You’ve probably heard the phrase “domain name” but you may be unsure about the domain name definition. What is a domain name and how is it important? Basically, a domain name is the location of a piece of internet “property.” It is like the address of a piece of real estate, defining a realm of authority, control, or administrative autonomy on the web. These names can be used to show the control or ownership of a piece of online “real estate.”
When working to understand the domain name definition, it’s important to realize that domain names are important because they help to offer easy to remember names that address resources available on the internet. Every domain name has different parts, which are known as labels. These labels are delimited and concatenated with dots, for example, domainname.com. The right part of the domain name shows the top level domain, with the .com, showing that this address belongs to the .com top level domain. The domain names hierarchy descends as you read it from the right to the left label. The labels to the left are specific to a subdomain of the domain shown at the right of the name. To help you better understand the different domain levels, here is a closer look at each level.
Top Level Domains
First, you have the top level domains. This is the internet’s highest level of domain names that form the root area of the domain name system. Every domain name out there ends on a domain label that is top level. Originally, when the domain name system was first created, there were two main groups of top level domains. Country top level domains were available and several generic top level domains were also created. The seven generic top level domains include .com, .net, .edu, .int, .org, .gov, and .mil.
Second Level Domains
The next part of the domain name hierarchy is known as second level domain names. These names are right to the left of the top level domains, such as .net or .com. For example, in the domain name domainname.co.uk the second level domain would be the “co.” Often these domain names are created to be based on the company name, a service, or a product. Keep in mind that the components of a domain name are always separated by a full stop (period).
Third Level Domains
Last, you have third level domains, which are to the left of the second level domains. You’ll also find that fourth, fifth, and sixth domains are also available, and there is really no limit to how far that can go.
Domain names are a bit more complicated than most people realize and they are definitely important to the success of any online business. In order to use a domain name, you have to get the right from domain name registrars. However, these registrars have to be accredited with the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers. Registrars also have to keep a database that includes all the names that are registered with it. Once they receive the information, it is published with whois. In most cases, you will be charged a fee on an annual basis for your domain name. Keep in mind that you are basically leasing the name, since there is no legal relationship that says you actually own the name.