You want to open a new website, and you will do it for the first time. Then, you are definitely wondering what a domain name is. Determining a name is one of the most basic factors needed to set up a new website. However, many people who intend to build a website do not know very well both what they are and what they do. In this article, we will explain in detail what a website domain is. Then, we will provide information about what they do. So, without wasting any time, let’s get started right away.
All There Is About Domain Name
Many people new to building a website are confused about the domain name. For example, many confuse a domain name with a hosting service. Frankly, such terms scare a few people who are new to this process. Because they seem like technical terms. However, it is much easier to understand than you might think. So, you may understand what a domain name means well. That is important in determining the right domain name for your website. Let’s explain this in the simplest way possible.
Almost everyone knows what the URL bar does when you enter a browser. What you type here is the address of a website you want to visit. It is the name of that website. So, consider a website as a home. In this case, the domain name is also the address of this house. That is the simplest way we can describe it.
We all know what the internet is. Or, we think we know. The internet is a gigantic network that surrounds and connects the entire world. This computer network is connected to each other via a worldwide cable network that is just as huge. These cable networks that surround the world are the basis of this internet network. Because they allow computers to communicate with each other. The system identifies an IP address for each computer connected to the network. As an example of an IP address:
This number is a kind of identification number that identifies each computer on the web. Here, thanks to the domain names, you do not need to type these numbers each time you want to visit a website. All you have to do is open your browser as you always do. Then, type the domain name of the website in the address bar and hit enter.
Differences Between URL and Domain Name
Based on our explanation above, you may have concluded that URL and domain name are the same thing. Do not worry! Many people think like you. However, a domain name and URL are two different things. It is necessary to understand the URL to understand the differences between them. So, what is a URL?
URL stands for Universal Resource Locator. A URL and a domain name have many similarities. However, a URL usually serves to take you to a specific web page you want to go to rather than a website. More precisely, they are unique addresses of pages on the web. A URL always contains the domain name of the website it is affiliated with. However, they are often quite long. And they may consist of many random combinations of numbers and letters. So, it is extremely difficult to remember them. Therefore, every user who wants to visit a specific web page directly needs the URL of that web page. Otherwise, it may be necessary to search for that page within a website for minutes.
Imagine a friend of yours describes a shoe she likes on an e-commerce website. And you try to find it by searching every page on that site. How hard would that be? Without URLs, you’ve to go to that website with its domain name and search for this page among thousands of other product pages. You can be sure that this will take hours.
A URL consists of three parts. These parts are protocol, domain, and path, respectively. A URL’s protocol specifies whether the website to which it belongs has an SSL certificate. The domain is the domain name, clearly, of the website to which the page belongs. The path is the part that addresses how to get to the page via the website.
How Do Domain Names Work?
Do you wonder how a domain name works? We need to explain what happens when you enter your browser first to understand this. You can do this with me if you wish. You have opened your browser. Then, you typed a domain name in the address bar. Finally, you hit enter. How simple isn’t it? However, you can be sure that a much more complex process is going on behind the scenes.
By pressing enter, your browser sends an access request to the global network of servers. This global network of servers forms the Domain Name System. It sounds familiar, doesn’t it? You know it as DNS for short. The servers that receive the access request start looking for name servers related to that domain. After finding the relevant name server, it forwards the access request to it. A name server consists of a number that identifies it, the name of its host, and the top-level domain. Here is an example of a name server:
As you can see from here, name servers are computers administrated by hosting companies. This company that hosts the website you want to access also forwards your request to the computer which hosts it. This computer is the webserver of the website you want to access. They run with server-specific software. Thanks to this software, it fetches the components of the website you want to access. It then finally sends this data to the browser that has requested access.
Oh my God, I can hear you say. Here’s everything that happens when you submit a request for access to a website. Let me remind you that it doesn’t even take a second to access most of the time. Now, what about examining the domain name types?
What Are The Types of Domain Names?
Do you know what the com you add to the end of a domain name means? It is a domain name extension. Com is the most popular one among all extensions. However, we may list other popular domain extensions as follows:
Note that these are only the most popular ones. There are many like these. They vary by domain name type. So, let’s take a look at their types now.
