.
iii) Registration of domain names related to geographical indications, famous person, farther-figure or common names of economic industry, commodity, products, pharmaceuticals, inter-governmental, social, political organizations should be avoided. In case of necessity, legitimate and clear proof should be submitted.
4. Change of Domain name
Change of domain name includes:
i) Complete change of domain name is registering a new domain name according to provision at Article 12 of the Regulation. The current domain name shall be obsolete
ii) Change of information related to the operation and management of domain name such as technical parameters, business address, telephone, facsimile, email etc. should be filled in the Domain name change form issued by Vietnam Internet Network Information Center (VNNIC) and then must be sent to VNNIC.
5. Domain name temporary suspension and cancellation
i) Domain name shall be cancelled in the following cases:
– Domain name shall be cancelled in VNNIC’s receipt of legal request from registrants;
– Registrant violates the law according written notice from competent State agencies;
Domain name shall be cancelled after 30 days since the suspension and registrants continue their violation.
ii) Domain name shall be suspended in the following cases:
– Registrant violates provisions of the Regulation;
– Registrant fails to pay the invoice on the due date.
– VNNIC shall send written notice of suspension or cancellation to registrants;
– The suspension and cancellation shall be done immediately on the national DNS servers and Domain name database.
iv) Domain name Restoration
Except domain name is cancelled as discussed above, all cancelled domain name shall be restored for 30 days at maximum to create favorable conditions for registrant to restore their domain names.
6. So when I register a domain name, will I then permanently own the name?
No, you own the right to use the name for a defined period of time; the period depends on your payment. You will have to pay a renewal fee after your initial registration period expires, or face losing control of the domain name. You do not automatically have the right to keep the name forever, although in practice as long as you keep on paying for the name and it does not infringe on somebody’s trademark or service mark, it is essentially yours to do what you want with.
7. Do I have to be a Vietnam company or resident to register a domain name?
No, anyone can register a domain name under any of the .com.vn, .net.vn. You don’t have to be a Vietnamese citizen or resident.
8. Do I need a website to own a domain name?
No, you can reserve a domain name even if you don’t have a website (this is known as domain parking). Later, if you build a website, you can “move” your domain name to the company that is hosting your website. But if your registered domain name is not activated within 60 days from registered date, your domain name will be restored.
9. When I register a domain name, do I get a website too?
No, you do not usually get a website along with your domain name. VNNIC does not offer you a web. The beauty of the domain name system is that you can use the name you registered with just about any web hosting company you like! It’s time to look at some of the most common kinds of domain name.vn…
10. What can I do with a domain name?
There are many uses for domain names, both active and passive.
- i) Domain names can be used to establish a unique identity in cyberspace
Companies often choose a domain name that corresponds to their company name. For instance, IBM’s web site is at ibm.com and Microsoft is at microsoft.com.
- ii) Generic domain names are popular
A generic domain name is one that would not immediately be associated with a company, but instead is a name that defines an entire category of business. Some examples of generic names include books.com.vn, music.com.vn and art.com.vn. Companies have gone on to create successful brands based on a generic domain name, and these names tend to be very valuable if the word is a common one.
iii) Domain names can be used to give you a unique, permanent email address
Many companies will set you up with email forwarding, where messages sent to @yourdomain.com.vn will be redirected to your existing mailbox as provided by your ISP. This lets you choose a truly unique email address and keep the same email address regardless of which ISP you use to access the Internet.
- iv) Domain names can be used to improve a site’s ranking in certain search engines
Although the rules by which search engines “rank” sites when returning search results change often, some search engines have recently been favoring sites with their own domain names over sites that do not have a domain name of their own. Some search engines even give increased relevancy to domain names that contain “keywords” that people search for. For example, a search engine might rate a site with the domain name “bmw.com.vn” more highly than a site with the domain name “bmwvietnam.com.vn” for the search “bmw” since the former domain name contains the search terms being searched for.
11. Why should I buy a Domain Name?
There are many reasons to buy a domain name, and with the recent drop in prices, getting your own domain name is more affordable than ever.
i) Domain names build credibility on the Web
If you are trying to do business on the Web, a domain name is essential. It’s like the difference between setting up a stall in the corner of a warehouse you share with dozens of other stores, and owning your own store. And with registrations for $100 a year and maintenance fee under $ 50USD for the next year depending on the registrar, this is a very small price to pay for increased credibility in the eyes of potential customers.
If your site is just a personal homepage set up for fun or as a hobby, you don’t actually need a domain name. But you’ll still find it easier to get your site noticed if you register one.
