Every website needs a domain name, if you intend to get found on the internet that is. For a company, owning a domain name is a sign of professionalism. It is something that you can stick on your business cards, in your marketing emails or wherever you see fit. However, what is a domain name? Let’s take a little look.
We all know what a domain name does. We type it into our browser (e.g. www.google.com) and it takes us to the website. We can also use it for email communications (e.g. firstname.lastname@example.org), and so much more. Everything that happens online needs a domain name in some shape or form. Therefore if you purchase hosting it is going to be one of the first things that you get.
So how do domain names work? Well, when you purchase business hosting, or any other form of hosting online your website will be located on a computer server somewhere. This particular computer server will have its own IP address assigned to it. Now, this IP address is unique so technically you would be able to access that computer by typing in that specific IP address, although if you want somebody to visit your WordPress site a number such as 63.345.189.38 is hardly easy to brand is it? This is where domain names come into play. They are intended to be something that is easy to remember. Basically, the domain names forward you to the IP address.
As you are probably aware, there are various domain name extensions. For example .com, .co.uk, .se or even .biz. The original intention of domain names was to direct to specific ventures e.g. a .org domain name would be for organisations whilst .com would be for commercial ventures. This doesn’t happen too often nowadays and you can register pretty much any domain name that you wish.
Now, since domain names are unique you need to choose one that hasn’t been taken already. This is fairly difficult since the internet is huge now and most common names are taken. However, there are a few still out there, particularly if you after something slightly more unique. When you purchase business hosting it is probably best to use your own business name, if that is already taken then you may wish to break it down with – or similar.
To register a domain name you will need to go through a reseller of domain names. For ease it is best to choose the same company which provides your hosting. That way it is all easy to set up to route the domain name back to your server. When you register a domain name you will purchase it in multiples of a year, although you can own it for as long as you want. As it comes up to its renewal date your domain name provider will explain what you need to do in order to renew it.
Hopefully this has explain exactly what you need to know about website domain names. Of course, there are more technicalities, but this is as much as most people will ever need to know.
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