What are domain names?
Domain names are addresses for websites that people can type into their browsers in the URL bar section. Basically, domain names allow individuals using an internet browser to access and visit your website. One of the easiest or simplest ways to think about it is this: If you think of websites as houses, then domain names can be thought of as addresses.
To take it a step further, and think of it more in detail, the internet can be considered a huge computer network that is all connected via a global cable network. Each individual computer is able to communicate on this network with all of the other computers that are also participating in the network. In order to identify each computer, they are assigned IP addresses, which are a series of numbers used to identify particular computers on the internet.
Before, IP addresses needed to be used in order to visit websites. This was incredibly difficult and a hassle for just about every single person using the internet. Now, this whole process has been made simpler by allowing people to use domain names to access any and all websites.
Rather than needing to memorize and type in a long string of random numbers, or an IP address, to access a website, you can type easily remembered domain names in the address bar. And voila! You have access to your favorite websites!
How do domain names really work?
If you are looking to truly understand how domain names really work, then you will need to understand what happens whenever you type a domain name into your browser’s address bar. The process is as follows:
- You type in the website’s domain name in the address bar.
- The domain name is sent as a request to the global server’s network that forms the Domain Name System (DNS). Multiple DNS servers are utilized until the appropriate domain name is found in the DNS in the cache. Other DNS servers that did not have the domain name in their cache, once they communicate with these other DNS servers, can cache and store more domain names as well now that they have had the requests or access.
- The hosting company that manages the computers that has the name servers that you are requesting to visit the domain name from will forward the request you sent to the computer where the website itself is stored.
- Special software on the computer that is serving as a web server allows the webserver to now fetch the web page as well as the information pieces that are associated with it.
- Now, you can finally have the data that was found sent back to your web browser, allowing you to fully access and utilize this domain.
Are domain names and websites the same thing?
The quick answer is no. However, they go hand in hand. Websites are made up of files such as HTML pages, images, website builder software, and so much more. Domain names are again like the addresses or in this case web addresses of your websites. More so, web hosting can be seen as the house or home in which your website lives. Servers are computers that actually store your website’s files and these servers are offered as services by various hosting companies.
In order to create a website, you will need both a domain name as well as web hosting. Although, it is very important to remember and note that these two are separate services. Thus, you can buy or purchase them from two different companies as well. All you need to do, if you are using two different companies, is edit your domain name settings and then enter the name server information that is provided by the hosting company that you are using. It will likely be much easier to have both the web hosting and the domain name from one company because it will allow you to manage it all easier and under one account. However, it is not necessary to do so.
How do you choose your website’s domain name?
It is so incredible to know that there are over 350 million registered domain names out there, and there are more domain names being registered each and every day. This puts it all in perspective, reminding us that the good domain names are probably already registered, making you feel more stress and pressure to develop a catchy, good domain name for your company’s website for example.
In order to help you create a creative, catchy domain name for your website, you can utilize various tools and resources. For instance, there are free AI-powered business name generators or generator tools that can help you come up with cool new names. Simultaneously, these AI-powered generators can also check the domain name availability status in order to save you time.
When making your own or choosing website domain names, it is important to know a few things. First, it is important to know that “.com” is the most common, popular, easy to promote, and easy to remember ending for domain names. Second, you should make sure that the domain name is relatively short and very easy to remember so users can easily search and access it. Third, you need to ensure that it is easy to both spell and pronounce, again for user convenience. Lastly, you should not use any hyphens or numbers in your domain names. Ultimately, if you are struggling to find domain names, again, there are many apps and services that you can use to help you make one.