What is a Domain Name?

You must have come across a domain name in several instances without even realizing it. Maybe you know a few names of popular websites/blogs online or you simply looked up a website/blog on your browser (Google Chrome, Opera Mini, Mozilla, etc.).

Regardless, let’s understand: What is a Domain Name? 

A Domain name is the address of your blog/website which people insert in the browser URL bar when they want to visit your blog/website.

In simple terms, if your website was a school, then your domain name would be its address.

A perfect example of a domain name is the address of this very blog: www.milasona.com

How do Domain Names Work?

To understand how a domain name works, we will take a look at what happens when you actually enter the website/blog address in your browser.

  • Once you enter your website/blog address in your browser URL bar and hit enter, a request is broadcasted to a global network of servers which makeup the Domain Name System (DNS).
  • The servers then look up for name servers associated with the domain name and then forward the request to those name servers.
  • For instance, if your website/blog is hosted on namecheap, then its name server information will be similar to this:

ns1.namecheap.com

ns2.namecheap.com

  • The name servers are powerful computers managed by your hosting provider. Your hosting provider will then send your request to the computer where your website/blog data is stored.
  • The computer is called a web server and it has special software installed (majorly Apache and Nginx)
  • The web server then fetches the web page and extracts information associated with it.
  • Finally, it then reverts the data back to the browser.

Which body is responsible for Domain Name System?

The body responsible for managing the domain name system is called Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN).  ICANN is a non-profit organization that formulates policies and standards for domain names.

If a company wants to register to become a Domain Name Registrar and sell domain names, it’s this body that approves them.

Domain name registrars are able to sell domain names, manage renewals, records and also make transfers to other registrars.

As a domain name owner, you’re obliged to renew your domain registration and tell the registrar where to send requests.

How Different Is a Domain from Webhosting

A domain name refers to the address of your website/blog whereas web hosting refers to the service of storing your website files on computers called servers by your hosting provider.

When creating a website, you need both a domain name and web hosting.

However, it’s important to know that they are two separate services and you can purchase them from two different companies of your choice but we recommend that you buy them from the same company to easily manage them under the same account.

Types of Domain Names

There are three types of domain names;

  • Country Code Top Level Domain(ccTLD)

These are country-specific domain names that end with country-code extensions like .ssd for South Sudan, .ug for Uganda, .uk for the United Kingdom, .in for India, etc.

They are used by websites/blogs that want target audiences in a specific country.

  • Top Level Domain(TLD)

These are generic domain extensions that are ranking very high in the domain name system. There are hundreds of them but the most popular are; .com, .org, and .net. Other TLDs are not widely known and we don’t recommend you to use them. For example, .club, .info, .agency, .biz etc.

.com domain extension is very much recommended

  • Sponsored Top Level Domain(sTLD)

This is a category of top-level domains that has a sponsor representing a particular community served by the domain extension.

For example, .mil for the United States military, .edu for education-related organizations, .gov for the United States government, etc.

How to Buy a Domain Name?

You can buy your domain name from one of the many domain name registrars. A typical domain name costs 14.99 annually, but still, you can get a domain name on Godaddy for as low as $12.

Some popular domain name companies include:

However buying a domain name does not mean you have purchased a hosting service too, those are two separate services. If you want to buy hosting, you will need a website hosting account as well.

Fortunately, a lot of WordPress hosting companies these days provide both services at ago. This allows you to manage both services under one single account and also you don’t have to stress changing name server settings for your domain.

We recommend using Bluehost. They are offering Milasona Users a free domain and a 60% discount on hosting. Basically, you can get started for $2.95 per month.

Note:

  • Domain names are always unique and can never be shared by another person. (Once you fully register a particular domain, it becomes unavailable (taken) for anyone that tries to register it.)
  • Always turn on the Auto-Renewal feature on your webmaster dashboard to prevent your domain from becoming available for registration after its expiry time.

Wrap Up!

I hope you picked one or two things from this article on Webhosting. In case you have other questions or suggestions, please use the comments box below. Buy Web Hosting at Bluehost Now.

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See Also:  12 Common Blogging Myths You Should Not Believe

Written by Mila Joshua Yona

Pro South Sudanese Blogger, Digital Marketer & Web Designer. I help entrepreneurs scale up their businesses online. You can join my Facebook Group Here or Telegram Group Here

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