A website Domain Name is what a person enters in their Internet browser’s address bar to access a website. While real Internet addresses are made up of a complicated series of numbers, Domain names are the unique, human-readable Internet addresses of websites. If your website was a home, the domain name would be its address.
- Top Level Domain (TLD) – is the formal term for the suffix that appears at the end of a domain name. It is the first level of a domain’s hierarchy. Some example of top-level domains include: “.com”, .”net” and “.edu”. While you are probably familiar with these TLDs, there are actually over 1,000 possible TLDs from which you can choose.
- Domain Name – is the second level of a domain’s hierarchy. This tends to be the most descriptive and readable portion of a root domain. Examples of domain names are:
No two different websites can have the same root domain. However, one website can have multiples root domains assigned. All the pages on the same website have the same root domain, and usually have their own domain name: “http://ift.tt/2Cli7wx“.
- Subdomains are the third level of a domain’s hierarchy. They are added in front of the root domain and separated from the domain name with a period. Example of a subdomain are:
The above are both subdomains of their website’s root domain. The most common subdomain is www (world wide web). It’s also possible to omit the subdomain to access a website.
Buy a Domain Name
The first step is to buy a domain name (actually, the Root Domain). Anyone can buy a domain. To do so, you visit a domain name registrar, such as GoDaddy or Google Domains, key in the root domain you want to buy, and pay a fee. You buy a domain for a term, such as 1 to 10 years, and can renew your purchase at the end of the term (or even set up an auto-renewal). You may only buy a domain that is not already registered by another person or business.
Domain names put a friendly face on the hard-to-remember numeric IP addresses. Since your domain name is the name of your website, you want to make sure you get a good one. You will want to buy one that is catchy and short so that it’s both easy for people to remember, and easy for people to type.
Look forward to our future post where we discuss Search Engine Optimization (SEO) best practices for domains.
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