What is a Domain Name? What is Domain Name System (DNS)? – All you need to know

In the online world, web addresses are like your home’s address—they help you find your way. Let’s start with the basics.

what is a domain name exactly?

A domain name is like a magic word that helps us find our favorite websites on the internet. It’s a special text we type into our computer or phone to reach a website we want to visit.

It contains the website’s registration, name, and location, which are represented by the webpage address. For example, the popular domain name for Google is ‘google.com.’

Imagine a domain name as your friend’s name on your phone. It’s much easier to remember than a bunch of complicated numbers. Now, here’s the tricky part – Every website has a special set of alphanumeric numbers called an IP (Internet Protocol) address, e.g. It’s perfect for computers.

Luckily, we don’t have to remember these numbers and be routed to the websites we are looking for because of DNS (Domain Name System).

What is Domain Name System (DNS)

DNS or Domain name system is like a magic translator. It connects the easy-to-remember domain names to the complicated IP addresses. So when you type a domain name, the computer uses DNS (Domain name system) to find the right website and take you there. This whole process is called a DNS lookup.

For example, your friend finds your house. They don’t need to know the GPS coordinates; they just use your street address. Visiting a website works the same way. Instead of memorizing the tricky IP address, we type in the domain name, and our computer takes us to the right place on the internet.

So, in simple terms, a domain name is your shortcut to your favorite websites. The simple name you use makes it easy to find on the internet. That’s the magic of a domain name!

What does a domain look like?

A domain is similar to the home address of a website. It usually consists of two or three words separated by dots. For example, alternateproduct.com is a domain.

But what what about a full website? let’s cover the complete structure of a website or URL.

What does a website look like?

A website is like a virtual property, much like a store, and it needs an address to be found. It’s also called a URL (Uniform Resource Locator). This address is the domain, which contains the website’s registration, name, and location, all represented by the webpage address.

An example of a website address is www.(domainname).(extension).

Where ‘www’ stands for World Wide Web, followed by the website name in short format, without spaces and an extension indicating the business area and country of location.

A complete web address, or URL, has different parts. Imagine a URL: https://blog.alternateproduct.com/domain/what-is-a-domain. Break it down like this:

  • Protocol (“https://”)
  • Domain Name (“alternateproduct.com”)
  • Subdomain (“blog.”)
  • Second-level Domain (“alternateproduct”)
  • Top-level Domain (“.com”)
  • Subdirectory (“/domain/”)

Types of Domain Extensions

Extensions, known as Top Level Domains (TLDs), fall into three categories:

Generic TLDs (gTLD)/ International Domains:

Extensions like .com, .net, .org, .int, .arpa, .biz, .info, .name, and .pro don’t have many rules and can work independently without strict domain restrictions or a sponsoring organization.

Sponsored TLDs (sTLD)

such as .edu, .gov, .mil, .aero, .coop, .museum, .jobs, .mobi, .travel, .tel, .cat, and .asia. These are used when the domain is related to a specific area or community.

Country-code TLDs (ccTLD):

These are two-letter TLDs extensions, that represent over 250 countries and official regions (like .us for the United States and .ca for Canada, for instance).

There are various extensions that do different things, but they usually show what the website is about.

Your domain always directs people to your website. But sometimes, there are backup domains to make sure visitors find your site, even if they type the wrong address. These backup domains are like copies with different endings, and they guide the user to the correct place.

For example, if your main domain is www.alternetproduct.com, the backup could be www.alternetproduct.com.us. This link makes sure the user still goes to the main website. This way, visitors don’t even notice they got redirected.

This plan helps your page to have a unique name and show up on search engines in different situations, whether using the main or backup domains.

Who manages domain names?

Domain names are managed by groups called domain registries. They let other groups, called registrars like GoDaddy or Google Domains, help people get a specific name for their website. Right now, there are more than 300 million registered domain names. The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) To inspect the process of the domain name system (DNS).

Why Domain Name Is Important?

Domains do more than just make it easy for people to find your website. They help in owning your spot on the internet, creating a brand, being trusted by visitors, and making sure people remember your site easily.

Let’s explore a few other reasons why people use domains or Why Domain Name Is Important:

1. Ownership:

A domain is like having the key to your website’s address. As long as you register it, nobody else can take it. This gives you full control over where the website goes, which company looks after it, what details are linked to your domain account, who manages it, and even if you decide to sell it.

