What Is A Domain Name, Really? (And Some Crazy Stuff About It)

In technical definition, a domain name is an identification string that defines a realm of administrative autonomy, authority or control within the Internet. Domain names are formed by the rules and procedures of the Domain Name System (DNS). Any name registered in the DNS is a domain name.

In layman’s point of view, a domain name is the website name or the URL address of your website or your blog.

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A What Name, Now?

Before we dig deeper into what is a domain name and how much would it cost to own one, let me first briefly discuss to you the main purpose of a domain name and why you need to get one (especially if you’re a blogger, like me).

A machine communicates to another machine through a bunch of numbers, called the number systems. One of the primary systems of numbers is the binary. If you already forgot what binary numbers are, they are the O’s and 1’s in digital electronics. Going really complex, machines also communicate via other types of machine number systems: octal, decimal, hexadecimal. Here’s a sweet table:

Number SystemBaseUsed DigitsExample
Binary21, 0(11110000)2
Octal80,1,2,3,4,5,6,7(143)8
Decimal100,1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9(214)10
Hexadecimal160,1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,A,B,C,D,E,F(F0)16

Since you now have an idea how our laptops and tablets communicate with each other, this concept is also similar to how they connect to the Internet. Numbers are everything. It lets your smartphone to connect to your mobile data, and your mobile data get fed by the Internet provider.

Therefore, I conclude, Mathematics is no-nonsense. It is even the balance of how proportional your photos using your DSLR or your high-end smartphone camera. If you don’t believe me, read about the Fibonacci spiral (or the golden ratio), and ask a photographer what it is and why it is very important for them.

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Numbers in Mathematics are even the essence of nature, the language of the universe. Watch this video and thank me later.

A domain name is the website name or the URL address of your website or your blog. Click To Tweet

Domain Name: Let’s Go Back On Track

I was carried away by numbers and the golden ratio, but seriously, our gadgets connect with each other through numbers. If for example, you wanted to visit a website. Let’s say, that website is Facebook, your browser gets all the information from the servers where they keep their files and your login details to match up with their system so you can access the page.

Everything happens within a snap of a finger (or less, well, it depends on how fast your connection is). Once your browser reaches the right server, it will return to your browser and display Facebook’s login page, the photos, the website in general.

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This process, however, was made via a digital electronic communication (through binary numbers, etc.) and we couldn’t understand that (or even memorize the sequence of numbers to get access to Facebook’s page) with simplicity and ease. Just imagine, if Facebook.com is 706567696679797546677977 in computer numbers, you will surely give up even before you can even hit the “Return” key.

So, for us to quickly access Facebook without remembering those numbers, we need to have an identification string that is very easy to remember: a domain name. Bravo.

ALSO READ: 5 Tips On How to Choose A Domain Name For Your Blog

Basic Rules Of Domain Names

A domain name has different labels (or parts). The name and the extension are the primary parts of a domain name. It also has a sub-domain and a prefix. Check the graph below for a clearer picture.

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The address of your website [Photo credit: firstsiteguide.com]

ALSO READ: 5 Reasons Why NSS Group Web Hosting Is Ideal For Bloggers

There are different types of extensions (or we call it top-level domain). They are the generic, country code, and special purpose top-level domains. Examples of generic top-level domains (gTLDs) are .com, .net, .org, .biz, .info, .name, .mobi, and special purpose TLDs like .gov, .edu, .int, and others.

On the other hand, country code top-level domains (ccTLDs) are .ph, .us, .uk, .kr, .jp, and other countries that offer country code domain names. Today, there are a lot of domain names extensions available for intended uses. From .abc to .zone for English, from .shouji to .xihuan for Chinese, and other domain name extensions. Second level domains are also available like .gov.ph, .kids.us, and others.

These domain names are generally composed of alphanumeric (ASCII) characters A to Z and 0 to 9. Only the special character, hyphen (or dash) is allowed as part of a domain name. Special rules are applied to countries and regions where they can register and own domain names with complex characters on them. Domain names, once purchased, are not case-sensitive, and prices differ from TLDs or registrars (resellers).

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Where To Buy And How To Get One

You can buy a domain name from web hosting companies that also offer domain registration services. Some of the familiar and most common providers where you can purchase a .com domain name are Bluehost, GoDaddy, 1&1, and Hostgator.

I am personally using a web hosting service and registration from Namecheap. They currently offer $8.88 for a year of registration for a .com domain name. You can check their website for more details about registration and hosting.

Namecheap.com

ALSO READ: Which WordPress To Choose?

You can also register a domain name for a longer period of time, which is much cheaper, and more convenient. However, you need to pay the amount in bulk depending on the length of registration you choose.

Do you know have an idea what is a domain name what is its purpose aside from being a website name? What do you think? Can you now explain to a 5-year old kid why is there Facebook.com and why is it showing something on the browser?

I would like to know your thoughts about this. Share your stories in the comment section below.

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Philip Andrew Mayol
Philip Andrew Mayol

I’m a blogger, a crazy kid, and a happy piece of a blob. My star sign is on the cusp of the Crab and the Lion. I am a Julian.


I am not paraskevidekatriaphobic but something wicked this way comes; not autophobic, not cibophobic, not kakorrhaphiophobic, earth-kinetophobic, not metrophobic, muriphobic, not oneirophobic.


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