The domain name is the unique name that identifies an Internet site.
The Internet is made up of millions of computers and networks, all with their own domain name or unique address. Domain names always have two or more parts separated by dots. A given server may have more than one domain name, but a given domain name points to only one server.
For example, whitehouse.gov is the domain name belonging to the White House computer system. Once a system administrator registers a unique domain name, subaddresses can be assigned to the machines and people on the local network. Thus, the President’s e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org, the Vice-President’s is email@example.com, and so on.
Frequently Asked Questions
How is a domain name linked to a specific server?
When you register a domain name, a specific domain name system (DNS) server address is assigned to that domain, usually associated with the company you registered the domain through. If you are hosting a website with that company as well, you don’t need to do anything else. If, however, you are hosting through another company, you will need to update the DNS settings to point to your hosting company’s servers.
Domain Name Servers all around the world store a list of registered domains and the address of their servers, so when someone enters your website’s address into their browser, your computer contacts the nearest domain name server in order to find it. If you ever change hosting companies, you can simply update your DNS settings again and computers all around the world will be redirected to your new host’s server.
Is it better to have a .com name?
Unless you have a recognized brand name, the top level domain (the part at the end of your domain name) is less important than the content of your webpage. While .com is the most common TDL, there are now thousands you can choose from. Some of the most popular alternatives include .org, .gov, .edu, and country TLDs such as .ca and .uk. You can also choose an extension specific to your topic. There are extensions for just about every field, including .dance, .plumbing, .restaurant, and even .ninja.
Since most people will find your website using a search engine, the most important thing you can do to get traffic is create great content and promote your website in the right places. The TDL is far less important. However, if you have a recognized brand name, you should attempt to get the .com name for your site. There’s two reasons for this. First, if people know your products, they may try to reach your site by simply typing your brand name into their browser and adding .com at the end. If you’re not there, they won’t find you. Second, if another site gets your brand’s name with the .com TDL, your customers will have a harder time picking out your site from search results.