Domain names have been a topic of discussion in the IT market for quite some time now. However, a lot of people are still clueless about the whole concept of domain names. If you are one of those people who has only heard about it and never got the chance to learn about it in details, you are in for luck.
What is a domain name?
Basically, a domain name is the address of the website which people usually type in the address bar on their browser to visit the particular site. For instance, if you want to visit the homepage of Google, you type google.com. That’s the domain name for the website of Google’s search engine. Domain names are just the addresses, and it is not the same as a URL.
URLs (Uniform Resource Locators) are little complicated than the domain names. An ideal URL like https://www.google.com/ includes the protocol identifier “https,” “www” which denotes worldwide web and the domain name “google.com.” Furthermore, the URLs can provide with the location of a specific post under that domain.
Like in the URL https://essayassignmenthelp.com.au/blog/how-to-write-my-essay-8-foolproof-tips/, “essayassignmenthelp.com.au” is the domain name for the essay help providing company, “blog” is the directory where they share certain kind of posts, and lastly, “how-to-write-my-essay-8-foolproof-tips” is the location of a particular post.
As you can see, a domain name has two parts. One that is put before the dot and one that comes after the dot. In the case of google.com, “google” which is the name of the company, is the second level domain or SLD. The “.com” part is, however, called top-level domain (TLD) or “domain extension.” Together, these two elements create the domain name for Google. It is the same for all the other websites also.
Why do we need domain names?
As we all understand, the internet is a massive network of computers, which are connected to each other through a worldwide network of cables. Through this network, every computer can communicate with one another.
To recognize the computers individually on the internet, computers are assigned with IP (internet protocol) addresses. An IP is a series of numbers which is pretty difficult to remember. The domain names were created to make it easier to remember and locate the addresses.
How does a domain name work?
There is a system that maintains a directory of the domain names and translates them to IP addresses. It is known as the Domain Name Servers (DNS).
It is important to understand that users prefer domain names over the IP addresses, but the computers still prefer the IP addresses. So they need to access the IP of a computer to communicate with it. The DNS allows the computer to learn the IP of the certain domain name.
A significant number of people believe that registering a domain name automatically gets the domain owner the website. Well, things do not work that way.
To make it simpler to understand, let’s give you a practical example. Domain names are quite similar to the postal addresses to a specific location. Now imagine you have bought ownership of a particular land at a specific location. Does it guarantee you a building? Well, it does not. You have to create a store or a house on the land by putting in some significant amount of efforts. If the domain is your address, your website in the building you want to construct.
Buying a domain name provides you with a space on the server where you can build your website. There is a particular process for building a website (in meantime, it is a great idea to make a coming soon page). At first, you need to buy a domain name that is the same as your brand. It will be simpler for your clients to remember your web address.
The next thing you need to do is get a web hosting plan that fits your requirements. Web hosting is the space where your website resides. It also stores all your website data. You can buy the web hosting service from the same company from where you purchased the domain name. But if you want, you can buy them from two separate companies as well.
Most experts suggest that it is better to buy the domain name and the web hosting service from the same company. It offers better service and allows the user to manage the domain and hosting under the same account easily.
How to choose a domain name?
The domain names are available in numerous extensions, .com being the most common one. You can choose the extension for your domain name based on the service you are going to offer. For instance, if you are buying a domain for an organization, .org will be more appropriate as an extension. If it is an online streaming service, .tv may be a better choice.
The extensions can also be country-specific. Like in bbc.co.uk, .uk is the country code extension for the UK. Similarly, there are extensions like .de for Germany, .au for Australia, .nz for New Zealand, .in for India and likewise.
Most experts suggest getting .com extensions since it is easy for remember. However, there are more than 1000 domain extensions available in the market. Take a significant amount of time to make the right decision.
There are plenty of domain name registrars from whom you can buy the domain name for your website. GoDaddy, NameCheap, Bluehost, HostGator, Hover – these are some of the popular names in the industry. You can compare the price and the features at these websites and decide according to your convenience.
On an average, a domain name costs around $10- $15 a year. However, the prices may increase depending on the type of extension. For instance, the domain names with the extension .com charge more than a domain with .us or .au extension. Interestingly, domain names can be as cheap as .99 dollars per year and as expensive as $16 million.
If you have only basic knowledge of websites and domains, it is better to consult with someone who has some experience in this matter. You need to be a bit smart while choosing your domain name and the extensions. You can also use branded short links to make something exceptional. Time magazine uses ti.me when sharing their posts. If you want to brand your website, this is something you should definitely explore.