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What is a Domain Name and How Do They Work?

What is a Domain Name

Are you considering of establishing your personal web site or beginning a weblog however feeling a bit daunted by the prospect? For these new to net design, there’s a lot to study and take into consideration – however don’t fear! On this article, we cowl step one of any net challenge – the area identify.

Learn on to seek out out precisely what a website identify is and achieve an in-depth take a look at how they work. We’ll clarify technical phrases like IP addresses, the Area Identify System (DNS), and prime degree domains (TLDs). We’ll then share some prime recommendations on how to decide on a website identify, the place to buy one, what you’ll be able to anticipate to pay, and far far more. Are you able to get began?

What’s a Area Identify?

What is a Domain Name

Fairly merely, a website identify is the handle of your web site. It’s the identify that folks sort into the URL bar of their browser to seek out your web site.

The area identify for this web site, for instance, is

Domains could be bought via a website registrar or via your internet hosting supplier. They’re additionally typically offered totally free by internet hosting corporations or web site builders.

How Do Area Names Work?

Domains are essential, as they allow computer systems to seek out the server the place your web site is hosted. Web site information can then be retrieved from that server, permitting customers to entry your website on their browsers.

However to completely perceive this course of, you first want an understanding of what an IP handle is, and the way the Area Identify System allows computer systems to translate domains into IP addresses. Let’s discover out extra…

What’s an IP Tackle?

Each pc and server has its personal IP handle – a string of distinctive numbers which are separated by full stops. Computer systems use these IP addresses to attach and talk with one another, and importantly discover and retrieve net knowledge.

An IP handle seems to be one thing a bit like this

Nevertheless, remembering strings of numbers shouldn’t be potential for many people, which is the place domains come into play. As an alternative of getting to sort in an IP handle, when somebody needs to open an internet site they merely sort the area identify into their browser.

The Area Identify System then transfers this area identify into an IP handle, which is the handle of the server that hosts the web site. The server can then shortly be contacted, and the web site served to the consumer.

To know this additional, let’s look in additional depth at how the Area Identify System works…

What’s the DNS?

Domains are a part of a a lot bigger community referred to as the Area Identify System (DNS). The DNS is managed by the Web Company for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN). This non-profit group is liable for the on-going upkeep and administration of the DNS, creating insurance policies and regulating area registrars.

The DNS is a big community of servers which might be situated throughout the globe. These servers include a distributed database of IP addresses and act like an handle e-book, transferring domains into IP addresses. Servers can then be situated, and web sites requested and served to browsers.

How Does the DNS Work?

When a website identify is typed into your browser, within the first occasion the pc will verify its cache to see if it has beforehand requested that area. If not, it can then contact the native DNS server (often offered by the web service supplier (ISP)). If, once more, there are not any data of this area identify within the ISP cache, then the pc will subsequent have to find the identify servers related to that area.

To take action, the native DNS server will break the area identify into sections. For instance, can be damaged down into .com, makeawebsite, and www. The .com part, referred to as a prime degree area (TLD), will probably be investigated first – the native DNS server will hook up with a root identify server to seek out out which server holds the area info for this TLD. As soon as recognized, it is going to then contact this subsequent server to seek out out which identify server holds particulars on the second a part of the area identify (makeawebsitehub).

The identify servers are managed by your web site’s internet hosting supplier. They include the DNS data of given domains and map domains to IP addresses. As soon as the pc has situated the identify servers on your web site, your internet hosting firm will ahead the request to the pc the place your web site is hosted. The online web page is then despatched to the browser that originally put out the request.

Though simplified, the above ought to offer you an concept of how the DNS works. Let’s subsequent discover out concerning the several types of area identify extensions which might be out there…

Totally different Varieties of Area Identify Extensions



All domains are made up of an internet site identify (ie – makeawebsitehub) and a prime degree area (ie – .com). Area identify extensions differ tremendously, and it’s helpful to know the several types of top-level domains which are obtainable so you buy the best one in your undertaking.

Prime-level area choices embrace…

  • Generic Prime-Degree Domains (gTLDs)
  • Sponsored Prime-Degree Domains (sTLDs)
  • Nation Code Prime-Degree Domains (ccTLDs)

The DNS is a hierarchical system, and there are additionally additional ranges of area extensions, together with second and third degree domains, which you’ll be able to incorporate in your area (which we’ll cowl additional on on this article).

