What Is a Domain Name?
Learn about domain names and how you can connect one (or several) to your website.
Domain Name 101: All the fundamentals you should knowOne common question every potential web owner asks is: What is a domain name? Briefly, a domain name system or DNS is a worldwide-recognized system of assigning addresses to internet hosts (also known as internet web servers). Somehow, like international phone numbers, DNS aids to provide internet servers with memorable, easy to spell addresses. At the same time, domain names help hide the technical Internet Protocol (IP) addresses. While IP addresses provide exact addresses of the location of a website, domain names act like a cabbie you ask to take you to a specific address, and you get there. Domain names, therefore, provide you with an easy way to reach a particular website without having to remember the exact numeric addresses. Domain names consist of at least top-level and second-level domains. The top-level domain (or TLD) is that part of the name that is located to the right of the dot. The most common TLDs are .org, .net, and .com. Most domains, sometimes called extensions, can be registered by anyone. A second-level domain (SLD) is that portion of a domain name located immediately to the dot’s left side and domain extension. For example, for a website addressed, myreallycoolsite.com, the SLD is myreallycoolsite. A domain name is representative of a physical point available on the internet – the IP address. The Internet Corporation Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) governs the coordination of domain names and IP addresses over the internet. This coordination allows you to locate websites quickly without having to enter IP addresses in your web browser.