What is a Domain Name
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What is a Domain Name

17/05/2017

Everybody with a website has a domain name. It is arguably one of the hardest decisions that businesses and individuals have to make when it comes to creating their website, and is a long-lasting identification that will be associated with your site. It is key to your online address, and it is how visitors will find you in the vast expanse of the internet. It is unique to your site, and if you renew it regularly, it will be yours.

But what exactly is it made of? How do you get one? And importantly, how do you choose the best one for your site? It might sound overwhelming, but we’re here to give you a hand.

Let’s break it down

To define it properly for those playing along at home, a domain name is a collection of letters and/or numbers that are included as part of your URL. Simply put, a domain name is a unique code that is used to identify your webpage. You must register your domain name, and once done, no one else can access the same name for their website.

Every domain name ends with a suffix. These are identified as ‘.com’ and ‘.net’, with many also ending with a country-specific suffix such as ‘.au’, ‘.uk’, etc.

Every single domain name acts under a type of address book called the Domain Name System (DNS for short). There are many diverse types of domain names which are available for people to register, including:

Top-Level Domains (TLDs)

As illustrated by its name, this is the highest level of DNS configuration on the internet. There are sub-categories that fall into this, such as:

  • Generic (gTLD) – One of the most recognisable forms of domain names, ending with the suffix ‘.com’, ‘.net’, .’org’, etc.
  • Country code (ccTLD) – Two letters are added to the end of your domain name, which establish the country of origin. For example, ‘.uk’ would be United Kingdom, and ‘.au’ for Australia.
  • Internationalised country code (IDN ccTLD) – Encoded names that are displayed in a different language script (Arabic, Japanese, Chinese, etc.).

Second-level domains (SLDs)

In the hierarchy, second-level comes directly after top-level domains. This level is usually the organisation that registered the name. For instance, ‘hostingaustralia’ is the second-level domain to the ‘.com’, which is the TLD.

Third-level domains (TLDs)

The third-level domain is the section which comes directly before the second-level domain (but after in the hierarchy). This is the sequence directly before an SLD in the URL. So, for instance, ‘www’ is the third-level domain.

What is best for me?

A domain name is the one that represents you and your company. As it is one of the first aspects of your website, it is important that you choose the right one for you as it is what you will be recognised and represented by.

Our first tip is to determine what your main area of focus is. Your domain name can greatly relay what your business is about before people even click on your website. You will also need to do your research to ensure no one has already bought the name you’ve thought of, and to avoid any nasty copyrighting issues. Also, if you do find one with a name that you were interested in, avoid making a new one that is extremely similar. Lastly, it is wise to avoid using a lot of additions that will complicate the memorability of the name. For instance, complicated spelling and numbers can lead to confusion. The stronger your domain name without the additions, the higher pages tend to rank SEO wise.

How do I register a domain name?

We can help you with the registration of your domain name for your site. Whether you are looking to register it for the first time, chat about domain security, change its ownership, talk about requirements, renew the domain name or anything else, our professional team will be able to help you with everything domain. Give the Hosting Australia team a call on 1300 368 359 today.

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