Generic Prime-Degree Domains (gTLDs)

Greatest apply is to make use of a good TLD like .com, .org, or .internet in your area identify. Nevertheless, because of the sheer variety of domains which were registered up to now, it might be arduous to seek out an applicable identify with considered one of these extensions. If so, then you would look to make use of a unique, lesser-known, TLD. Examples of generic TLDs embrace…

  • .com (business)
  • .org (organizational)
  • .internet (community)
  • .biz (enterprise)
  • .information (info)

The listing of TLDs is in depth and might be discovered on the IANA (Web Assigned Numbers Authority) web site. (The IANA manages all TLDs).

There are a choice of prime degree domains which might be sponsored by businesses or organizations for particular use. These embrace…

  • .gov (utilized by US authorities authorities)
  • .int (utilized by worldwide organizations)
  • .mil (restricted to US army entities solely)
  • .edu (to be used by instructional establishments)

In case your group falls beneath one of many sponsored TLD classes, then chances are you’ll want to use to make use of the suitable area extension.

Nation Code Prime-Degree Domains

The nation code TLDs are reserved for particular person nations, and finish with the nations two letter ISO code. Listed here are some examples…

  • .us (United States)
  • .uk (United Kingdom)
  • .ca (Canada)
  • .de (Germany)
  • . fr (France)
  • .cn (China)
  • .br (Brazil)

If your small business and audience are based mostly in a selected nation, then it’s suggested to make use of the related nation code TLD.

Different Area Identify Varieties

There are a few different area varieties which are value a point out…

  • Second Degree Domains – A second degree area sits instantly under a TLD within the DNS hierarchical system. These are sometimes used at the side of nation code TLDs, for instance –,, or
  • Subdomains – A subdomain (also referred to as a 3rd degree area) is an additional a part of a website identify. Subdomains are seen as separate web sites by the various search engines, so, amongst different causes, creating subdomains might help enhance your websites search engine optimization. An excellent instance of when to make use of a subdomain is if you wish to maintain your weblog separate out of your web site. In that case, your subdomain in your web site ( may appear to be this

So, now you already know concerning the area extensions which are out there. Let’s subsequent take a look at how to decide on a website identify in your web site…

Methods to Select a Area Identify

Lean Domain Search

Lean Domain Search

Deciding in your good area identify, that displays your corporation, is straightforward in your audience to recollect, and that’s nonetheless obtainable to buy, isn’t a simple course of.

Listed here are some prime recommendations on selecting the best area identify on your web site…

  • Use Key phrases – Utilizing the identify of your enterprise, or different key phrases that you really want your website to rank for, in your area identify is beneficial, as this might help significantly enhance your website’s search engine optimisation.
  • Maintain it Brief and Memorable – Your area identify must be distinctive and stand out from the gang. A brief and snappy area identify shall be straightforward on your viewers to recall – attempt to use a most of three phrases.
  • Make Positive It’s Straightforward to Spell – Draw back from phrases with a number of spellings, or different longer phrases that your viewers might discover troublesome to spell. In any other case, your guests might not have the ability to discover your web site as a result of they will’t spell your area identify.
  • Keep away from Numbers and Hyphens – Once more, you need to make your area identify as straightforward to recollect and sort as attainable. Including numbers and hyphens can add additional confusion (eg – is quantity two spelled 2 or two? And the place does the sprint go once more?!)
  • Do Your Analysis – Take a look at different web sites which have the identical area identify however a special extension. If there’s a highly regarded web site utilizing runclub.internet, and also you register, then you might discover it arduous to rank your content material in the various search engines, in addition to lose guests to this rival website.
  • Assume Lengthy Time period – Though, in fact, you’ll be able to change your website’s area identify at any time, it might dramatically have an effect on your search engine optimisation and customer numbers. Subsequently, it would be best to attempt to select a website identify that may work long run.
  • Use the Proper Area Extension – As mentioned earlier, selecting the best area extension is essential. For many web sites, the perfect TLD is all the time .com. Nevertheless, in case you have created a rustic or group/group particular web site, then you could need to take a look at a sponsored or nation code TLD.

Getting your area identify proper is essential. Not solely does it assist to outline your model, however additionally it is the primary, and in addition in all probability the lasting, impression that your viewers has of your website. Subsequently, it should make an impression and assist subtly promote what you are promoting.