2. Brand Identity:

Having a domain name that’s similar to your company name can help you establish a consistent online brand identity.

For example, when someone goes from your website’s main page to your blog to a knowledge base, they’ll see that the main domain name stays the same. Things like color scheme and writing style also stay the same, creating a consistent look.

3. Credibility:

If your domain name matches your company name, it makes your website look trustworthy and professional to people. This helps build confidence with visitors, so they’re more likely to do things like fill out a survey or form on a web page that has that same domain name.

4. Be Memorable

If your website name is easy to remember, people can type it quickly in their search bars. This can bring more people directly to your site.

For example, E-Cafe Great American Cafe Shop has a simple domain: e-cafe.com. It’s much easier to remember than something longer like e-cafegreatamericancafeshop.com.

5. Stand Out Against Competitors

A short and catchy domain name can make you stand out from other competitors’ sites that have long or confusing names. Imagine if Google was called BackLead – it might not have done as well compared to Bing and other search engines.

6. Build Authority

Besides making your brand stronger, having a good domain name can also give you an idea of how likely your website is to show up in search results compared to your competitors.

Generally, the older a domain is, the more respected it is. This is because it has had time to gather good content, links inside the website, and links from other websites.

What are the parts of a domain name?

Domain names are usually divided into two or three parts, with dots in between. When you read it from right to left, the parts go from broad to specific. The part on the far right, after the last dot, is called the top-level domain (TLD). These can be general like ‘.com’, ‘.net’, and ‘.org’, or specific to a country like ‘.uk’ and ‘.jp’.

To the left of the TLD is the second-level domain (2LD), and if there’s anything to the left of that, it’s called the third-level domain (3LD). Let’s check out a couple of examples:

Google’s US domain ‘google.com’:

  • ‘.com’ (TLD – general)
  • ‘google’ (2LD – specific)

For Google UK’s domain ‘google.co.uk’:

  • ‘.com’ (TLD – general)
  • ‘.co’ (2LD)
  • ‘google’ (3LD – very specific)

In this situation, the second-level domain (2LD) shows what kind of group or organization registered the domain. For example, in the UK, if a website has “.co” in its domain, it means the site is registered by a company.

Types of Domains

There are four main types of domains. Those are:

1. Generic Top-Level Domains (gTLD):

gTLD stands for the most popular and widely used types of TLDs:

  • .com
  • .net
  • .biz
  • .org
  • .info
  • .com

The .com is a super popular extension! In January 2022, 54% of all websites worldwide had a .com address. The next one in line, .ru, is only used by 5%.

2. Country Code Top-Level Domains (ccTLD):

These two-letter endings for specific locations are:

  • .cn (China)
  • .br (Brazil)
  • .ru (Russia)
  • .de (Germany)
  • .au (Australia)
  • .nl (Netherlands)
  • .uk (United Kingdom)

3. Internationalized Country Code Top-Level Domains (IDN ccTLD):

These are domain names that can use non-English characters. (example- Chinese).

4. Subdomains:

A subdomain is like a smaller part of a bigger domain, and you see it before the main domain name. For example, in blog.alternetproduct.com, “blog” is the subdomain. Because it’s on the left side of the main domain, it’s also called a third-level domain (3LD).

Setting Up Your Domain

If you want your own spot on the internet, you need to buy and register a domain. To do this, go to a place that manages domain names, such as GoDaddy or Google Domains. Type in the name you want for your website, see if it’s available and how much it costs. If it fits your budget, go ahead and buy it.

Once you pick your domain name, you need to register it with a provider. which lets people access your site using the web address. This provider is like a middleman for ICANN (Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers), the organization that manages the domain name system. Usually, you have to pay to get your website address.

How to keep a domain name secure?

When you register a domain name with a registrar, that registrar is responsible for notifying you when your domain is going to expire. They give you the option to renew it so you don’t lose your domain name.

Sometimes, certain notifications take advantage of people whose domain names have expired. They buy those domains as soon as they expire and then sell them back to the original owner at a very high price. It’s crucial to pick a notification that is honest and reliable to avoid these tricky practices.

Now that you understand what is a domain name and why domain name is important, you can go ahead and register for one. Follow our step-by-step guide in “Everything You Need to Know about the Types of Domains or Domain Name System.

I hope after reading this complete blog. You will understand everything that you need to know about a domain name. If you have any questions or doubts in your mind then you can ask your questions or doubts with us. Visit our Contact Us page.

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