They are listed at the top level in the DNS. We may categorize them as generic domain extensions. The examples we mentioned above are the most popular TLDs. You can be sure there are hundreds of them. For example:
They are not as popular as com or net. For this reason, you may not have encountered them before. Although many options are available, most experts would not recommend using these uncommon TLDs for your website.
Country Code Top-Level Domain
They are country-specific domain names. Their extensions are usually abbreviations that remind the country of the website in question. For example:
- .de for Germany
- .uk for the United Kingdom
- .in for India
- .tr for Turkey
They come after the TLD extensions that we have just mentioned. Websites that want to appeal to target audiences in a particular country uses them. I’m sure you’ve come across a website in the format www.example.net.uk before.
Sponsored Top-Level Domain
These domain names represent a particular community. These communities can be an institution, a firm, or an organization. For example:
- Education-related institutions and organizations use the edu extension.
- Government-owned institutions, on the other hand, use the gov extension.
- The extension of US military websites is mil. (.mil is short for the military)
Things to Consider While Determining a Domain Name
Many people may think that choosing a domain name for a website is a piece of cake. However, it is not an easy task to determine the right name for your website. Now you ask, what could be so difficult about choosing a domain name for my website? So, let’s explain.
First of all, let’s examine an industry report Verisign has published on this subject. Accordingly, there are nearly 400 million domain names registered in all top-level domains across the entire web. Also, thousands of new ones continue to be registered to top-level domains every day. Have you figured out what that could mean? So, it’s likely that others have already bought the best domain names you can get for your website. We can even say that even your best ideas about the domain name of your website may have already been bought by others. Even if no one has taken it, you can be sure that someone will soon come and get it. So, you have to be quick about this. That is what exactly makes choosing a name for your website so difficult.
For these reasons, you need to be more creative than you normally would while determining a name for your website. While doing so, there are a few important tricks that you should pay attention to. Now, we will explain these tricks that will help you to choose a name.
Make It Compatible With Your Brand Name
You have designed a great website for your brand. However, others have already taken the best names for it. Therefore, you will have to set a domain name for your website yourself. While determining a company domain name, you should consider that it is compatible with your brand’s name. In this way, you can also optimize searches. If all the ideal business domain names you can use have been taken, there’s one more thing you can try. You may consider adding a related keyword before or after your brand name. Despite that this may not be the ideal name for your brand, it’ll give you a plus when it comes to search optimization.
While determining your website name, be aware that it will play a critical role in online branding. We recommend that you get a domain name as soon as you determine your brand’s name. Thus, you reduce the possibility of losing the ideal names to others. Let’s mention that there are several domain name services to help you.
A Domain Name Should Be Easy to Type And Pronounce
That will make it memorable above all else. When it comes to branding, memorability is an extremely important factor. It is undoubtedly the biggest plus that a domain name will add to your brand. However, you can be sure that otherwise, it can take away so many things from your brand. Let’s take a website that has a domain name that is difficult to pronounce and type. How easy would it be to forget, right? For this reason, you can be sure that many of your potential customers will confuse about your website’s domain name. That would be the last thing you want to happen when they want to buy something from your online shop.
So, how can you tell if your domain name is memorable? It’s pretty simple. Share your chosen name with a couple of friends. If they still remember this name after a few days, it means you chose the right domain name.
Determining the Domain Name Extension’s Importance
First of all, you should not register an online shop under the org extension in terms of usage rules. If we’re clear about this, let’s share what else you should pay attention to while determining the domain name extension. Users tend to trust certain internet domain extensions. This trend is the same when it comes to remembering domain names. Let’s take www.examplewebsite.com as a domain name example. According to research, this domain example is one-third more memorable than other domain names because it only has the com extension. However, let’s note that this domain extension has a higher trust index among people than others.
Final Thoughts & Conclusion
One of the most important jobs while setting up a new website is to determine the domain name. However, many people do not know anything about the definition of it or are not entirely sure what it is. Most people may know them simply as web addresses. However, they have a broader scope than that. In this article, we have aimed to provide detailed information about what exactly they are. We’ve also explained what people most often confuse with domain names. Finally, we have shared with you a mini-guide that you can use while choosing a domain name for your website.