What is a domain name?
A domain name is your website name. A domain name is the address where Internet users can access your website. A domain name is used for finding and identifying computers on the Internet. Computers use IP addresses, which are a series of number. However, it is difficult for humans to remember strings of numbers. Because of this, domain names were developed and used to identify entities on the Internet rather than using IP addresses.
A domain name can be any combination of letters and numbers, and it can be used in combination of the various domain name extensions, such as .com, .net and more.
The domain name must be registered before you can use it. Every domain name is unique. No two websites can have the same domain name. If someone types in www.yourdomain.com, it will go to your website and no one else’s.
Why you need a Domain Name
On the Internet, your domain name is your unique identity. Any individual, business or organization planning to have an Internet presence should invest in a domain name. Having your own domain name, website and email addresses will give you and your business a more professional look. Another reason for a business to register a domain name is to protect copyrights and trademarks, build creditability, increase brand awareness, and search engine positioning.
The initials stand for “Internet Corporation of Assigned Names and Numbers”. The purpose of ICANN is to oversee the IP numbering assignment, the domain name system, and to address the issue of domain name ownership resolution for gTLDs.
Whois is an Internet database that contains information on domain names, including the name servers associated with the domain name, the domain registrar, registrant and the domain’s Administrative and Technical contacts. By performing a WHOIS search, you can find out when and by whom a domain was registered, their contact information, where the website is hosted, when the domain expires, and more.
The Whois is also a tool that searches the domain name information contained in WHOIS databases. It is generally used to check the availability or ownership of a domain name.
Which TLD should I choose?
TLD, or Top-Level Domain, is the part of the domain name on the right of the dot (“.”). The most common TLDs are .com, .net, .org. The top-level domains (TLDs) such as com, net and org are the highest level of domain names of the Internet. Top-level domains form the DNS root zone of the hierarchical Domain Name System. Every domain name ends with a top-level domain label.
There are the various types:
gTLD – generic top level domain
- .org – typically for organizations
- .edu – restricted for post-secondary educational establishments
- .mil – restricted for US military
- .gov – restricted for US governments and agencies
- .int – restricted for international organizations established by treaty
uTLD – unsponsored top level domains
- .info – for informational sites
- .name – for families and individuals
- .biz – for businesses
- .mobi – reserved for websites catering to mobile devices
- .travel – reserved for travel agents, airlines, tourism bureaus and hoteliers
ccTLD – country code top level domains
- .ca – for Canada
- .uk – for the UK
- .fr – for France
- Almost every country has a country domain
When choosing your domain extension, decide if you are targeting a local country or if you are planning to go international. ccTLDs are an excellent choice if you need to market your business to a certain geographic region.
Second-level and lower level domains
Below the top-level domains in the domain name hierarchy are the second-level domain (SLD) names. These are the names directly to the left of .com, .net, and the other top-level domains. As an example, in the domain example.co.uk, co is the second-level domain.
Next are third-level domains, which are written immediately to the left of a second-level domain. There can be fourth- and fifth-level domains, and so on, with virtually no limitation. An example of an operational domain name with four levels of domain labels is sos.state.oh.us. Each label is separated by a full stop (dot). ‘sos’ is said to be a sub-domain of ‘state.oh.us’, and ‘state’ a sub-domain of ‘oh.us’, etc. In general, subdomains are domains subordinate to their parent domain. An example of very deep levels of subdomain ordering are the IPv6 reverse resolution DNS zones, e.g., 220.127.116.11.0.0.0.0.0.0.0.0.0.0.0.0.0.0.0.0.0.0.0.0.0.0.0.0.0.0.0.0.ip6.arpa, which is the reverse DNS resolution domain name for the IP address of a loopback interface, or the localhost name.
A fully qualified domain name (FQDN) is a domain name that is completely specified with all labels in the hierarchy of the DNS, having no parts omitted. Labels in the Domain Name System are case-insensitive, and may therefore be written in any desired capitalization method, but most commonly domain names are written in lowercase in technical contexts.