A domain name is the virtual address of a website. It also acts as your online ID, making it easier for people to find you online. You can choose your domain and customize it with any of over 500 extensions (e.g., .com, .net, etc.) to make it easy for your customers to find you.
A domain name is made up of two or more words that are separated by dots. The first word is the name of the website while the last word (the one that follows the final dot) is called a top-level domain or TLD.
For example, in www. example.com, ‘example’ is the name of the website and ‘.com’ is the top-level domain.
The main reason why you should purchase a domain name is so you can give your business an online identity. In other words, you will be giving your customers an address where they can easily find you online.
A strong domain name also helps build your brand’s credibility and trustworthiness by ensuring that no other company will get confused with yours.
Also, having a custom domain makes it easier for people to remember your website’s link and type it into their browser’s address bar directly instead of having to search for it on Google.
It’s how you’ll express yourself through email or your website and it’s what customers think of when trying to find you. Businesses need a strong online presence, but choosing a domain name isn’t easy.
Table of Contents
Difference between a domain name and a URL
Before we get into the details of domain names, it’s worth explaining the difference between a domain name and a URL.
As you’re probably aware, every website on the Internet has a corresponding IP address that identifies it. An IP address is a series of numbers, like this: 188.8.131.52.
When you visit a website, though, you don’t normally enter this number into your browser’s address bar to do so — you enter something much easier to remember, like google.com or lifehacker.com. This is the domain name for that particular website.
- A URL is similar to a domain name in that it identifies a resource on the Internet — but there are some important differences between the two terms. A URL can be any type of file on the web (images, videos, and documents, for example), while domain names only point to web pages and websites. URLs also include additional information such as directories and subdirectories, while domain names contain only one file location: that of your website’s “root folder.”
- It’s not to be confused with a URL (Uniform Resource Locator), which specifies the location of a particular webpage. A URL includes the domain name and may include other information such as the protocol used (HTTP or HTTPS), the path to access a specific page, and parameters.
How Do Domains Work?
Domains are the addresses of websites. They are also referred to as URLs or Uniform Resource Locators.
A domain name is a way to identify and locate computers and resources connected to the Internet or a private network.
Domains use a hierarchy to organize sites. At the top of this hierarchy, there are top-level domains. These are generic domains like .com, .net, .org and .edu. Each top-level domain has a registry that manages it and determines who can register second-level domains under it.
You can’t do business without a domain name. It’s your business’s unique address on the internet. Think of it as your website’s home.
Where Can I Find My Domain Name?
To find your domain name, visit your domain registrar’s site and log in to your account. You can find a list of some of the most popular domain registrars here.
Once you log in, you should see a list of products you have purchased from your registrar. Some will call this “My Products” or “My Services,” while others may just call it “My Account.” Look for something that says something like “Domains,” and then click on that link.
On the next screen, you should see all the domains you have registered with your registrar. The domain name is usually listed in the left-hand column under “Domain Name” or “Domain.” The expiry date is listed in a column called “Expires On” or something similar.
What Is a Domain Name System (DNS)?
A domain name system is an Internet-wide distributed database that translates names into IP addresses and vice versa. When someone enters a domain name into their browser, they can reach that domain because its DNS maps it to its associated IP address.
The Domain Name System (DNS) is a directory of sorts that’s part of the Internet. It translates human-friendly computer hostnames into IP addresses. For example, if you enter the URL www.example.com into your browser, the DNS will look up the corresponding IP address for that domain name and direct your browser to it.
The DNS is also responsible for email routing, using MX records and other technologies. Without it, the Internet wouldn’t work the way we expect it to.
How Does DNS Work?
In order for the DNS to work properly, there must be a hierarchy of authority within each domain name — otherwise, there’d be no way to establish which servers are authoritative for any given domain name. Let’s break down how this hierarchy works from top to bottom:
- Top Level Domains (TLDs): The very highest level of domains are TLDs — these are domains like .com or .org that share a top-level domain suffix (TLD). There are currently over 1,500 TLDs in use worldwide, with many more in development.
- The second-level domains: are those you’re most familiar with — they’re the part of a domain name directly to the left of the dot. For example, in www.example.com, www is a subdomain, while the example is the second-level domain.
Can I Get a Free Website Domain?
Top-level domains such as .com, .net, .org, .info, etc are not free you must need to buy from any top-rated registrar, as I mentioned above.
but if you want a second-level domain name for your blog or online business. You’ve seen the ads and know there are companies that will give you a domain name for free—but how do you get one?
There are two ways to get a free domain name:
- Take a subdomain from an existing domain, such as example.blogspot.com or example.wordpress.com.
- Get a full domain name, but with advertisements attached, such as example.freeblogsite.com or example.myfreewebsitehosting.com.
Whether you’re just starting up your small business or looking to expand your online brand, having your own website is a great way to get started. The steps above will walk you through the process of purchasing a domain name, setting up hosting, and finally registering your website.