A domain name is a string of characters that uniquely identifies a website or web page.

A domain name identifies an Internet Protocol [IP] resource, such as a personal computer that connects to the Internet, a server computer that hosts a website, or any other Internet-based service.

People use it to access a particular website or web page by typing it into their browsers.

Domain names are organized into a hierarchy, with the top level (called the “root”).

For example, “softkeyword.com” is a top-level domain (TLD) that represents a specific website, while “www.softkeyword.com” is a subdomain that points to a specific web page on the website.

what-is-domain-name
What is a Domain Name

To use a domain name, you must register it with a domain name registrar, a company that manages the allocation and registration of domain names.

Once you have registered a domain name, you can create a website or email address or redirect traffic to another website or web page.

The fact is, there were 330.6 million domain names registered as of 2017.

Now, let’s understand the domain name with a simple example to cement it in your mind for good.

Domain Name example

You may want to know that what is an example of a domain name?

It’s very easy to understand with an example.

A domain name is a short, easy-to-remember term that is linked to a physical Internet IP address.

Domain names serve to identify Internet resources, such as computers, networks, and services, with a text-based label that is easier to memorize than the numerical addresses used in Internet protocols [e.g., softkeyword.com].

The domain name ‘SoftKeyword.com’ may point to the physical address of 212.1.211.28.

ip-address-points-to-softkeyword-domain-name
IP Address Points To SoftKeyword Domain Name

Google.com and Wikipedia.org are two examples of such domain names.

Host names appear as a component in Uniform Resource Locators (URLs) for internet resources such as websites.

Now, let’s understand the difference between the domain and URL.

How do they differ?…

Difference between URL and domain name

Both the URL and the domain name appear to be similar things, yet they differ in some ways.

Domain Name

A domain name is a unique name that identifies a website on the internet.

It comprises a series of letters and/or numbers followed by a top-level domain (TLD) such as .com, .net, or .org. For example, “softkeyword.com” is a domain name.

  • A domain name is a simplified version of a technical IP address.
  • The domain name is the short version.
  • A domain name is the name of the organization/individual entity with top-level internet domains like [dot]com, [dot]edu, [dot]gov, etc.
  • The labels (sub-domain, domain suffix) are separated by a delimiter character, and the naming scheme is hierarchical.
  • For Example, SoftKeyword[dot]com is a domain name
SoftKeyword.com-is-a-domain-name
SoftKeyword.com is a domain name

URL

The URL stands for “Uniform Resource Locator”. A URL is a string of characters that identifies the location of a resource on the internet, such as a webpage or an image.

A URL typically comprises several parts, including the protocol, such as “http” or “https,”.

Like “softkeyword.com,” and the path to the resource, like “/index.html.”

  • A URL is a webpage’s whole internet address
  • A URL contains more information than a domain name, and its components include a method, the hostname (domain name), port, path, etc.
  • For Example, https://softkeyword.com is a URL.
https-softkeyword.com-is-a-url
https://softkeyword.com is a URL

The domain name is an important part of a URL because it specifies the location of the website on the internet.

When you enter a domain name into a web browser, the browser uses the domain name to look up the IP address of the server where the website is hosted and then retrieves the webpage from that server.

In short, a domain name is a unique identifier that is used to locate a website, while a URL is a complete address that specifies the location of a resource on the internet.

You might have heard the buying and selling of domain name but did you know the domain names are sold even for millions of dollars…! Isn’t it awesome…

That’s the truth… and you will surprised to know the most expensive domain names…which I will show you right now.

Are you excited to know that…?

Ready…?

Most Expensive Domain Names

You have seen the regular-priced domain names, but have you seen the domain names that are sold for millions of dollars?

If not, then here you can see the most expensive domain name list sold for millions of dollars.

According to GoDaddy data, here are the 25 most expensive domain names that are sold for millions of dollars.

