What is a domain name?
ln the world of the internet, a domain or domain name is the address of a website which is used to visit that website. It is a unique name associated with identifying an IP address. The internet is a huge network of computers connected with one another and each computer is assigned a unique series of numbers called the IP address. A typical example of an IP address is 188.8.131.52. As you can see, it is difficult to remember such a complex string of numbers (IP address), and hence the domain/domain name was introduced. Domain names are considered to be the human-friendly version of IP addresses.
For example, a business has a website with an IP address 184.108.40.206. Consider that the domain name associated with this IP address is example.com. In this scenario, it is easy for the users to type example.com in their web browser instead of the IP address.
Why do you need a domain name?
A domain name is the identity of your website which your customers type in the browser’s URL bar to visit your website and use your product. When a user enters a domain, the Domain Name System (DNS) converts the domain name to its IP address and identifies the website linked with it.
The Domain Name System (DNS) maintains a database for the various domain names and their corresponding IP addresses.
If you run a business which sells various products and wants to promote it online, or if you want an email hosting service for your organization, you need to buy a new domain. Buying a domain and setting up a business email is your first step to selling your products online. Some of the benefits of owning a domain and sending emails through a professional email address are:
- Proves ownership of your business
- Improves product visibility
- Stands out against competitors
- Establishes the credibility of your brand
What is the difference between a website, a domain name, and a URL?
When it comes to the internet, the terms Website, Uniform Resource Locator (URL) and Domain name can be confusing for beginners. A website is usually a collection of multiple web pages. These are primarily used to educate users about the product that you sell. URL is the complete address which is used to access your organization's website. You can find the domain name in the URL.
Consider the example of a URL https://www.domainname.com. In this URL, https is the security protocol, and domainname.com is the domain. The landing page that appears when you enter the URL is the website.
How to buy a domain?
It is recommended that you buy a domain name which relates to your product and can be easily identified by users. A domain name represents your brand's image and greatly impacts your online presence. When you run a business Hence, it is vital that you choose the perfect domain name for your business.
To buy a domain, you must choose a reliable domain registrar.
Who is a domain registrar?
Domain registrars are non-profit organizations who maintain domain name registrations and regulations. The domain registrars get accreditation from the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN). There are various domain providers such as GoDaddy, OpenSRS to name a few, from whom you can buy a domain. Once you decide on the domain registrar, you must run a domain name search to check its availability. Choose the domain name and select the appropriate domain extension that suits your geographical location.
What is a domain name extension?
Choosing the correct domain name extension is equally important. It is the suffix which comes at the end of your domain name. Domain name extensions are often referred to as Top Level Domains (TLDs). Below is a list of TLDs that are commonly used by businesses across the world:
- A country-specific TLD denotes a data center which belongs to a country. For example, .us represents the United States and .in represents India.
- Sponsored TLDs are those which are restricted to certain groups or organizations such as .gov, .edu, etc.
- A generic TLD is the one which most users commonly see. Typical example is .com, .org, .net, etc.
Before you choose a TLD, decide which one resembles your business purpose. Customers might get confused if you choose a TLD which is not relevant to your business.
What is the validity of a domain?
The domain name that you purchased will generally be valid for a period of 1 year from the date of purchase. However, make sure that you read the terms and conditions of the domain registrar regarding the domain validity. Ensure that you renew the domain before it expires. This is because, if your domain name expires and you don't renew it within the specified period provided by the registrar, your domain name will be open to the public once again. If it is an easily recognisable one, then there can be other business owners who keep a close watch on it and you end up losing your domain to your competitor. Most domain registrars provide an auto-renew option. Get in touch with your domain provider to learn more about the auto-renewal guidelines.
Having purchased a domain name for your organization, you can now create a website or enable email hosting for marketing purposes.