What is a domain name? The domain guide.
Do you know what is a domain name? Every time you use the internet, you are directly or indirectly accessing domains around the world. Many internet users get confused between the domain name, web hosting or even the website itself. Therefore, understanding each of these is important, especially if you want to have your own website or web application. In this article, you will understand everything you have to know about whats is a domain name, how it works and how can you get one. Therefore, you will find the following topics in this article:
- What is a Domain Name?
- Difference between a Domain, a Hosting and a WebSite
- Differences between URL and Domain
- How does Domain work?
- What is Domain Name System? DNS Server and DNS Resolver
- What is a domain name extension?
- How can I get a Domain Name?
- How much does it cost a domain?
- Domain name expiration
- How to register a domain?
- Requisites to have a domain name
- Domain search WHOIS
- Tips for choosing a good Domain Name
- Conclusion: so, what is a domain name?
What is a Domain Name?
A domain name is an address where Internet users can access your website. That is, a domain name is the name of your site. Here’s what are domain names examples:
With the examples above, you can already understand the structure of a domain. They are like server addresses where your website or web applications are available. A domain name can be any combination of letters and numbers. Each domain is unique and has an extension such as .com, .net, and many others.
Domain names are controlled by registrars on the internet. A registrar controls new domain registrations, renewals, ownerships and DNS information.
Difference between a Domain, a Hosting and a WebSite
It is very common for web users to get confused between domain, hosting, and website. It is often normal for them to think it is the same thing. But they all have different features and functions. Web hosting is nothing more than the place where your domain will be stored, as well as all the files of your web application.
Whenever you ask yourself what is a domain name, you need to separate it from the hosting plan
Already the domain is the address for users to have access to your application. Finally, the website is the set of files that make it up, so that the user can interact.
Creating an analogy, WebSite is like a person. Lodging is like the house where this person lives. The domain is the address of this person. Therefore, to have a website on the internet, you need to have a domain and host your files on a web hosting.
Differences between URL and Domain Name
Although they look almost the same, the domain name and the URL are two different things. The domain name is the proper name of the site like mydomain.com. The URL is the entire address of a website that takes you to a specific page, such as https://www.mydomain.com/blog/.
Whenever considering the question “what is a domain name?”, you must keep in mind that it’s different from the URL of your website.
Basically, the URL is the complete internet address to locate a particular page of a site. This allows you to access the domain and all files within the domain.
Using the previous analogy, it is as if the domain is the address of your home, and the URL is the description of the room of the home you are in.
You can see more about this, in this article about URL vs Domain.
How does Domain Name work?
The internet is a giant network of computers that are connected by a cable network. Each computer is assigned a unique IP address, a series of numbers that is used to identify each computer individually. Therefore, this IP address allows computers to communicate with each other. They look like 192.168.1.1.
An IP address is hard to remember. Therefore, domain names were created to solve this problem. That way, instead of typing a string of random, hard-to-remember numbers, users enter only the domain name.
So, when a user types a domain into a browser’s URL bar, a request is sent to the Domain Name System (DNS), which is a global network of DNS servers. When these servers receive your request, they search the nameservers associated with the domain and forward the request to them.
Your hosting company manages your servers. So if your website is hosted on CopaHost, they will forward your request to the webserver where the website files are stored. The webserver finally collects the website from the request and sends it back to the browser. Thus finally happens the user access.
What is a domain name? Trying to answer in other words, this is your unique name on the internet. Anyone can buy a domain name. It’s very easy and not expensive. At Copahost, domain names cost from 9,90€ per year. If you pay the web hosting plan yearly, you have the first year of the domain name registration for free.
To register your domain, after choosing the web hosting plan, just type the domain of your choice in the domain name search, to check if it’s available.
Then, select the desired number of years.
And finally, select the hosting plan payment period. By paying yearly, you get a free domain registration.
What is Domain Name System? DNS Server and DNS Resolver
What is “Domain Name System”? Every domain must be associated with a DNS Server. As briefly explained in the previous topic, the DNS Server will tell the internet what is the IP address of the server where the domain is hosted.
Each internet provider has a DNS Resolver. A DNS Resolver is who asks questions to the DNS Server. For example, you are a customer and you wish to access a web site like copahost.com from your mobile phone. Your phone will ask the provider’s DNS resolver what is the IP address of copahost.com. This DNS resolver will contact the DNS server of the domain, asking for its IP address.
Finally, the DNS resolver will inform your mobile phone what is the IP address of the server which is hosting google.com. Now, your browser will contact directly this IP address. This is how the Domain Name System works.
Each provider has its own DNS Resolvers. There are also public and free DNS Resolvers like Google DNS (22.214.171.124 and 126.96.36.199) and OpenDNS (188.8.131.52 and 184.108.40.206).
What is a domain name extension?
As we saw earlier, every domain has an extension. This extension is what comes after your domain name in your website address.
There are extensions that offer free domains. However, they have a bad reputation and are not recommended, especially for professional use. Free extensions are badly regarded because most cyberattacks from web pages are carried out through these extensions. However, it can be a good alternative for those who need a domain for the sole purpose of studies or testing.
There are also top-level domains, which are registered domains, and usually have an annual payment rate. They are more recommended than free domains. There are two different types, the Generic Top Level Domain and the Country Code Top Level Domain.
What is a domain name Generic Top-Level Domain (gTLD)
These consist of more than two letters and can help in representing your brand or company. They can be used anywhere.
The best known generic domains are .com, .org and .net. Each of these has its use associated with certain characteristics.