  1. CarInsurance.com — $49.7 million
  2. Insurance.com — $35.6 million
  3. VacationRentals.com — $35 million
  4. PrivateJet.com — $30.18 million
  5. Voice.com — $30 million
  6. Internet.com — $18 million
  7. 360.com — $17 million
  8. Insure.com — $16 million
  9. Fund.com — £9.99 million
  10. S*x.com — $14 million*
  11. S*x.com — $13 million
  12. Hotels.com — $11 million
  13. Porn.com — $9.5 million
  14. Shoes.com — $9 million
  15. P*rno.com — $8.8 million
  16. Fb.com — $8.5 million
  17. We.com — $8 million
  18. Business.com — $7.5 million
  19. Diamond.com — $7.5 million
  20. Beer.com — $7 million
  21. Z.com — $6.8 million
  22. iCloud.com — $6 million
  23. Israel.com — $5.8 million
  24. Casino.com — $5.5 million
  25. Slots.com — $5.5 million

Note: * The s*x[dot]com domain sold twice [Once in 2005 for $14 million and again in 2010 for $13 million].

So, these were the most valuable domain names.

Now, let’s move to the DNS… What is that?

Let’s see… [Don’t worry it’s just a server system]

What is domain name system[DNS]?

The domain name server is also called a domain name system. (DNS)

DNS is a critical part of the internet’s infrastructure. It’s managed by ICANN. ICANN stands for the Internet Counsel of Assigned Names and Numbers.

How domain name system works?

A DNS is like an index for a book in terms of how it stores and retrieves information about websites.

It is the DNS that allows us to navigate the web using domain names like google.com instead of remembering and using IP addresses like 172.217.3.206. which we will learn further in the domain name example section.

You can also learn more in-depth about DNS from the Cloudflare guide on DNS, with domain name system examples.

With the DNS, you should also know Domain Spoofing.

This is what we will learn right now…

What is Domain spoofing?

In general, domain spoofing is a type of phishing attack that falsifies or misrepresents an internet domain name.

People are tricked into opening emails that don’t come from the address displayed or visiting unauthorised websites.

domain-name-spoofing
Domain Name Spoofing

In addition to website and email spoofing attacks, any service that relies on domain resolution can be hacked.

There are several domains spoofing activities below that you can see.

Typosquatting also called “URL hijacking”, a “sting site”, or a “fake URL”, is a form of cyber-squatting, and possibly brandjacking which relies on mistakes such as typos made by Internet users when inputting a website address into a web browser or composing an email address. 

Typosquatting-in-Domain-Spoofing
Typosquatting in Domain Spoofing
  • The typo squatter’s URL will usually be one of five types, all similar to the victim site address:
    • A common misspelling, or foreign language spelling, of the intended site
    • A misspelling based on a typographical error
    • A plural of a singular domain name
    • A different top-level domain: (i.e. .com instead of .org)
    • Abuse of the Country Code Top-Level Domain (ccTLD) (.cm, .co, or .om instead of .com)
  • Internationalized domain names homograph attack, only because their spelling includes one or more characters that come from a different alphabet but look the same to the naked eye.
  • DNS spoofing
  • Website spoofing
  • Email spoofing

And more…

Did you know about this before? Tell me in the comment section.

What is the definition of a fictitious domain name?

It is a domain name that is not registered to any real organization or individual.

It is often used in fiction or for purposes of online experimentation and development.

For example, a fictitious domain might be used in a movie or TV show to represent a fake website or online business.

Also, the developer uses it to create a test environment with different configurations and settings.

Fictitious domain uses:

  • Fictitious domain names are not registered with a domain name registrar and are not recognized by the Domain Name System (DNS). They cannot be used to access a website or any other online resource.
  • It is important to note that the use of fictitious domain names can be confusing or misleading, particularly if they are used in a way that suggests they are real or associated with a real organization.
  • It is generally best to use fictitious domain names only for purposes of experimentation or entertainment and to avoid using them to deceive or mislead others.
  • Domain names used in works of fiction are often registered in the DNS, either by their creators or by cybersquatters looking to benefit from the situation.

There are a lot of domain names that are registered every day but do you know who registered the first?

Any guess?

Let’s find out.

The first registered domain names

Who registered the very first domain name, Any guesses?

