What Is a Domain and How Does It Work

When you’re setting up a website, you need to choose an address name for it. Its first goal is to help people to access your webpage. It is also important for SEO (Search Engine Optimization) because search engines use it for ranking.

In this article, we will explain what is domain name, how it works, and how to choose the right one for your business! 

Domain Names Explained

To put it simply, it is the address of a website on the internet. It is how people find a page when they type the name of it into a web browser.

Domains consist of a series of numbers called an IP address. It helps to identify the location of a server that holds the website’s files.

Some examples:

  • Google.com
  • Facebook.com
  • Apple.com
  • Wikipedia.org
  • Whitehouse.gov

How Do Domains Work?

When you type a web address into your browser, you’re telling the computer to access a specific server that holds the website you’re looking for. The server is identified by a unique IP address that consists of a string of numbers.

However, it can be difficult for humans to remember long strings of numbers. So DNS (Domain Name System) servers translate human-readable names into IP addresses.

When you type an address name into your browser, the DNS looks up the associated IP address. Then it directs your browser to the correct server. Once the browser connects to the server, it can request and display the desired web page. 


The web address consists of three parts. They are a sub, a second-level (SLD), and a top-level domain (TLD).


It is the first part of the name that comes before the first dot. For instance, in the example “blog.medicine.com,” “blog” is a subdomain. 

It is often used to build a new website on top of the existing one. Therefore, it is not essential, and an address can lack it. 


SLD comes in between two dots. For instance, in the example “blog.medicine.com,” “medicine” is the SLD. The SLD can be any combination of letters and numbers.


TLD comes after the second dot. In the example”blog.medicine.com,” “.com” is the TLD.

There are many different TLDs available, including .net, .org, and .info, but their amount is limited. The most well-known is .com. 

What Is the Difference Between a Domain Name and URL?

Even though people often tend to use these two terms interchangeably, they refer to two different things. The first one is a unique identifier for a website. The second one is the specific address of a particular page. 

For example, the domain name for BBC News is “bbc.co.uk.” The URL of its home page is “https://www.bbc.co.uk/news.” A website can have dozens or even hundreds of different URLs, each corresponding to a different page.

How to Register a Domain Name?

Names are assigned by ICANN (the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers). When you register it, you are renting it from ICANN for some time. 

The first step to register is to choose a registrar. Once you have chosen it, you will need to select a proper name.

After you have selected it, you will need to pay for your registration. The cost of it varies depending on the registrar you use and the extension you choose. For example, .com TLD is typically more expensive than .net TLD.

You can renew your registration when it expires, or you can let it expire. There is a specific period of time when you can still prolong your registration. It usually lasts for 45-60 days. After the period is over, the name goes back to the market, and someone else can buy it. 

6 Tips for Choosing a Domain Name

Now that you know what the domain name is, you can start looking for the perfect name for your business’s website. Pay much attention to this process as it influences the number of people reaching the website. 

These 6 tips can help you:

  1. Use words that are connected to your business. If you’re a photographer, consider using “photography.”
  2. If you’re building a personal website, use your name and surname. 
  3. Keep your website name short and simple. It makes it easier for people to remember.
  4. Avoid using hyphens or numbers as they complicate names and can lead to misspellings. Hyphens also are often used by spammers, so it is better to avoid such associations. 
  5. Use keywords. It will help search engines understand what your website is about and promote it. 
  6. In case you have difficulties coming up with a name, consider using such tools as Shopify, Namestation, etc.

To Sum Up

To choose the perfect address of a website for your business, keep it short and simple, make it easy to remember, avoid using hyphens or numbers, integrate keywords, and use your name or the name of your company. Such tools like Shopify, Namestation can help you to come up with good ideas.

Fawad Malik

Fawad Malik Technology geek by heart, blogger by passion, and founder of nogentech.org, He regularly explores ideas and ways how advanced technology helps individuals, brands and businesses survive and thrive in this competitive landscape. He tends to share the latest tech news, trends, and updates with the community built around Nogentech.

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