Website Domain Name Explained

Web Hosting Beginner Guides : Website Domains 101

When starting up a new website, there are some basics that you cannot avoid – this includes picking up a web host and choosing your domain name and registering it with a domain registrar. We know things look a little complicated for newbies but believe us, things would look much clearer after you go thru our beginner guides.

Let’s go thru some of the must know facts about domain name in this article.

Domain name vs Web Hosting

Web Domain

As mentioned earlier, a domain name shouldn’t be confused with a web host. For easy understanding – imagine a web hosting is your house (where your personal belongings are stored); and domain name as the address of that house. Web Hosting is the storage; while the domain name is the address of that storage.

Domain Name System (DNS)

A domain name wouldn’t exist without the creation of Domain Name System (DNS).

DNS was created in year 1983. The system is used to translate complicated numeric IP addresses to alphabetical domain names. The translation (from numeric IP address to alphabetical letters) is necessary as alphabetical names are easier to read and remember for human.

Top Level Domains (TLD)

The Top Level Domains refer to the ‘extensions’ of domain names. For example ‘Google.com’ – Google is the domain name; while the ‘.com’ is the Top Level Domain. Example of some other TLDs: .net, .info, .org, .tv, .ws.

For country based TLDs, we call it country code TLD (or ccTLDs). For example: .uk, .co.uk, .co.jp, .com.my, .de, .za, and .com.au

Such country code top level domains (like .co.uk for United Kingdom) are restricted for the citizens of the corresponding country; and the activities with such domains website are ruled by local regulations and cyber laws.

List of country code top-level domains

The country code top-level domain (ccTLD) extensions are (in alphabet order):

.ac .ad .ae .af .ag .ai .al .am .an .ao .aq .ar .as .at .au .aw .ax .az
.ba .bb .bd .be .bf .bg .bh .bi .bj .bm .bn .bo .br .bs .bt .bw .by .bz
.ca .cc .cd .cf .cg .ch .ci .ck .cl .cm .cn .co .cr .cu .cv .cx .cy .cz
.de .dj .dk .dm .do .dz
.ec .ee .eg .er .es .et .eu
.fi .fj .fk .fm .fo .fr
.ga .gd .ge .gf .gg .gh .gi .gl .gm .gn .gp .gq .gr .gs .gt .gu .gw .gy
.hk .hm .hn .hr .ht .hu
.id .ie .il .im .in .io .iq .ir .is .it
.je .jm .jo .jp
.ke .kg .kh .ki .km .kn .kp .kr .kw .ky .kz
.la .lb .lc .li .lk .lr .ls .lt .lu .lv .ly
.ma .mc .md .me .mg .mh .mk .ml .mm .mn .mo .mp .mq .mr .ms .mt .mu .mv .mw .mx .my .mz
.na .nc .ne .nf .ng .ni .nl .no .np .nr .nu .nz .
om
.pa .pe .pf .pg .ph .pk .pl .pn .pr .ps .pt .pw .py
.qa
.re .ro .rs .ru .rw
.sa .sb .sc .sd .se .sg .sh .si .sk .sl .sm .sn .sr .st .sv .sy .sz
.tc .td .tf .tg .th .tj .tk .tl .tm .tn .to .tr .tt .tv .tw .tz
.ua .ug .uk .us .uy .uz
.va .vc .ve .vg .vi .vn .vu
.wf .ws
.ye
.za .zm .zw

What is the difference between subdomain and addon domain?

Subdomain is the name in front of a domain name. For example ‘mail.google.com’, the ‘mail’ is a subdomain. Subdomain is often confused with an addon domain. An addon domain is the second, third, fourth… independent domain name added in a single hosting account; a subdomain, on the other hand, is a secondary domain appears in front of a domain name.

Addon domain requires the owner to renew its registration; while creating subdomains require no cost at all.

How does the domain name system work?

When the user requests a connection to your domain, Domain Name System (DNS) servers will ‘communicate’ with the corresponding registry for the requested domain; the registry then responds by informing which name servers (address of your web host) this domain is registered with; the request then goes to the name servers to obtain the actual IP address of the requested domain; the user then establishes connection (via web browser) with the said IP address.

Long story short, a domain name, with the help of DNS, tells the location of your website.

Registering Domain Names

Domain name registration is governed by Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) and the domain registration process is done by a third-party company commonly known as the domain registrar. As an end-user, you cannot register a domain name directly at ICANN – a designated registrar must be chosen. Moreover, you have to work with registrar credited by national ccTLD authority if you are registering a ccTLD domain (example: .us, .co.jp, .co.uk, .com.sg). The cost of a domain name registration normally cost somewhere around $7.5 to $45 annually.

Do note that domain registration is a competitive business thus there can be a huge price differences for different registrar. It’s recommended to compare price with a few registrar before making any purchase decision.

 

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