What is a domain name?

Did you know, what is a domain name? Here we will take a tour about it.

Domain names

Latest revision: 2019-09-11 13:45

Let’s look at your browser’s address bar:

The browser's address bar when you visit this web page.
The browser’s address bar when you visit this web page.

The domain name is the underlined part: hostibox.com. Sometimes, it has prefix like https:// or www., but they are not part of the domain name.

https:// is telling that we will use https as protocol and www. is telling that we will use www as subdomain (the most common subdomain in the world).

Why we use domain name?

To understand why we use domain name, let’s go back in the past. Before domain name were available, Internet users had to type the IP address of the website they want to see. For example, for looking at hostibox.com, they have to type 104.18.42.2 on their browser.

Admit it, this is very hard to remember compared to a short name. Also, with IPv6 coming, if we didn’t had domain name, we would see guys typing like 2606:4700:30::6812:2b02 on their browser.

Domain name bring us a solution. By typing domain name, our computer is looking the matching IP address with this domain name from DNS servers he know (usually your ISP Provider DNS servers).

So, what is a domain name?

It is a name with we (the computer) can use to retrieve the IP address of your web hosting server.

This solution is just like a phonebook where you have to put only name and you can dial whatever you want, without need to remember his phone number.

What parts does domain name have?

The domain name has multiple parts, read from right to left and separated by dots:

The Top-Level Domain (TLD)

Also known as “extensions”, the Top-Level Domain is the part which ends a domain name. For www.hostibox.com, the TLD is com.

Usually, the TLD describes the category of your website: com for commercial uses, uk for peoples living in United Kingdom, org for non-profit organizations, …

So, we have three kind of TLD:

  • gTLD (Generic TLD): this kind of TLD describes the website by its purpose. com, net, org, name, biz are both gTLD.
  • ccTLD (country-code TLD): this kind of TLD describes the website by its geographic region. us, uk, fr, mg, cn are both ccTLD.
  • newTLD (new TLD): this kind of TLD concerns new generation TLD, like fun, xyz, faith, …

Second-Level Domain (SLD)

It is the part who describes the organization, the owner and/or the website. For www.hostibox.com, the SLD is “hostibox“.

Subdomain (optional)

The subdomain describes the part of the website you are browsing. For console.hostibox.com, the subdomain is “console“.

Currently, if you don’t put a subdomain, the web browser will look for page under http://yourbrand.com. If there is no content in this location, your browser will try automatically http://www.yourbrand.com (it will append automatically the default subdomain www).

Depending on website owner, they may use www or non-www URL as the main URL to access the website.

What’s the difference between domain and web hosting?

The domain name just provide a translation of a name into an IP address. All contents of the website is provided by the web hosting.

But at Hostibox, each domain name has a free web hosting space for hosting static website. Order now your domain name.