We are often asked by our trainees: what is a domain name and how do domains work? If you are a beginner, then you may have heard that you need a domain to make a website.
However, many beginners confuse domain name with a website or website hosting service. If you are just starting out, then all these different terms may sound too technical.
In this beginner’s guide, we will answer what is a domain name and how domains work.
let us get started…
What is a Domain Name?
This is the address of your website that people type in the browser URL bar to visit your website.
In simple terms, if your website was a house, then your domain name will be its address.
Let us explain this more:
The Internet is a giant network of computers connected to each other through a global network of cables. Each computer on this network can communicate with other computers.
To identify them, each computer is assigned an IP address. It is a series of numbers that identify a particular computer on the internet. A typical IP address looks like this:
Now an IP address like this is quite difficult to remember. Imagine if you had to use such numbers to visit your favorite websites!
Domain names were invented to solve this problem.
Now if you want to visit a website, then you don’t need to enter a long string of numbers. Instead, you can visit it by typing an easy-to-remember domain in your browser’s address bar. For example, verizome.com.
then how do a domain name actually work?
for a clear understanding, let us look at it from the point you enter it in your browser’s URL bar.
When you enter a domain name in your web browser, it first sends a request to a global network of servers that form the Domain Name System (DNS).
These servers then look up for the name servers associated with the domain and forward the request to those name servers.
For example, if your website is hosted on Bluehost, then its name server information will be like this:
These name servers are computers managed by your hosting company.
what is the difference between a domain name and a website?
A website is made up of files like HTML pages,
website builder software, images, and more.
If the domain name is the web address of your website, then web hosting is the home where your website lives.
This is the actual computer where your website’s files are stored. Such computers are called servers and they are offered as a service by hosting companies.
To create your website, you need both domain name and web hosting.
Different Types of Domain Names
Domain names are available in many different extensions. The most popular one is .com. There are many other options like .org, .net, .tv, .info, .io, .ke and more. However we always recommend
using .com domain extension.
Let’s take a more detailed look at different types of domain names available.
Top Level Domain – TLD
Top level domain or TLD are generic domain extensions that are listed at the highest level in the system.
There are hundreds of TLDs, but the most popular ones are .com, .org, and .net. Other TLDs are lesser known and we don’t recommend using them. For example, .biz, .club, .info, .agency, and many more.
Country Code Top Level Domain – ccTLD
Country code top-level domain or ccTLD are country specific domain names that end with country code extension like .uk for the United Kingdom, .in for India, .ke for kenya.
They are used by websites that want to target audiences in a specific country.
Sponsored Top Level Domain – sTLD
Sponsored top-level domain or sTLD is a category of TLDs that has a sponsor representing a specific community served by the domain extension.
For example, .edu for education-related organizations, .gov for the United States government, .mil for the United States military, and more.
Who is Responsible for Domain Name System?
Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) manages the d.names system. It is a non-profit organization that creates and implements the policies for domain names.
ICANN gives permission to companies called Domain Name Registrars for selling d.names. These
domain registrars are allowed to make changes to d.names registry on your behalf.
Domain name registrars can sell d.names, manage its records, renewals, and transfers to other registrars.
How to choose a good domain name.
There are currently more than 351 Million registered d.names and thousands more get registered each day.
This means that all the good ones are already registered or will be registered very soon. This puts a lot of pressure on new users to come up with a domain idea for their website.
Here are some quick tips to help you choose a d.name for your next website.
- Stick with a .com domain name as it is the most popular, easy to remember, and easy to promote.
- Make sure it is shorter and easy to remember
- Make it easy to pronounce and spell
- Do not use numbers or hyphens
domain name generatorsto come up with clever d.name ideas
where then are you supposed to buy a domain name?
You can buy d.names from one of the many domain name registrars. A d.name typically costs 14.99 per year. Some popular d.name companies are:
However, buying domain does not automatically give you hosting service. For that, you will need a website hosting account as well.
Many WordPress hosting companies offer domain registration services as well. This allows you to manage both services under one account, and you also don’t need to worry about changing name server settings for your domain. You also save more on domain charges.
We recommend using Bluehost. They are offering OJIK users a free domain name and 60% discount on hosting. Basically you can get started for $2.75/month.
We hope you found this article helpful….
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