Thus, each day there are new extensions that are associated with different types of use. For example, we can use the .tech extension to demonstrate our page is about technology.
What is a domain name country code? The Top-Level Domains (ccTLD)
These are made up of only two letters and represent the code of a particular country. They can only be used within their respective locations by citizens or companies that have a presence in that country.
- .fr: Extension for France;
- .pt: Extension for Portugal;
- .hk: Extension for Hong Kong;
- .br: Extension for Brazil;
- .es: Extension for Spain;
- .de: Extension for Germany.
How can I get a Domain Name?
Getting your own domain is not difficult. To get one, you must register and purchase it. This can be accomplished by a variety of different companies. Usually, a domain costs approximately 10 Euros per year.
First of all, you need to check domain availability. You can use Copahost’s domain search tool.
However, buying a domain does not mean that you will have a website. As explained earlier, for this you need web hosting as well as the files for this website.
How much does it cost a domain?
To obtain a domain you must purchase and register it. Registration is usually done annually, so you need to renew your registration every year. The cost of this is usually around €10.00 to €15.00 EUR per year. This amount may vary depending on the company you register with, as well as the extent you choose. Copahost offers cheap domain registrations and free domains whenever you pay one year of hosting services.
This amount may vary depending on the company you register with, as well as the extent you choose.
There are also free domain options, but they are not recommended, especially for professional use. Free domains do not give the user confidence and are considered risky options. This is because most cyberattacks performed through web pages belong to these free domains.
There is also the possibility of using global subdomains such as wordpress.com. That way, your site would have an address similar to mydomain.wordpress.com, so it would be a subdomain of the wordpress.com domain. It is also not recommended for professional use and has limitations.
It is important to be mindful of renewing the annual registration. If you do not renew within a certain period of time, the domain is available and can be purchased by someone else.
There are also some companies that also offer the opportunity for longer-term registration. For this, it is important to verify this possibility with the company.
How to register a domain?
To register a domain simply access the page of the company for which you want to register the domain. Through it, you can check if the desired domain is available and the amount to be paid. It is also important to be mindful of renewal values. If the domain is not available, you can choose another domain name or extension of it.
The CopaHost performs this service! Just be accessing the homepage of CopaHost and search for the desired domain. Just type the domain you want in the field, as the image below.
Let’s try “mydomainnameexample”. So, initially type in the domain name we want and click “Find Domain”.
After that, you will be redirected to our domain registration platform, as the image below. On this page, you can check domain name availability as well as price in different extensions.
After that, enter the verification code as it appears in the box, and click “search”.
Later, if the domain name is available for registration, a message appears stating that it is available.
But if the name is unavailable the message will appear stating that it is unavailable.
So try another name until you find one that fits and is available. Finally, just follow and fill in all the information and you will register your domain name.
Find the best options for you and ensure your domain as well as your hosting with CopaHost!
Requisites to have a domain name
To get a domain, you only need to register it. There are some extensions that require certain specific requirements. But most only require registration with authorized companies.
However, just registering a domain will not allow you to run any web application or have a webpage. In order to use its features, the ideal is to hire a web hosting plan. CopaHost offers a variety of domain and hosting solutions to make your life easier! So you can create your web applications easily, safely and with quality!
Domain search WHOIS
Every domain has its contact information associated. Whenever you register a domain, you are prompted to provide your personal details for this purpose. It’s important to keep a valid email address together with domain registration so that third parties can contact you in case of an emergency. The WHOIS protocol is specified by the RFC3912.
There are several WHOIS lookup tools available for free on the internet.
Basically, a WHOIS lookup will show you such information from a domain name owner:
- DNS Servers
- Email contact
- Registration and expiration dates
- The provider where the domain was registered
Tips for choosing a good Domain Name
Choosing a domain name for your site is important. The decision of this name should not be taken hastily. You really should think about this and give a domain name that is unique, memorable and that works on your site.
The Domain is the first presentation of your site on the Internet, it should be directly related to your goal and your brand.
Below are some tips to help you make this decision:
Think of a small, easy-to-remember name
Having a long domain makes it harder for people to memorize and pronounce. This can lead to a significant loss of traffic to your site.
Avoid numbers and hyphens
Numbers can lead to a misspelling when entering your domain name (such as “three” instead of “3”). Also, hyphens are commonly used by spam sites, so it is best to avoid them.
Search engines can determine what your website is about from Keywords. That way, using a keyword in your Domain Name makes it even easier for people to find through the Search engines. So if you are a Developer, use the keyword “developer” in your domain name.
Many people who work with SEO uses keywords inside their domain names. Exact match domains (EMD’s) are quite rare and expensive nowadays. There are keyword domain names.
Choose your domain extension well
Choosing an extension can make your site more creative and fit the way you want it. But it can also be a big problem when not well chosen. If you still have questions, we recommend that you use the .com or .net extensions that are most common and known worldwide.
Search it in the search engines
By researching them, you will be able to identify the top results so that you know if the name you choose will really meet your needs, or what you need to do to make it stand out.
Protect and build your brand
If you are already consolidating your brand, it is worth protecting it by buying more than one domain with different extensions. As some domain name examples, buy mydomain.com and mydomain.net to make sure they are both directed to your business website.
Conclusion: so what is a domain name?
We hope this article about what is a domain name helped you understand all the factors about having your business name on the internet. With all the content in this article, you already know exactly what it is, how it works, and how to get your own domain name. So now just choose a company to be registering your domain and hiring your hosting. So you are now fully ready to put your pages online!
Copahost offers a domain name generator, which shows you many domain name examples for you to choose from and start your website.