What is a domain name?
To own a website, it’s not enough to just have someone build it for you. In order to be accessible to all Internet users around the world, the site must be installed in the Internet space, which means it must be installed on a hosting server, and the website must have its own name, which is connected to the concept of domain or domain name.
On this page, you will learn what the words “domain” and “domain name” mean, and how to register a domain name.
What is a domain and how is it registered?
The word domain comes from medieval France where the word “Domaine” meant “area” or “possession”. The domains are simply virtual parts of the Internet space, united by a common name – the domain name, or the name of the “area”.
Wikipedia’s definition of a domain is “a part of the hierarchical space of the global Internet that has its own unique name.”
Enough with the language explanations, because we can’t do without some technical details:
Every site on the Internet has its own address, called an IP address. This is actually the address of the computer on which the website in question is installed (see What is hosting).
This address is a series of numbers, similar to a telephone number (for example, 188.8.131.52). If the domain name system didn’t exist, each site would be located solely by its “phone number”.
This is where the domain name system comes to the rescue. Through it, normal and meaningful names are associated with the corresponding IP addresses and thus sites are found (and remembered) more easily.
For example, it is much easier for you to remember the name Google.com than its address, which would be something like 184.108.40.206.
On the Internet, there are so-called companies registrars (registrars) that have the right to register domain names and through a system of so-called domain name servers (DNS), direct each domain name to its corresponding IP address, that is, to the place where the searched site is actually located.
Owning your own domain name requires two things:
- The name you want must be available (not registered by someone else).
- To choose your registrar and through it to register and pay for your domain name.
The minimum term for domain registration is one year, but you can “buy” a registration for more years, usually up to 10.