What is Domain Name? Domain Name System (DNS) | Top Guide
Everyone who knows something about website has heard the word domain name. However, the question is “What is domain name?”
Domain name is a name of a website that represents a unique IP address for that website.
However, most of the beginners get confused between website domain name and website hosting service. If you have the same confusion than stay with us.
In this beginner’s tutorial, we will answer all the important questions to resolve your confusion. You will learn what a domain name is, how does it works, where a domain name and website hosting differs, and many more.
The goal of this tutorial is to give you clear understanding and help you to choose a perfect domain name for your website.
What is a Domain Name?
The domain name is an address that we type in browser search bar to visit a website. It is a unique name for a website.
For example, if you want to visit Facebook then you will type facebook.com inside your web browser. This will take you to Facebook website.
Here, facebook.com is the domain name of this website.
Usually, each domain name consists of two main sections i.e. Website’s name (facebook) and domain name extension (.com).
More advanced explanation:
The internet is giant network that connects huge number of computers, mobiles, and other electric devices together.
Now the question is how this network identify those devices separately.
In more simple word, when you search for any website how internet understand which computer or device you are trying to connect.
To solve this problem, this network use a technique called IP address. Every device connected to this giant network has a unique number; this number is called IP address.
Therefore, when you are search with a domain name, you are trying to connect a specific IP address. Every domain represents an IP address.
For example, if you type google.com that means you are typing this “22.214.171.124” IP address. You can also use this number instead of that domain.
Why do we use domain name instead of IP?
Simple answer is domain names are much easier to remember and use than IP address.
IP is a set of numbers that is hard to remember. Human brain can easily memorize a name than number.
There are large amount of websites that we visit in our daily life. It would be very difficult to memorize all the IP addresses.
That is why; domain name was introduced to make this process simple.
Now we can easily remember website names and visit. You don’t need to care about those long numbers (IP).
Free VS Paid Domain Names
You can easily collect free domain or name from different website builders for your website such as Blogger, Wrodpress.com, Squarespace, Wix, Weebly, etc.
More specifically, these website builders give you a “sub-domain” of their website. If you don’t know what a sub-domain is don’t worry, we will discuss it in later section.
In short, sub-domain is an additional section of the main domain name. Sub-domains usually look something like:
A free sub-domain is not always convenient for your website, if you are considering long-term business and trying to build a unique brand.
Because you don’t have full control over the free sub-domain provided by website builders.
In this case, you have to purchase a domain name for your website. You will have full section dedicated to how to choose a perfect domain name and how can you buy it.
What is Domain Name System (DNS)?
We already know what domain name is and why we should use it.
Now we will know about Domain Name System (DNS). You know each website name represents a unique IP address.
Therefore, how internet knows which website domain contains which IP address. Because there are over 2 billion websites are running with different names. Here, DNS comes into play.
DNS is basically a database or collection of all domain names with their corresponding IP numbers.
If the IP address of your website domain changes then DNS automatically update itself with new address.
How Does Domain Name Actually Work?
You already know all the basics to understand how a domain name works when you type it in your browser.
When you enter a website name in your web browser, it first sends a request to a global network of servers that creates the Domain Name System (DNS).
DNS contains all the names and IP addresses. These servers then look up the IP address associated with the name you have entered in your browser.
When browser receives the actual number address from DNS, it connects with the name servers by following the number address.
For example, if you are using Bluehost as your hosting provider, then the name servers will be like this:
These name servers are the computers maintained by the hosting company. Then these computers will forward your request to the specific computer where your desired website is stored.
The computer where the website is stored is called web server. Now web server will process the request for webpage and information.
Finally, web server then sends the webpage and information back to your browser. This is how a domain name works behind the scenes when we browse websites.
Different Types of Domain Names
A domain name contains two main sections one is website name and another one is extension. Website domains are available with different extensions.
Most popular one is .com extension among all extensions. There are many other options, you can use like .org, .net, .info, .edu, .gov, and more.
Top Level Domain – TLD
Top-level domain or TLD are generic domain extensions that have the highest position in the Domain Name System (DNS).
The domains that include .com, .org, .net extensions, are in this category.
There are many other TLDs but they are less popular. We don’t recommend using them for your website.
For example, .biz, .club, .tv, .info, .name, and many more.
Second Level Domain – SLD
According to Wikipedia, a second-level domain (SLD) is a domain that is directly below a top-level domain (TLD). For example, in worldtechis.com, worldtechis is the second-level domain of the .com TLD.
SLDs are the name of a business that registered the domain name with a registrar. The brand name or company name is the indicator for potential customers.
Third Level Domain – TLD
Domains that are directly below the second level in the DNS hierarchy. e.g. websitename.com.au
TLD names are consisted of a minimum of two levels, a top-level domain (TLD) and a second-level domain.
For example, in www.websitename.com, “.com” is the TLD and “websitename.com” is the second level domain.
Big companies often use TLDs as identifiers that can separate between various departments inside the business.
