Web Development

What Is A Domain

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What Are Domains and Why Do You Need Them?

You may have noticed the string of text at the top of a website's address bar. This is known as a domain, and it plays a critical role in how people discover and access your website. In this guide, we'll dive into the functions and significance of domains, and why they are vital for establishing your online presence.

A domain is a unique name that serves as the address of a website on the internet. It is made up of a series of words separated by dots and is connected to a website's numerical IP address. This allows users to easily remember and search for a website by its domain, while the browser can still find the respective web server through the associated IP address. For example, blog.Shiken.com is a domain, and it is just one part of a complete web address, also known as a URL.

A URL typically consists of a protocol, domain name, and path. For instance, the URL for this blog post is https://blog.Shiken.com/service/what-is-a-domain. Let's break it down:

  • Protocol: "https://"
  • Domain Name: "blog.Shiken.com"
  • Subdomain: "blog."
  • Top-Level Domain: ".com"
  • Subdirectory: "/service/"
  • Path: "/what-is-a-domain"

Besides simplifying how visitors find your website, domains serve several other purposes. Below are the top three reasons why domains are crucial for your online presence.

Establishing Ownership and Identity

A domain name is more than just a string of text; it represents your website and your brand's digital identity. Having a domain that aligns with your company's name establishes credibility and makes your website appear more professional and trustworthy to users. This not only builds trust with your visitors but also makes them feel more comfortable interacting with your website, such as filling out a form or survey. While some website builders may provide a templated subdomain to free users, such as accountname.wixsite.com/address, having a custom domain name like accountname.com shows more legitimacy and solidifies your brand's identity.

Understanding the Parts of a Domain Name

When you look at a domain name, you'll notice that it usually consists of two parts: the second-level domain and the top-level domain. These parts decrease in specificity when read from left to right, and they serve different roles in your website's address.

Second-Level Domain (SLD): This is the unique identifier for your website and comes before the top-level domain, like ".com." Choosing a second-level domain that reflects your business's name makes it easier for people to find your website without having to search extensively on search engines.

Top-Level Domain (TLD): The TLD is the extension at the end of your domain name, such as ".com" in usps.com. It indicates the type of entity your organization registers as on the internet and adds to your website's professional appearance.

There are various types of domains available, including:

  • Generic Top-Level Domains (gTLD): These are the most common TLDs, and you're likely familiar with some of them, like .com, .net, .org, .biz, and .info.
  • Country Code Top-Level Domains (ccTLD): These TLDs are specific to a country, such as .us for the United States or .uk for the United Kingdom.
  • Internationalized Country Code Top-Level Domains (IDN ccTLD): These are ccTLDs that use non-Latin characters for languages like Chinese or Arabic.
  • Subdomain: A subdomain is a prefix added before the second-level domain, such as tools.usps.com. It can help organize your website and make it easier for visitors to navigate.

The most popular domain extension is .com, and it's a great option for most websites. However, depending on the type of website you're building, you may want to consider using a different domain extension that better reflects your industry or brand.

Now that you understand the importance of domains, it's time to register one for your website. Check out our step-by-step guide, "Everything You Need to Know About Custom Domains," for more information. Happy registering!

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