What is a domain name?


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In simple terms, a domain name is an industrial term for a web address. But more elaborately, it is “A domain name is an identification string that defines a realm of administrative autonomy, authority or control within the Internet. Domain names are used in various networking contexts and for application-specific naming and addressing purposes”. But let’s forget the big words. It is like the address of your residence. As an example, nike.com, and disney.com, are some web addresses.

And they can have a ton of other extensions, too like:

  • .org
  • .net
  • .co
  • .info
  • .us
  • .online
  • .info
  • .photography
  • .bike
  • .site

And there are extensions that we cannot buy and need prior approval before getting them. These domain extensions are restricted by the government. For example:

  •  .gov
  • .mil
  • .edu

A domain name can contain a single word or multiple words. There is always a dot at the end, followed by a suffix. This suffix after the dot is called a ‘top-level domain.’

There are 364.6 million domain name registrations worldwide.

The third quarter of 2021 is estimated with 364.6 million domain name registrations worldwide. Across all top-level domains, despite being initially created for businesses and commercial organizations, .com became one of the most popular and widely used types of top-level domain, making up 158.6M of that 364.6M number.

There is no difference between these domains. The only difference is the price, and the cost would vary depending on where we buy. Many domain registration companies will run deals for the first year but jack up the price the following year. So mark your calendar and note the renewal price to avoid being caught off guard.

A subdomain is a subcategory domain under the primary domain name. Once we register for a domain, permission is given to create subdomains for it by ourselves.

Who regulates this?

The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) is the organization that is responsible for the assignment of domain names. In 2000, the Internet was becoming so big and populated that the Information Sciences Institute (ISI), contracted by the US to monitor all these domains, was ditched for a new nonprofit, ICANN. The idea is that because ICANN is in the private sector and it is a nonprofit organization, it could invite global players into the mix.

When you register your domain name, you’re going to see that it has to get approved by ICANN and will typically be available for use in 24-48 hours. It’s more like an hour, but they give themselves excellent time. The registrar we choose will decide the cost for registering a domain name, and generally, we are expected to pay a yearly fee. No registrar has the authority to sell a domain name for more than a 10-year registration contract. If you ever want to make changes to the domain name, like updating whom it’s registered to (i.e., instead of your tech guy, you’d rather it be reported to you), those updates take time to take effect. Because having one source for all these domain names can create a bit of a bottleneck effect. However, buying a domain does not automatically provide you hosting service. IT is possible to buy as many domains as we want to. For that, you should have a website hosting account too.

How to pick a domain name?

There are specific considerations to be made when picking a domain name.

A simple name that is easy to remember

Register common domain misspellings

A word that fits the brand

It is also possible to sell domain names, not only buy. There is a good demand for good custom domain names worldwide.

Domain names are available in many different extensions.

Top-Level Domain – TLD; the most popular ones are .com, .org, and .net.

Country Code Top Level Domain – ccTLD; these end with country-code extensions like .uk for the United Kingdom,.in for India, and .de for Germany.

Sponsored Top-Level Domain – sTLD; has a specific sponsor representing a community served by the domain extension.

The link attached shows a list of all current domain extensions taken straight from ICANN: https://data.iana.org/TLD/tlds-alpha-by-domain.txt

 Domain name keeps things easy and memorable.

Domain names can be used for different reasons, such as application-specific naming and addressing. It helps to find the site quickly rather than using its internet protocol, a convoluted string of numbers and letters computers use to recognize a website. A typical IP address is, which is quite challenging to remember. We don’t need to type a long string of numbers to visit a website. Instead, we can organize the domain name in the browser’s address bar. So, a domain name keeps things easy and memorable.

To create a website, both domain name and web hosting are needed. A domain name is the address of a particular website, and the users enter it into a browser to access it. A website comes under a single domain, a collection of web pages made up of files like HTML pages, website builder software, and so on.

Domain privacy is a separate additional add-on service provided by domain registrars. If domain privacy is not provided, the private information, including names, contact numbers, and so on, may be collected and displayed in ICANN’s WHOIS database when we register our domains. So that the domain privacy allows the use of proxy information instead of accurate personal information, most of the time, domain privacy is not provided for free. We can buy it anytime by paying a small amount if we are concerned about privacy.

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