Domain Names 101 | What are Domain Names?

You may be wondering, what are domain names? What does HTTP stand for, IP Address, or www.? Domain names are central to the world wide web and are vital in determining how you connect to the internet. Having some working knowledge about how domain names work can prove invaluable in creating a new website.  Understanding the anatomy is also crucial to determining which hosting-plan is the best for your new blog, website, or eCommerce store.

How Domain Names Work

For starters, without the domain name system, it would be a whole lot harder to browse the internet. For example, we would have to enter IP address to visit a website.

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What is an IP Address?

For those who don’t know, IP stands for “Internet Protocol” which is a unique identifier to each machine communicating over the internet. Your laptop has one, your phone, even your TV. An IP address is a set of numbers which identify a website, such as 182.323.432.32.

Domain names mask these numbers and make it easier to visit websites.

 

default IP

127.0.0.1 is referred to as the “localhost” and tries to establish connection with the same machine it is requesting from – go ahead and try typing it into your address bar! You’ll be taken to a page that says “refused to connect”

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Different Parts of a Domain Name

Each part of a domain’s anatomy helps your web browser identify the information path to access the website which you want to visit, and display the correct information to you.

In simple terms, a domain points to a storage address, and conveniently allows you to access that server’s information. If you were to add ‘/images’ to the end of Google’s URL, that would reroute you to Google Images.

What does HTTP Stand For?

First, A domain name is made up of several different parts. Let’s take Google as an example. Its main website is http://www.google.com and we can split this into three different parts. http:// is a protocol (in this case, hypertext transfer protocol – or in other words, a standard for data communication across the web)

http

HTTPS: hypertext transfer protocol Secure

What is WWW.?

Second, we have www. – the subdomain.  This, in fact, stands for “World Wide Web”.  After this comes the domain name itself, for example, “google”.  Finally, it ends in .com, which is the top-level domain.

.COM – The Top Level Domain

The .com was the very first top-level domain but, as time has passed, thus the internet has grown and there are several of them. The original seven were .com, .net, .org, .int, .edu, .gov and .mil. Now, this list has expanded and several other top-level domains have been released such as .biz, .co, and .uk.

More Facts about Domain Names

If you want to learn more about domain names, check out an infographic provided by websitebuilderau.com below which is full of interesting facts.  If you’re interested in hosting a server with its very own IP address through the process of virtualization you can get started here.

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101 Fascinating Facts you didn’t know about Domain Names” – Website Builder AU

101 Domain Name Facts

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