However don’t fear in case you are actually struggling to provide you with area identify concepts. There are a selection of helpful instruments to assist with this…

Use a Area Identify Generator

Because of the sheer variety of domains which have already been registered, it’s typically the case that your splendid identify has been lengthy taken. As an alternative of spending days and days brainstorming new names, it is best to think about using a website identify generator.

There are quite a few area identify turbines out there. They work by taking a key phrase from you, after which turning it into hundreds of related ideas. Let’s take a look at a number of area identify turbines that will help you get began…

  • Lean Area Search – Delivered to you by Automated, Lean Area Search will make it easier to discover domains by pairing your search phrase with different widespread and related key phrases. It additionally exhibits you which of them can be found to register.
  • Area Gap – This area identify generator permits you to search, discover, and purchase new and expired domains. It comes jam-packed with an array of area identify instruments together with a reputation spinner, a brainstormer, and an entire availability checker.
  • Identify Mesh – With over six million phrases within the Identify Mesh library, this identify generator will have the ability to discover the suitable area identify for you. Merely enter your key phrase, and Identify Mesh will present a variety of options, in addition to examine the supply for commonest TLDs.

For extra info on area identify turbines, take a look at our article 9 Greatest Weblog and Area Identify Turbines.

After you have selected an applicable area identify in your web site, you’ll now want to purchase it. However how a lot will it value and the place do you have to purchase it from? Let’s discover out extra…

How A lot Does a Area Value?

Domains range in worth dramatically. Some domains actually value tens of millions, but some you will get free of charge. Nevertheless, on common, a daily area identify will value you from round $10-15 a yr.

Million Greenback Plus Area Names

GoDaddy lately revealed an inventory of the costliest domains which were publicly reported. Listed here are just some…

  • – $49.7 million
  • – $35 million
  • – $30 million
  • – $16 million
  • – $11 million

I’ve additionally revealed an inventory of the oldest .com domains right here.

As you possibly can see, these in style domains promote for giant cash. However let’s additionally take a look at the opposite finish of the spectrum – how do you get a free area identify?

Free Area Names


Quite a lot of internet hosting corporations present free domains in case you join one among their internet hosting packages. This freebie often lasts for the primary yr, or the preliminary time period of the internet hosting package deal (ie – in the event you signal as much as a 3 yr internet hosting deal then the area identify shall be free for these first three years). As soon as the time period has elapsed, you’ll then have to rebuy the area identify on the internet hosting suppliers’ costs.

Listed here are various internet hosting corporations that at present throw in a free area identify with their plans…

  • Bluehost – This well-liked internet hosting supplier presents a free area identify for the primary yr should you join an preliminary time period of 36 months.
  • Hostinger – A finances host, Hostinger gives a free area to anybody who indicators up for one in every of their Premium or Enterprise internet hosting plans.
  • DreamHost – Qualify for a free one-year area identify with DreamHost by signing up for certainly one of their annual internet hosting packages (Starter plan not included).
  • GoDaddy – One other widespread internet hosting firm, GoDaddy provides a free area with all their plans. Merely enroll on a 12, 24, or 36 month contract – the area will stay free for all the size of the chosen package deal.

For those who select to create your web site with an all-in-one web site builder answer, like Wix or Squarespace, then you will see that that these platforms all permit their customers to create as many free subdomains as they need. A subdomain, with Wix for instance, will look one thing like this ‘mysite’ Though this can be a good choice if you end up simply beginning off, if you would like your corporation to seem skilled, you’ll need to buy an precise area identify down the road.

Common Area Pricing

In case your internet hosting plan doesn’t embrace a free area identify, then you will want to buy a website identify. As talked about, the typical value of a website identify is between $10-15 a yr. Nevertheless, the worth of domains does range relying on quite a few elements. These embrace…

  • Reputation – When you’ve got chosen a well-liked area identify phrase then it might properly have already been bought with the intention of being resold at an inflated worth. You’ll need to determine if this area identify is well worth the cash.
  • Area Extension – Usually the extra respected area extensions (.com, .internet, .org) will value greater than a few of the newer TLDs (.me, .be, .membership).
  • Area Registrar – One can find the costs of domains differ relying on the area registrar. Typically, if you are going to buy your area identify immediately by means of your web site builder or internet hosting supplier you’ll find yourself paying greater than in the event you purchase from a 3rd social gathering registrar.
  • Size of Time period – Some area registrars will cost much less in case you register a website for a long run (eg – 24 or 36 months).

So now you already know roughly what you possibly can anticipate to pay for a website identify. So the place can you purchase one?

The place Ought to You Purchase a Area Identify?

