What Is A Domain Name?
In simple terms, a domain name is a website’s legal identifier(name). It is what comes after “www.” in a web address or after “@” in an email address. A domain can also be likened to a virtual address that an Internet user can use to find your website online. For example: YouTube.com, Google.com, Wikipedia.org.
Purchasing a domain name is the first step in creating an online presence for your business or blog. A domain name can be purchased by anyone from a domain registrar or a web host – all you need to do is find a name that no one else is using and make a purchase to own it. You also have an endless selection of TLDs (domain name endings) such as .coffee, .photography,.com,.org and so on.
What Is The Function Of A Domain Name?
The primary function of a domain name is to assist visitors in locating your website on the internet. It is your website’s identifier on the Internet. It needs to be very distinctive in order to set you apart from the competition, and at the same time descriptive enough to pass across essential information about your business or organisation.
What this means is, a website with a dynamic domain name paints a clear brand picture in the same manner that a fashionable, unique storefront window would do for a business. By looking at your window(domain name), your potential customers are able to get a glimpse of what your website represents. In addition, a domain name can be used to create multiple email addresses that would help you keep separate, your business different department’s communication with your target audience.
What Is The Difference Between Web hosting, A Website, And A Domain Name?
A website is made up of files like images, videos, HTMLs, website software builders and so on.
A domain name is the web address to your website. If a domain name is your web address, then web hosting can be likened to the street where your virtual house(website) is situated -that is the special computer where your website files are stored. These special computers are called servers and they are offered by web hosting service providers.
In order to create a website, you would need both web hosting and a domain name. However, it is important to note that web hosting and domain names are two different services and can be purchased from two different companies as well. You might be wondering how this works, all you have to do is edit your domain name setting and input at the server information provided by your web hosting provider.
What Are The Different Types Of Domain Extensions?
There are many domain extensions available. The most popular one is .com. However there are others like,.org,.info,.net,.to and so on. We however recommend you use the .com domain extension when possible. Let’s explore some of the different domain extension in detail.
Sponsored Top-level Domain – sTLDs
Sponsored top-level domains is a subcategory of TLD that serves a specific community. For example:
.gov – for the united states government
.edu – for education related organisations and
.mil – for the United States military.
Top-level Domains – TLDs
TLD’s or top-level domain extensions are generic domain extensions that are very high the domain name system. There are hundreds of TLDs available, however, the most popular ones include, .net and .com. The lesser TLDs include, .agency, .biz , .info and many more.
Country Code Top-level Domain -ccTLDs
ccTLD’s or country code top- level domains are country specific domain name extensions such as .in for India, .uk for the united kingdom, .de for Germany. They are often used by websites that want to target audiences in a particular country.
How To Choose A Domain Name For Your Website
Currently, there are over 350 million registered domain names and thousands more get registered daily.What this means is that good domain names are getting registered daily or will be registered pretty soon. Which puts a lot of pressure on first-time websites owners to come up with unique names for their websites. Here are some quick tips to help you in selecting a dynamic name for your website:
- Make use of domain name generators to develop clever domain ideas.
- Stick with “.com” domain name extensions because they are easy to remember, easy to promote and the most popular.
- Do not use hyphens or numbers
- Keep it short, simple and easy to remember.
- Make it easy to spell and pronounce.
How To Buy A Domain Name?
Purchasing a domain name is very simple. You can get one from any of the many domain registrars. Typically, a domain name would cost about $14.98 per year. Some popular domain name registrars are Godaddy, Domainname and Discount domains. Please note, buying a domain name doesn’t automatically provide you with a hosting service. You will need to purchase a web hosting in order to make your website live. Fortunately, there are lots of domain registrars who offer web hosting services as well. This would allow you to manage both services and accounts on the same platform. You will not need to change name server settings for your domain name.
Who Is A Domain Registrar?
A domain registrar is a service company that sells domain names that are available for registration. A simple search on a domain registration page would let you know if your desired domain name is available and how much it would cost you to purchase it. A lot of these companies also offer web hosting.
Who’s Responsible For The Domain Name System?
The Internet Corporation For Assigned Names And Numbers(ICANN) is responsible/ manages the domain name system. It is a nonprofit organisation that creates and implements the policies governing domain names and websites. ICANN gives permission to domain name registrars to sell domain names.
These domain registrars make changes to the domain name registry on your behalf. Domain name registrars can also change domain names, make transfers to other registrars, manage records and renewals.
Please note, as a domain name owner, you are solely responsible for informing your registrar where you would like requests to be sent. You are also responsible for renewing your domain name registration.
By James Cummings
who is Founder and CEO of dailyposts(.co.uk). He is a business psychologist and serial entrepreneur.