What is a domain name? Is domain name and hosting are same? Often people will confuse with the domain name, URL, and web hosting. We will be illustrating all the things with regards to the domain name in this article.
Before we proceed further, you should know what is a web hosting. Read our web hosting guide to learn more
What is a Domain Name
Domain name is an address used to locate the devices stored on the internet. It is used to make the IP address to human readable form. All the devices on the internet are identified by using a unique IP address. As the IP addresses are difficult to remember, we map a human readable domain name to locate the server/device.
An example of a domain name is “urbesthost.com”. When you type this name in your browser and hit enter, our website loads. There is some background process happening in between you hit enter and website loading. This will be discussed below in this article.
Many people will ask the question whether web host and the domain name are same? Few people will say, I bought a domain name, how to upload my website code.
For those who have the above questions in mind, a domain name and a web hosting are two different things. A web host is a server where your website files are stored, whereas a domain name is an address that points to your server.
You home is the perfect example to make you understand the website structure. Here, your home will act as server/web host and the furniture and all other things as your website content. Then, your home address is your domain name
The following section explains how a domain name works
What is an IP address : The Domain Name Guide
We should know what is an IP address to proceed further. An Internet protocol address(IP address) is the unique numerical label assigned to the devices on the internet.
An IP address will look like “22.214.171.124”.
All the devices connected on the internet are identified by using IP address. Each server will have a unique IP address and the request are directed to the corresponding server by the help of IP address.
After understanding what is a domain name, it’s time to know how a domain name works.
How a Domain Name Works
By understanding the difficulty of remembering the random numbers (IP address) to access a website, the domain name has introduced. The domain names are easy to remember than an IP address. It will be easy to remember urbesthost.com or google.com than 175.56.346.17!
what happens when you type a domain name in the browser? See below
- The browser will send the request to the Domain Name Server
- The domain name server will send back the corresponding IP address of the domain name to the browser.
- The browser requests the web page using the IP address and displays to the end user.
This three process happens between requesting a web page and displaying it on your browser
The domain name system is responsible for the process of resolving an IP address from the domain name.Each domain name and it’s corresponding IP addresses are stored on the domain name server to backup this process.
Top Level Domain Name Vs Country Domain
A top level domain is normally referred as TLD. It is an integral part of a fully qualified domain name. The part which comes after the “dot” is the TLD of the domain.
For example, If urbesthost.com is the domain name,
- “.com” is the TLD
- “urbesthost” is the domain name
There are mainly two categories for TLDs. One is generic TLD and the other one is country specific TLD.
Generic top-level domain:
These are the most popular type of TLDs. This TLDs are open for public registration. Example for a generic TLD is .com, historically this represents commercial websites
Country Domains or Country Top Level Domains:
These are the domain name TLD comes with country specific extensions. An example of a ccTLD is .in. This is the country specific extension for India. Some country specific domains have strict rules for registering it.
Sponsored Top Level Domain :
Back in 2010, ICANN has made some changes in their strict rules that allows any organisation to create their own top-level domains. Most of these domains are managed by private organisations.ICANN has taken this decision to overcome the shortage of domain name in the already existing TLDs
Sub Domain Vs URL
The third level in the root domain name is known as a subdomain. For example, in tools.urbesthost.com, tools is the sub domain name of urbesthost.com
You can create subdomains for free if you have a root domain.Often it is used for the purpose of providing language specific contents for your site. You might have noticed that some sites will redirect the user to the country specific website when they try to access the domain name. It may look like http://uk.domainname.com
Uniform Resource Locator(URL) is the pointer to the specific page inside your site. For example, the following URL will take you into hosting guide article in our blog http://urbesthost.com/web-hosting-basics-beginners-guide/
Domain Registration and Transfer
Once you are on the website, you can enter your desired name in the domain search box. The registrar will check the availability of the domain name you have entered. If it is available, you can go ahead with the registration process by entering your company or personal details. Once the payment is done, your domain registrar will register the domain name for you. All the domain registration database is maintained by ICANN.
Domain registration price may vary depends on the TLD you select. However, there are many providers who offer cheap domain registration for the first year!
Finding a good domain name will be bit difficult, most of the short domain names from the popular TLDs are already sold out. You can make use of domain suggestion tools such as https://www.domainit.com/domain-suggest-tool.mhtml to find a better domain name.
You can register a domain name for up to 10 years. It is better to register for the long term as it will give a positive impact on SEO. Also, you can avoid the problems with the yearly renewal process.
You are allowed to shift your domain name from one registrar to another. If you have registered your domain name at namecheap.com and want to transfer it to godaddy.com, you need to initiate the transfer process at godaddy.com
To transfer a domain name to a new provider, your registration with the current company must have passed 60 days time. As well as you should unlock and get authentication code for the domain name from your current registrar. Make sure that your whois data on the current registrar is valid. You are required to validate the transfer from the existing email id on your whois data.
It will take up to seven days to transfer your domain name from one registrar to another after the authorisation.
Domain Name Whois information
Millions of domain names are registered every year by individuals,organisations, business etc. Everyone must provide accurate contact data to the registrar for the domain name their register. If the registrar found the data provided to be wrong, they have the right to suspend the domain name.It is the responsibility of the registrar to send a reminder mail to customers to check the correctness of the data associated with their domain name.
This contact information is maintained by registrars and registries. This data is available to the public. Anyone can find the contact information for a domain name by using the whois protocol.
If you want to find whois information for a domain name, you can just visit a website that allows whois query and can get the details. Sometimes you may not get the exact registrar information. This is because the privacy protection is enabled for the domain name. Now let us check what is Domain Privacy!
Domain Privacy Protection
As like above said, the details of domain registrar including the DNS details will be available for the public by using a whois search engine such as http://whois.domaintools.com/.
Privacy protection is the mechanism to mask the contact details of the domain owner by using a dummy address. You need to pay extra bucks for activating privacy on your domain name. It depends on the domain registrar. Again, there are some providers such as Namecheap who offer the domain privacy protection for first year free!
Enabling privacy protections helps to hide your personal details including address, email, phone number from anonymous users. This is an extra layer of protection for your domain name and personal information from spammers.
A domain name is an important thing in running a website. You can buy domain names very easily by paying a couple of dollars to the registrar. You may need to purchase a web hosting plan as a related service to run your business.
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