[Deep Dive] What is Domain Name? Extension | TLD | Registrar | URL | Alias

what-is-domain-name

A detailed and very beginner-friendly guide on what is domain name.

The definition and information with examples and facts, including TLDs, domain registrars, domain URLs, domain aliases, and more.

What is Domain Name?

What is domain name? 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.

There were 330.6 million domain names registered as of 2017.

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

Before moving further, let’s see the difference between the URL and the domain name.

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 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

  • 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

Do you know the domain you get, and how is it created?

Let’s know…

How the Domain is created?

You have learned what is domain name.

Now you will know how domain names are created using the Domain Name System’s rules and procedures (DNS).

Now, what is a Domain name server[DNS]?

A domain name is any name that has been registered with the DNS [Domain Name System]. The DNS root domain, which has no name, is grouped into subdomains.

Domain name registrars, who provide their services to the general public, are normally in charge of registering these domain names.

Domain names are used to give a website its own identity.

Organizations might pick a domain name that is similar to their name, making it easier for Internet users to find them.

What is the definition of a fictitious domain name?

A fictional domain name, such as “.web,” is used in a work of fiction to refer to a domain that does not exist.

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.

Domain Name 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.

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

Any guess?

Let’s find out.

The very first registration of a domain name

Who registered the very first domain name, any guess?

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

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.

The first registered domain names

The host’s file (host.txt) was downloaded from a computer at SRI International, which converted computer hostnames to numerical addresses, by each computer on the early network.

Because it was impractical to maintain a centrally managed hostname registry due to the network’s fast expansion, the Domain Name System was launched on the ARPANET in 1983 and published as RFC 882 and RFC 883 by the Internet Engineering Task Force.

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 name has a different ending which is known as TLDs.

Let’s see which are those.

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

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

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 TLDs and gTLDs?

The TLDs stand for Top Level Domain Names, and the gTLDs stand for generic Top-Level Domain Names. Generally, you can also call it “Domain Name Extensions.”

These are common domain names [TLDs] such as…

  • 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

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 Domain Names. Such as…

  • 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, can mainly be used for Canada.

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 name registrations totaled 10.7 million at the end of the third quarter of 2021, compared to 10.9 million domain name registrations at the end of the third quarter of 2020.

TLDs-gTLDs-ccTLDs
TLDs gTLDs ccTLDs

You can also find more domain names endings.

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

What is 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.

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

fully-qualified-domain-name
Fully Qualified Domain Name

For example, In en[dot]wikipedia[dot]com, “en” is 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, “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?

An alias domain 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, 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 name can still reach you.

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 names 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 name sold twice [Once in 2005 for $14 million and again in 2010 for $13 million].

What are Registrant, Registrar, Registration and Registry?

You might have been confused among the registrant, registrar, registration, and registry?

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

What is Registrant?

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.

What or Who is Registrar?

Who registers the domains with resale rights or for resale?

Like, Google Domains, NameCheap, GoDaddy, etc. are domain registrars.

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 Registration?

The procedure by which a registrant registers a domain with a registrar is known as registration.

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 Registry?

A registry is a database that stores registrant information for second-level domains (google.com, example.com) that are subordinate to a certain top-level domain (.com).

The administrative data for one or more top-level or lower-level domains is maintained by a registry operator.

domain-name-registry-database
Domain Name Registry Database

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

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

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.

Select, Buy, Transfer and sell a Domain name?

Here you can learn more…

  • how-to-choose-a-domain-name

  • how-to-buy-a-domain-name-SoftKeyword[dot]com

  • how-to-transfer-a-domain-name

  • how-to-sell-a-domain-name

Before purchasing a domain name 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.

Conclusion on What is domain Domain Name

The domain is a must-have for every business, big personality, or if you are a new company, as it is the best way to share your presence online all over the world via the internet.

Now, are you planning to get the domain name right now?

or

Do you own any domain name which is very old and short?

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