Since domain names were mentioned I will give you some suggestions.
First of all you may get a static web IP address for your website let's say it is http://18.104.22.168. If a person put this into the address bar above where http://www.freerepublic.com/etc bla blah blah is appearing on your screen right now, it would bring people to your website
You might also get a dynamic IP address like dkwolf.web.yourwebhost.com winch would also bring people directly to your website.
You do not need a domain name to operate a website on the internet.
again..You do not need a domain name to operate a website on the internet.
Either the static or dynamic IP address mentioned above will bring up your website. But remembering and telling people your static numerical or wordy dynamic address is inconvient,and hard to remember.
A domain name name such as Darkwolf.com or .net or .org etc. might be something you like. But you have to check and make sure it is available from your domain name server.
Make sure you, and not the web host, own the domain name . Some webhosts will get you the domain name as part of a deal. If you decide to leave they may keep the name for themselves. Or if you had words over their poor service they might be slow in getting it to you when you leave. If you own the name you can move around freely.
Thanks for the info--I didn't know about that. But then, I still don't know where to put the brake fluid and oil into this stupid machine... ;)
"You do not need a domain name to operate a website on the internet."
Just as long as you never intend to make money off said website.
If you build a site at geocities.com/mysite, you might have problems getting into directories. And, it doesn't look as good. And, if you later get a website, then you're going to be listed in search engines for ever as geocities.com/mysite, and you're going to have to always keep that site and include a link to the new site. And, you might have trouble transferring google's opinion of your old page to your new page.
I use namebargain.com to register. It's probably a dollar or two more than some others, but I've never had a problem with them. That too is largely unsupported. godaddy.com is, I think, the same price or even more for .com names, and I avoid them for some reason I forget, some controversy or other. OTOH, namebargain is owned by register.com, and some people (including me, but what the hey) might want to avoid them for that reason.
Both namebargain and godaddy have an extra feature where you can cloak your WHOIS (except to people with subpoenas, of course).