Country Code Top Level Domain – ccTLD
Country specific domain names with country code extension are called Country code top-level domain or ccTLD.
For example .au defines Australia .uk defines the United Kingdom, .de defines Germany, .in defines India, .bd defines Bangladesh.
You can use a domain name with those extensions to target audiences in a specific country.
If you have a website with .uk extension that means your website is strongly associated with The United Kingdom.
Sponsored Top Level Domain – sTLD
Sponsored top-level domain or sTLD is a category of TLDs according to ICANN. These sTLDs are proposed and sponsored by a specific community or private organizations.
For example, .edu for education-related organizations, .gov for different government sectors, .mil for military related websites, and more.
Difference Between Domain Name and Web Hosting
As a beginner, many people get confused about this domain name and web hosting. They are separate services but have connection to run a website.
The domain name is the web address of your website and web hosting is the actual home where your website lives.
Such computers are known as server and they are provided and maintained by hosting companies.
Though domain and hosting are separate services, you can buy them from same company or different companies.
How it will work if you buy them from separate companies?
Every hosting company has specific name servers. You can connect your domain name and web hosting by using name servers.
You need to update domain name settings by entering Name Server information provided by hosting company.
How to Choose a Domain Name for Your Website?
Now you know what a domain name is, how it works, and different types of website names. Therefore, the question is how you can choose a convenient name for your business.
There are more than 360 Million registered domain names and thousands more are being registered each day.
That means many good names are already registered or will be registered very soon.
That is why finding a good name has become very hard job now a days. Still you can go this job by being careful and by following some tips and tricks.
Here are some quick tips that will help you to choose a suitable website name for your business.
- Try to keep the name short and simple.
- Use keywords that describe what your website is all about.
- Try to avoid numbers and hyphens inside the name.
- Choose something that is easy to pronounce.
- Purchase the Right Domain Name Extension like .com.
- You can use a domain name generator to collect ideas.
- Try to consider a brandable name for your business website.
This is how you can choose a name for your website. It may be ecommerce, business, blog, portfolio etc. You can follow the same process.
How to Buy a Domain Name?
There are many companies who provide domain names. A domain name at best costs $12-$14 per year.
You can buy a name for way less than this price. Some popular companies are:
You know to run a website, you will need a web hosting as well. Above companies also provide web hosting.
Otherwise, you can consider the following companies who are popular for providing web hosting.
We hope this will solve your problem regarding domain name and web hosting.
Additional Quick Questions about Domain Names
We believe above information has given you a clear idea about domain and hosting and how they work together.
Still some common questions that come in our mind as a beginner. By thinking about this, we are answering some common questions below.
Following are the answers to the most frequently asked questions about domain names.
1. What is a subdomain?
Basically, a subdomain is the child name under the main domain name. For example, blog.websitename.com is the subdomain of websitename.com.
Once you purchase a domain name, you can create subdomains by yourself according to your requirement.
You can create as much as you want but it depends on your hosting providers. Different providers offer different amount subdomains.
Subdomains are normally used by companies or websites to create child websites under the same name.
For example, you can create subdomains of you main website for your blog as blog.websitename.com or online store as store.websitename.com.
2. Can I sell a domain name?
Yes, you can sell your website name with high price. There is a huge demand for a brandable name.
Many people are making good amount of money by selling domain names and creating a profitable business. It has become a multi-million dollar industry.
You don’t need to have business to sell a website domain. You can do this very easily by using different online marketplaces.
Here are some online websites where you can trade your website domain with suitable price:
However, if your domain is registered in GoDaddy then you can easily list it there for sale.
3. Can I transfer my website to a different domain name?
Yes, you can. You can change your website domain one to another.
You can easily set which domain you want to use for your website. It is possible to point more than one domain to the same website.
However, this is not good practice. Search engines will consider it as duplicate content. This may affect your search ranking.
Therefore, you can change your website name by pointing to another in your hosting server.
4. What is domain privacy? Should I use it?
When you purchase a domain name, you have to provide an email, physical address, mobile number, and many other personal information.
This information are available publicly and open for everyone. However, you can hide your information from showing publicly.
Domain Privacy is a separate add-on service provided by domain registrars. They will charge you some extra money for this service.
This service allows you to display proxy information instead of your real personal info.
It is not compulsory to have privacy service for your domain. However, if you are concerned about your personal information, then you can obviously have this service for a small cost.
5. How can I create my website easily?
Creating a website seems very complicated process for a beginner. If you have knowledge of programming or coding, then it is very easy for you.
However, if you don’t have coding knowledge, that’s also ok. You don’t need this to create a website now a days.
You can create a complete professional website without writing a single line of code.
We will suggest you to go for WordPress. It is free to use, open source. You will get many features without spending any money.
We have a complete tutorial why wordpress is the best choice for your website. You will know more features that you will get from wordpress.
In this tutorial, we have discussed about domain name, how it works. We hope this article helped you learn about it.
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