It’s Symbolics Inc. by Aron Meystedt, who registered the very first domain name.

When was the first domain name registered?

Symbolics Inc., a computer systems corporation in Cambridge, Massachusetts, registered the first commercial Internet domain name in the TLD com on March 15, 1985, with the name symbolics.com.

the-very-first-registered-domain-name
The Very First The Very First Registered Domain Name

Fewer than 15,000.com domains had been registered by 1992. 294 million domain names were registered in the first quarter of 2015.

Have you registered any domain names earlier? Hit the comment box. or tweet it.

Wikipedia Domain Name List shows the first 20 domains with the dates of their registration.

Domain nameRegistration date
symbolics.com15/03/1985
bbn.com24/04/1985
think.com24/05/1985
mcc.com11/07/1985
dec.com30/09/1985
northrop.com07/11/1985
xerox.com09/01/1986
sri.com17/01/1986
hp.com03/03/1986
bellcore.com05/03/1986
ibm.com19/03/1986
sun.com19/03/1986
intel.com25/03/1986
ti.com25/03/1986
att.com25/04/1986
gmr.com08/05/1986
tek.com08/05/1986
fmc.com10/07/1986
ub.com10/07/1986
bell-atl.com05/08/1986
The first registered domain names

The domain has a different ending which is known as TLD.

Let’s see which are those.

The Levels of Domain Names [Domain ending with TLDs, gTLDs, and ccTLDs]

Which is a domain name extension?

The TLD stands for Top Level Domain. It is also called Doman Name Extensions.

Domain names are hierarchical, which means that they are organized into a series of levels or categories. The levels of a domain name are separated by periods (dots).

The highest level of a domain name is the top-level domain (TLD), which is the part of the domain name that appears after the final period.

TLDs-gTLDs-ccTLDs
TLDs gTLDs ccTLDs

TLDs are divided into two categories: generic TLDs (gTLDs) and country-code TLDs (ccTLDs).

The top-level domains (TLDs) are the first level of domain names.

And they include both generic top-level domains (gTLDs) such as [dot] com, [dot] info, [dot]net, [dot]edu, and [dot]org, as well as country code top-level domains (ccTLDs).

What are gTLDs?

The gTLD is Top-level domain name.

The gTLDs stands for “Generic top-level domains“. Generally, you can also call it “domain name extensions.”

These are some of the most widely recognized and widely used TLDs, and they are not specific to any particular country.

You can check these generic top-level domain list…

  • MyWebsite.com- commercial businesses; this is the most common
  • MyWebsite.gov – Government agencies
  • MyWebsite.edu – Educational institutions
  • MyWebsite.org – Organizations (nonprofit)
  • MyWebsite.mil – Military
  • MyWebsite.net – Network organizations

These were the popular top-level domain examples.

A generic domain is a name that refers to a broad category rather than a specific or individual instance, such as an industry name rather than a firm name.

Flute[dot]com, books[dot]com, image[dot]com, and industry.com are some of the websites that you may visit.

These kinds of generic domain names might be significant.

What are ccTLDs?

The ccTLDs stand for Country Code Top-Level Domains (ccTLD).

These TLDs are specific to a particular country and are generally used by organizations or individuals based in that country.

Example for country domain list…

  • MyWebsite[dot]us – USA
  • MyWebsite[dot]ca – Canada
  • mywebsite[dot]th – Thailand
  • Mywebsite[dot]in – India

The ccTLDs are mostly used to target a specific country. Such as MyWebsite[dot]ca, which can mainly be used for Canada, .uk (United Kingdom), and .jp (Japan).

However, these domains can also be accessed in any country if it is not blocked for the particular or other countries.

As per Verisign, New .com and .net domain registrations totalled 10.7 million at the end of the third quarter of 2021, compared to 10.9 million domain registrations at the end of the third quarter of 2020.

You can also find more domain name endings.

The Second Level Of Domain Name

The second-level domain (SLD), is the part of the domain name that appears immediately before the TLD.

The SLD is typically used to identify the specific organization or individual that owns the domain name.