Domain names are being bought up at the rate of several hundred new registrations a day in Vietnam. However, it is still in the very beginning day and it is possible to find many nice names as long as you apply a little lateral thinking.
ii) Domain names are portable
As we have already seen, a domain name is just like a sign pointing to your site. “It’s over there” the sign says. You can move the underlying site (change web hosting services) and with a very minor technical adjustment (your new hosting service will help you) the domain name will point to your “new” site. This way, you are free to change hosting services to find a better deal, or if the service you are currently receiving is inadequate. The important thing is that none of your visitors’ bookmarks will need to change, nor will the move break any links to your site! This is impossible without a domain name…
iii) Domain names improve your promotion chances and therefore your site’s “visibility” on the Web
As discussed earlier, domain names which include common keywords can improve a site’s ranking in search results returned by major search engines. However, this is only the beginning of the benefits as far as web promotion is concerned. Many large Directories (sites listing or reviewing other sites) will not accept to list any site that does not have its own domain name. Yahoo! for example has a tendency to “favor” sites with their own domain name.
There are various reasons for these policies, but for our purpose really doesn’t matter WHY the search engines and directories are doing this – the fact is that they ARE! As the Web continues to grow at a breakneck pace, the situation is bound to get worse for sites that do not have their own domain names.
iv) Domain names produce a feeling of professionalism
This topic goes hand-in-hand with the credibility produced by a domain name. Rightly or wrongly, there is a perception that sites hosted under their own domain names are more professional than other sites. This idea comes from two facts: all the major, famous sites have their own domain names… and there are a lot of junk sites hosted on free or ISP hosting services.
Sadly, it really doesn’t matter what you or I think about this, as a certain amount of prejudice has already built up against commercial sites without their own domain names… So while you CAN be successful with a free site or an ISP-hosted site, you can be MORE successful with your “own” site.
12. Choosing a right domain name
The reason for purchasing the domain name will naturally have an influence on your choice of domain name, and may inspire sufficient lateral thinking to come up with an unregistered name you can secure.
i) For “Personal” Use
You’re buying a domain name so that you can have a highly personalized site URL or email address, or simply to impress your friends: “You watched the game on TV last night? Well, that’s nothing — I set myself up with my very own domain on the Internet…” Alternatively, you might be trying to get on the domain name bandwagon that you have heard so much about recently. Whatever the background to your decision, if you’re after a domain name for personal reasons, your choice will probably be based on one of the following…
If you’ve got a very unusual first or last name, you might be able to secure it as a domain. Think about registering your first and last names together (joebloggs.com.vn) or your initial(s) and last name (jbloggs.com.vn; jpbloggs.com.vn).
Note: If you share the same name as a famous person or trademark, then you face the possibility of a lawsuit over the control of a domain name based on your name, even though it’s your name! This may sound incredible – frankly, it is pretty amazing – but at the same time there have been well-documented cases of celebrities successfully getting “their” name back from people whose only claim to fame was being born with the same name.
Your hobbies, inclinations or habits
If you are a sports fanatic (sports-mad-guy.com.vn), an ardent role-player with a favorite character (darkwyrm.com.vn) or a heavy sleeper (in-a-daze.com.vn), you’ll probably find it easy to come up with a domain name that fits your interests or habits. If you’re a hacker, you’re likely to find much leaner pickings as so many related names have already been bought up. Nevertheless, focus on picking a domain that sounds fun to you – and won’t cause your cheeks to glow red with embarrassment when you share it with your friends in a bar!
Your taste or lack of it
You might want to register a domain name that makes a religious (godmustdie.com.vn) or personal statement (gunlover.com.vn), or one meant to provoke outrage (eatingbabies.com.vn). At the same time, be aware that the ownership records of a domain name are a matter of public record – in other words, anyone can find out who owns a specific domain name and where they live. Don’t antagonize the wrong people!
ii) For Corporate use
If you are purchasing one or more domain names on behalf of a company, there are several issues that you will need to consider. The domain name may be purchased to protect a product name, brand name or trademark. You may wish to associate a generic word with your product. You may be looking for a domain name for your company’s web site. You may also wish to have one or more dedicated domain names to provide unique e-mail addresses to certain divisions or branches of your business, or for specific products and services. These issues are considered below:
An extremely topical issue, and currently a highly contentious one, is the protection or lack of it that a trademark or registered brand name affords companies seeking to register a domain name.
There has been a lot of bad press about speculators “hijacking” popular brand names, trademarks and company names, and then holding companies to “virtual ransom” with demands for exorbitant payment in order to cede possession of the domain name.
It would therefore appear to make good commercial sense to register as many domain names as possible, for all combinations of trademarks, brand names and the like, that you would like protected.
Associating a generic word with your product
The commercial benefits of linking a generic word with your product in the minds of potential customers does not need spelling out here. Proctor & Gamble is just one of the companies that has gone for a blanket approach, registering hundreds of generic domain names relating to all aspects of personal hygiene and health care. You may be too late to snap up obvious sites like art.com.vn or car.com.vn, but a little thought into alternative appellations for your products or services may well bear fruit. These alternative domains can be linked easily to your main web site, in order to funnel in more customers.