What Is a Domain Name?

A domain name is a way to identify and locate computers and resources connected to the Internet. No two organizations can have the same domain name.

Each domain name corresponds to numeric IP (Internet Protocol) addresses; The Internet uses the numeric IP address to send data. For instance, you may be connecting to a World Wide Web server with the domain name “www.google.com ", but as far as the network is concerned, you are connecting to the Web server with the IP address associated with that domain name.

A domain name is an identification string that defines a realm of administrative autonomy, authority or control within the Internet. Domain names are formed by the rules and procedures of the Domain Name System (DNS)

The Domain Name System completes the task of matching domain names to IP (Internet Protocol) addresses.

The Domain Name System is a collection of databases that contain information about domain names and their corresponding IP addresses. Domain name servers are computers that translate domain names to IP addresses.

Types of Domain Names:

There are various types of domain names. The most common ones are the generic domains (which include .com domains) and the country code domains (which use a two letter country code, such as .uk for United Kingdom).

Generic Top-Level Domains (gTLD):

Domain                    Purpose / Sponsoring Organization

.COM                         Generic top-level domain (VeriSign Global Registry Services)

.INFO                        Generic top-level domain (Afilias Limited)

.NET                        Generic top-level domain (VeriSign Global Registry Services)

.ORG                        Generic top-level domain (Public Interest Registry (PIR)

Generic-Restricted Top-Level Domains:

.BIZ                        Restricted for Business (NeuStar, Inc.)

.NAME                     Reserved for individuals (The Global Name Registry Ltd.)

Sponsored Top-Level Domains (sTLD):

A sponsored top-level domain (sTLD) is one of the categories of top-level domains (TLDs) maintained by the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA) for use in the Domain Name System of the Internet.

.AERO                    Reserved for members of the air-transport industry

.JOBS                      Reserved for human resource managers

.GOV                      Reserved exclusively for the United States Government

.ASIA                      Restricted to the Pan-Asia and Asia Pacific community

Country Code Top-Level Domains (ccTLD):

A country code top-level domain (ccTLD) is an Internet top-level domain generally used or reserved for a country, sovereign state, or dependent territory identified with a country code.

.IN                     India

.AU                     Australia

.CN                     China

.UK                     United Kingdom

.US                     United States

How Domain Names Are Spelled?

1) Domain names are organized right to left, with general descriptors to the right, and specific descriptors to the left. These descriptors are called "domains"..

2) The "top level domains" (TLD, or parent domain) is to the far right of a domain name. Mid-level domains (children and grandchildren) are in the middle. The machine name, often "www", is to the far left.

3) Levels of domains are separated by periods "dots".

Example: In the domain (nytimes.com)

nytimes is the mid-level domain; .com is the top level domain.

Example: In the domain (japantimes.co.jp)

japantimes is the smaller mid-level domain. .co is the larger mid-level domain. .jp is the top level domain

A URL goes into much more detail than domain name, providing much more information, including the specific page address, folder name, machine name, and protocol language.

Example Uniform Resource Locator pages, with their domain names bolded:


Use in web site hosting?

The domain name is a component of a uniform resource locator (URL) used to access web sites, for example:

URL: http://www.example.net/index.html

Top-level domain: net

Second-level domain: example

Host name: www

A domain name may point to multiple IP addresses to provide server redundancy for the services offered, a feature that is used to manage the traffic of large, popular web sites.

Web hosting services, on the other hand, run servers that are typically assigned only one or a few addresses while serving websites for many domains, a technique referred to as virtual web hosting. Such IP address overloading requires that each request identifies the domain name being referenced, for instance by using the HTTP request header field Host or Server Name Indication.

Domain Name Usage?

Create a website:

The most common reason for registering a domain name is to create a website. The domain name represents the "web address" of the website.

If you choose to build your own website, you will need a web hosting account (so that your website can be viewed by the world). After opening your web hosting account, you will need to update your domain name's DNS settings so that it points to your website. This is quite straight forward, and you will receive instructions when you open your hosting account.

Multiple email accounts:

You can use your domain name to create multiple email accounts. This is ideal for families, groups, and businesses.

If you have a business, you can create email accounts for each member of your staff. You can also create email accounts such as "support@..." or "sales@..." etc

The number of email accounts you can create will depend on the domain/hosting plan you choose.

Sell it:

Many people register domain names with the sole purpose of selling them for a profit. They only register domain names that they think someone else would want to pay good money for - much more than the cost of registration.

Such domain names are often desirable to a company because they include the company name, a product name or brand name. Other domain names are desirable due to the fact that they include "valuable" keywords - keywords that would attract search engine traffic.

Basically, what the buyer is doing is buying the rights to register the domain name. Therefore, they will pay you money, so that they can register it under their own name. Although they've paid you money, they still have to pay the annual registration fee when due.

Earn income:

When a web visitor accesses their domain via a browser, ads are displayed on the domain's homepage. The domain owner can earn money based on ad impressions (how many times an ad is viewed), click through (how many times an ad is clicked), or commissions (a percentage of any sales resulting from a click through on an ad).

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