For example, in the domain “example.com,”example” is the SLD.

The Third Level Of Domain Name: SubDomain

The third-level domain is optional and can be used to identify subdomains or specific areas of a website.

For example, in the domain name “subdomain.example.com,” “subdomain” is the third-level domain.

So, in summary, the levels of a domain are organized from right to left, with the top-level domain being the highest level and the third-level domain being the lowest level.

The TLD and SLD are the most important parts of a domain name, as they identify the type of website and the organization or individual that owns it.

So, these are the top level domain examples.

Note: The use of domain names in business may be subject to trademark law.

What is a Fully Qualified Domain Name?

FQDN stands for Fully Qualified Domain Name, also known as an absolute domain name.

It is a domain name that defines its specific position in the Domain Name System’s structure.

A fully qualified domain name (FQDN) is a complete domain that includes all levels of the domain hierarchy, from the top-level domain (TLD) down to the individual hostname.

All domain levels, including the top-level domain and the root zone, are specified.

fully-qualified-domain-name
Fully Qualified Domain Name

Let’s understand with the fully qualified domain name example: in “en.wikipedia.com,”. Now here, “en” is the FQDN, specified for a specific path for the content of the English language.

Let’s understand with another example: since the FQDN is a specified path, it can be used as a mail server like mail[dot]mysite[dot]com, and “mail” is the hostname.

And it is hosted within the domain mysite[dot]com.

“Mail” is a Fully Qualified Domain Name.

What is Domain Name Alias?

The domain alias serves the same files on your main domain, but with a different URL.

You can have many domain names that point to the same website.

You may host a Web site on one domain and redirect additional domain names to it using domain aliasing.

Let’s understand with an example,

If a visitor visits FaceBook[dot]net, Facebook[dot]org, FaceBook[dot]us, or Facebook[dot]uk they will see content from FaceBook[dot]com.

Even if a visitor visits FB[dot]com they will see the content from FaceBook[dot]com.

domain-alias-point-to-main-domain
Domain Alias Point To Main Domain

Why alias for a domain name is used?

Because…

Extra domain names are commonly used for the following purposes:

  • It helps to cover all of your domain names, like example[dot]com, example[dot]net, example[dot]org, etc.
  • It also ensures that people who mistype your domain can still reach you.

What are Registrant, Registrar, Registration and Registry?

You might have been confused about the registrant, registrar, registration, and registry.

So let’s have a simple and easy overview of these terms.

What is Registrant?

A registrant is an individual or organization that registers a domain name with a domain name registrar.

The registrant is the owner of the domain and is responsible for maintaining the registration and renewing it before it expires.

In other words, The registered holder of a domain is known as a registrant. For the duration of the registration period, a registrant holds “rights” to a domain.

The registration of a domain can be renewed indefinitely, for a maximum of ten years. The “owner” of a domain is its registrant.

Who OR What is a Domain Name Registrar?

A registrar is a company that is accredited by the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) to register and manage domain names.

Registrars are responsible for verifying that the domain being registered is available and then registering it on behalf of the registrant.

Also, register the domains with resale rights or for resale.

Like, NameCheap, GoDaddy, BlueHost, etc., they are domain registrars.

Domain-Name-Registrars-Bluehost-GoDaddy-Namecheap
Domain Name Registrars like Bluehost, GoDaddy,Namecheap

A registrar collaborates with a registrant, or domain owner, and a registry.

The registrars sell the domain names, provide the registration services, and also offer other value-added services applicable to domain names.

What is Domain Name Registration?

Domain Name Registration is the process of acquiring a domain by purchasing it from a domain name registrar.

In other words, the procedure by which a registrant registers a domain with a registrar is known as “registration.”

domain-name-registering-process
Domain Name Registration Process

To register a domain name, you must choose a name that is available and then pay a fee to the registrar.

The fee for a domain name varies depending on the TLD (top-level domain) that you choose, with some TLDs costing more than others.

A domain can be registered for a duration of one to ten years.

When the registration period expires, the registrant has the option to renew or extend it.