Domains could be bought from quite a few third-party area registrars, in addition to by way of many internet hosting suppliers. All area suppliers are registered by way of ICANN, serving to to make sure reputability. The primary variations between the registrars are the providers they provide alongside the domains, for instance, e-mail and WhoIs safety.

Listed here are a number of area registrars that we might advocate…

  • – Select from the preferred TLDs, or from over 25 nation code TLDs. All bought domains include a free Let’s Encrypt SSL certificates, area ‘switch lock’ safety, and management over DNS administration. Use low cost coupon code SiteHub to get 25% off your buy.
  • Identify Low cost – This common area registrar already manages over 10 million domains worldwide. All domains bought include free WHOIS guard, two months e-mail, 24/7 help, and extra. And for these on a finances, there are additionally a variety of extraordinarily low cost TLDs to pick from.
  • GoDaddy – In addition to a well known internet hosting supplier, GoDaddy can also be the world’s largest area registrar, managing over 78 million domains throughout the globe. Buy a area from as little as $zero.99, or a .com or .internet area beginning at simply $12.17.
  • Google Domains – You gained’t discover low cost costs at Google Domains, however in case you are trying to shortly and simply register a brand new area, then this can be the registrar for you.
  • – Providing a whole lot of area extensions and fast integrations with a large assortment of providers and apps, the spectacular user-experience will allow you to simply register a website and get began in your new web site.

Use Low cost Code “Sitehub” to get 25% OFF your area identify buy.

Snap up your enterprise / model identify shortly earlier than somebody beats you to it. Use and get an additional 25% OFF your buy with our unique coupon code. You will get a .com for as little as $7.49 utilizing our coupon code Sitehub.


Most internet hosting corporations like Hostgator and different EIG manufacturers will encourage you to buy a website identify instantly with them. Though you don’t should, that is undoubtedly the only option to arrange your website’s area.

Chances are you’ll discover a cheaper area with a 3rd celebration area registrar. If so then you should purchase the area identify by means of them. Nevertheless, you’ll then have to level the area at your internet hosting server, a course of which could be a little bit technical.

What Else Ought to You Contemplate When Buying a Area?

Upon getting discovered a website registrar and area identify that works on your venture, you’re almost able to make a purchase order. Earlier than you do, listed here are a couple of different factors to think about…

  • Set Your Area to Auto Renew – Whenever you buy a website identify you’ll be able to often choose the size of time period (usually 12 or 24 months). Because the time period involves an finish, your area registrar will often ship you a variety of emails reminding you to resume the area identify. Nevertheless, for those who fail to take action, you’ll not solely lose your area identify, however as anybody can then purchase it, it might be snapped up by another person. Subsequently, selecting to set your area to auto renew provides you peace of thoughts that your area will keep indefinitely registered to you.
  • Area Privateness – Once you register a website, your private particulars might be stored on the WHOIS register and might be seen by anybody. So paying additional for area privateness, so your info can’t be accessed by the general public, is really helpful. (Some area registrars embrace this service within the area identify buy worth).
  • Purchase up Different Area Extensions – Relying in your finances, you could need to purchase up the opposite important TLDs too. For instance, in case your new area identify is, you also needs to think about buying, getblogging.internet,, and so on. It will forestall you from dropping guests who mistype your website’s TLD, in addition to forestall rivals from establishing comparable websites and hijacking your visitors.
  • Purchase the Misspellings of Your Area – If there are some apparent misspellings of your area identify then it might be value buying these. The misspelled domains could be redirected to your web site, making certain you don’t lose visitors as a consequence of guests’ spelling errors!

Last Ideas on Area Names

As you’ll be able to see, establishing your new area identify is definitely a comparatively fast and straightforward course of. The toughest half is deciding on the precise identify, particularly as so many domains have already been taken. So your first step is to get brainstorming – sort some key phrases into a website generator, share your concepts with family and friends, and make a agency choice in your new area identify.

When you’ve registered your area identify, you’re prepared to start out creating your web site. For extra info on how to do that, take a look at our information on establishing your first weblog. Good Luck!

Extra questions on domains? Be happy to ask away within the feedback under…

Featured picture credit score: Photograph by Patrick Fore –

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Megan is a contract author who loves all issues WordPress. She at present lives in Brighton together with her associate and two young children. When she is not on-line she likes strolling by the ocean, espresso and touring anyplace and all over the place. She is accessible for rent so take a look at her website

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