Beginner’s Guide: What is a Domain Name and How Do Domains Work?

Are you a new blogger. Beginner to Websites? Or are you thinking of creating a website for an online business you’re starting. Whatever the case, Domain Name is an essential part of it.

IF you’re confused between hosting services and domain Name, then continue reading.

We will be talking about Domain Names and their working.

Domain Name is?

Domain Name is nothing but the address of your site. Like “google.com”. It is simply what the visitors type in the address bar to visit your website.

Need for Domain Names increased with Time

Considering how much internet has grown over the years. It is now a humongous global network of computers connected to each other. Each computer on this network can communicate within the network. To do so, every computer requires a unique identification, for that each computer has been given an IP address. Using those IP Addresses, which are a series of numbers looking something like 66.555.67.2, each computer over the network becomes accessible to all others who know that address.

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For a minute, think about the Population of the world. Imagine if Every single person around you has at least two computing devices. A laptop and a smartphone. They both have an IP address over internet. Now if you want to connect to either of those you will have to remember their IP addresses. Can you do that for say 20 computers? No right? Realistically speaking. It is impossible to remember all the respective IP addresses.

This is where Domain Names comes in. Their use solved the problem, them being close to our speaking languages made them not only more familiar but also easier to remember.

So with their help, now whenever you visit a site you type in the domain Name like Hotmail.com instead of writing a long string of numbers.

Domain Name at work

There’s a series of steps that follows when a domain Name is typed into the address bar.

As soon as a user enters a domain Name into the address bar,

  1. A request is sent to a global network of servers by your browser that constitute the Domain Name System.
  2. When these servers receive a request, they search associated domain for different nameservers.
  3. Once nameservers are discovered, the request is forwarded to those name servers. Which actually are computers your hosting company is managing.
  4. Then your hosting company forwards the request to the web servers which are nothing but computers where your websites are stored.
  5. Finally the requested website is then fetched by the web server.
  6. Web server then sends it back to the browser.

Domain Name is not Web Host!

Since we have established that domain Names are actually identifying addresses for your website and blogs, let’s talk about Web hosting. Web Host is actually a computer where all the files and data pertaining to your site is being Stored. It acts like a home for your site to live in.

Hosting Companies use these computers or Servers that hold website data and offer them as services.

If you’re just starting an online business and trying to create a site then you will need them both, a hosting server and a domain Name.

Since these services are being provided by multiple companies. Take your time, do thorough research before deciding on any one of the companies. Some companies offer really good beginner packages. You can start small and look for better options once you get much more efficient at it.

The Crucial Decision!

The moment of reckoning is here!! What kind of a Domain name should you choose for your site? Domain Name can be broken down into two parts, TLD and SLD, Top Level Domain and second Level Domain respectively. If your domain Name is “smile.com”. Then the second level Domain name in this will be “smile”. Everything else following an SLD/ or dot becomes a Top level Domain (TLD).

TLD is also often coined as domain extension, which is “.com” in the given scenario.

Therefore, in a nutshell, a Domain Name comprises of SLD and Domain Extension, together used to identify your website.

Domain Name extensions are numerous, around 1000 of them are now available. Some of the more popular extensions being .com, .org, .net, .tv, .edu and 95 others.

There is no restriction on what your domain NAME CAN BE. It can be anything as long as it is not already being used. It is recommended that your name compliments your site. For example a fashion or makeup site can have a domain Name beautyhacks.com to resonate with your site.  

Some domain Names used are also country specific. Whose TLD has the country code in the end. Like .de for Germany, .uk for United Kingdom etc.

The most commonly used TLD is .com.

Getting Started

Domain Names are also being sold online by many Companies. Domain name Registrar are such companies from where you can buy them. The annual cost of domain Names is around $15 per year.

If you recall, we mentioned that you need two things, domain name and Hosting Service.

When you buy a domain Name, look for a hosting account too. Most companies provide both domain Names and website hosting services, to name a few, WordPress Hosting companies like GoDaddy, Bluehost etc.

These companies also have great packages and some freebies in their packages. It is recommended that you use one company for both services as it makes managing both of them under one account. You can go for two different companies for the services but that just makes things more complicated and hectic when having to manage two accounts.

If you doubt your creativity skill in coming up with a Domain Name, I would give you a short way out by suggesting that you use free domain Generators available online. Some of them are really good.

Conclusion

A lot of theoretical topics have been covered in this blog. If your brain is in shambles now, let me help you out by summarizing the most vital points.

Let’s recap;

  • Exactly like how an address directs us towards our friend’s home, domain names are vital to global network, they direct us to our favourite sites.
  • A Hosting Server and a domain name are not the same.
  • Domain names can be meaningful automatically becoming memorable or not.
  • Availability of more than 1000 Domain Extensions ensures that your creativity will now no bounds.

I hope this helped you understand Domain Names better. If you have any questions I am always here to help. Just drop a comment below. Subscribe for more information. See you in the Next One! Happy Tech Hunting!

Disclaimer: In the name of full transparency, please be aware that this blog post contains affiliate links and any purchases made through such links will result in a small commission for me (at no extra cost for you)

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