For inclusion in the WHOIS database, the registrant must submit contact information to the registrar.

What is Domain Name Registry?

A registry is a database that stores all of the registered domain names and their associated information, such as the registrant’s contact details and the expiration date of the domain name.

The registry is maintained by the domain registrar and is used to manage and track the status of registered domain names.

domain-name-registry-database
Domain Name Registry Database

Verisign, for example, is in charge of several top-level domains, including [dot]com, [dot]net, and [dot]name.

ICANN grants authority to a registry operator to operate a top-level domain.

Let’s summarize it quickly…

  • A registrant is the owner of a domain name.
  • A registrar is a company that registers and manages domain names.
  • Registration is the process of acquiring a domain name.
  • A registry is a database that stores all registered domain names and their associated information.

Now, there may be confusion between the Registrar and Registry, so let’s see in simple terms below.

What is the difference between Registrar and Registry?

Registrar: Registrar is a company that oversees domain name registration for one or more Top-Level Domain (TLD) registries.

Registry: The zone files, which include the addresses of the name servers for each domain, are managed by the registry, which is an institution that administers the administrative data for the TLD domains and subdomains under its jurisdiction.

The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) is a nonprofit, private organization and the governing body for the Internet.

ICANN is responsible for the technical operation of the Domain Name System (DNS) and the policies that define how the names and addresses of the Internet work.

What is ICANN?

ICANN was established in 1998. ICANN is a non-profit organization made up of individuals from all over the world dedicated to ensuring that the Internet remains secure, stable, and interoperable.

The organization promotes competition and develops policies regarding internet identifiers.

ICANN does not control Internet content. Neither it can stop spam nor does it deal with internet access.

Nonetheless, it plays a crucial role in coordinating the Internet’s naming system, which affects expanding and evolving the Internet.

What is ICANN’s role?

The role of ICANN is to oversee the complex and interconnected network of unique identifiers that connect computers on the Internet.

icann-nonprofit-organization
ICANN – Nonprofit-organization

This is commonly referred to as “universal resolvability” and means that wherever you are on the network, you receive the same predictable results.

Without it, you risk having an Internet that behaves differently depending on where you are on the globe.

InterNIC and IANA are two organizations operated by ICANN.

InterNIC: The Network Information Center (InterNIC) provides information about domain registration services.

IANA: The Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA) is responsible for the DNS root, IP addressing, and other Internet protocol resources.

IANA delegates authority for all other (non-root) domains to other registries

What is the Whois database?

The WHOIS database stores information about domains such as the following:

  • Registration contact information for registrant, admin, and technical contacts
  • Sponsoring registrar
  • Creation, update, and expiration dates
  • Name servers and domain statuses
domain-name-owner-contact-details-public-in-whois-database-
Domain name owner contact details public in whois database

Information stored in the WHOIS database may or may not be published, based on the user’s settings. The registry also controls which fields are displayed.

What is the resource record and type?

Resource records give details about the elements that make up your domain, like your web host or email provider.

Resource records make sure everything connects and the website functions properly when someone visits it or uses your domain name to send or receive emails.

Additionally, resource records can strengthen website security and validate domain ownership.

When you add a resource record in Google Domains, you must complete the following fields:

  1. Host name
  2. Type
  3. Time-To-Live (TTL)
  4. Data
  • [A, AAAA, CNAME are the Web Hosting Records]
  • [MX and SPF are the Email records]
  • [NS and SOA are the nameservers records]
  • [CAA, DS, PTR, SSHFP, and TLSA are the security records] and there are also other record types like TXT etc.

Before purchasing a domain for your business, you must consider the important factors to pick a domain name that will save you from legal and other issues in the future.

And then purchase a domain name with the best domain name registrar.

If you want to transfer a domain name or sell a domain name then you do that as well.

Wrapping Up

So that’s my ultimate guide to the domain name.

Now I want to turn it over to you: what did you think about this guide? Or maybe there’s something I missed.

OR which part of this guide do you find interesting?

Let me know by leaving a comment below.

2 thoughts on “Domain Name: Everything You Need To Know [2023]

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