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What is a domain name?

startdomainsearchDomain names were created to make IP, or Internet Protocol, addresses more human-friendly. Watch this video to learn more about domain names and how they work. A domain name is an identity of a person or an organization on the Internet. It is the address where people find a website online amongst millions of websites. For a person it could be his/her name and for an organization it could be its brand name. A website address is made up of three important elements interface, second level domain and top level domain. An example of a website address is “” where “www” is the interface and stands for World Wide Web, “name” is the second level domain – sometimes also referred to as label – and “.com” is the top level domain – sometimes also referred to as extension. A domain name is unique and easy to remember.

A domain name is an identification string that defines a realm of administrative autonomy, authority or control within the Internet. Domain names are formed by the rules and procedures of the Domain Name System (DNS). Any name registered in the DNS is a domain name. Domain names are used in various networking contexts and application-specific naming and addressing purposes. In general, a domain name represents an Internet Protocol (IP) resource, such as a personal computer used to access the Internet, a server computer hosting a web site, or the web site itself or any other service communicated via the Internet. In 2015, 294 million domain names had been registered.

Domain names are organized in subordinate levels (subdomains) of the DNS root domain, which is nameless. The first-level set of domain names are the top-level domains(TLDs), including the generic top-level domains (gTLDs), such as the prominent domains com, info, net, edu, and org, and the country code top-level domains (ccTLDs). Below these top-level domains in the DNS hierarchy are the second-level and third-level domain names that are typically open for reservation by end-users who wish to connect local area networks to the Internet, create other publicly accessible Internet resources or run web sites.

When a person goes to the domain registrar like GoDaddy, DreamHost or Hostgator, it registers a unique domain name for a fee and send the user’s information to ICANN that is responsible for domain system management.

Psst…there are many choices for top level domain. It could be a .com, .org, .net, .club, .news, .site, .online and many more. There are country specific top level domain as well like .us, .in, .ru and so on and there are some reserved top level domain as well like .gov which only a government institution can register with.