What is a domain name?

A domain name is the unique name that identifies your site on the Internet. (For example, the Department of Education in the Western Cape has the domain Domain names are registered in the Internet DNS ( Domain Name Service ), and allow users and computers on the Internet to, among other things, send you email or locate your Web site if you have one.

Why is a domain name useful?

A domain name gives your school a logical, descriptive name on the Internet that is easy to remember. With a domain name registered to your school, your Internet address will remain the same , no matter which service provider you use  or what connection technology (dialup to broadband).

If I have a single-user PPPoE account with an ISP, do I have a domain name?

Yes and no. ISPs typically provide POP3/SMTP mailboxes to subscribers, which means that you get an email address such as . You therefore appear as a user on your ISP’s domain name (in this case, ). Should you change ISPs, your email address will change. Some ISPs may be prepared to provide you with a virtual domain, which means that you can register your own domain for the purposes of receiving email (or for a Web site), so that your email address might become . Ask your service provider if they offer this service.

Can I have a domain name without a full-time connection to the Internet?

Yes. You can have a domain name registered for your site for any of a UUCP email system (collecting email for multiple users using a dialup connection), to give you a multi-user email sytem with addresses of the form . See the SchoolMail web page for more details about ESN’s SchoolMail product; a single-user POP3 mailbox with virtual domains (if this service is offered by your ISP), for one or more email addresses of the form , going to a single mailbox or a Web site hosted on another server (eg. that of a regional school network, or your ISP), for a URL of the form

How do I register a domain name?

See the DNS Information page for details on who to contact. DNS registration will be handled by the e-Schools’ Network, or by your Internet Service Provider (ISP) who will arrange with the ESN to register the name. If you are using the SchoolMail Service , DNS registration will be automatic. To register the domain for a web site (e.g. that will be hosted by an ISP, you need to email us: administrative and technical contact details and two operational nameservers for the domain. This is assuming that your school has an ISP which will handle the technical details. If you want something simpler, such as web space, then let us know in more detail what you need.

For more information on domains, please view:

  • Charter
  • Launch Policy
  • Reserved Name Policy
  • Transition Framework
  • Transition Programme
  • Does it cost anything to register a domain?

    No. DNS registrations are handled as a free service by the e-Schools’ Network.

    Back to Services