Domains

Thanks to Protrada.com for this definition

What is a Domain Name and a URL
(Uniform Resource Locators)

The Domain Name
A good example to work with to help understand a domain name is would be www.protrada.com

The above address consists of 3 parts, The Sub-domain, the domain name and the domain extension which are shown below.

The Sub-domain
This is the first section that can be found before the dot. The most common sub domain used is www which stands for the “World Wide Web”, however there are an unlimited amount of sub domain names that can be used. Some examples are:

    Mail – which is generally used for websites with mail servers
    M – Which is used by websites to send people who browse with their mobile phones
    Category – diverse websites like alltop.com tend to use the category to segment their website eg: acne.alltop.com for acne based topics.

These sub domains are controlled and operated by the owner of the domain name and are never separated for the domain from an ownership perspective ie: you can’t own mail.protrada.com without owning protrada.com.

The Domain Extension
The section after the last dot is the domain extension. There are two main types of domain extensions which are gTLD and ccTLD. The TLD stands for Top Level Domain and g stands for Global and cc for Country Code. Examples of each of these domains extensions are:

gTLD (Generic Top Level Domains)
•    .com standing for Commercial and the most popular domain extension
•    .net is network extension
•    .org standing for organisation
•    .gov is for governments
•    .edu which is used by education institutions

Note that ICANN is in the process of releasing many new types of gTLD domain extensions with the first launching being the .XXX that was designed for the adult industry.
ccTLD (Country Code Top Level Domains)

The search engines categorize or localize the search for these domains by the country that they represent.

    .de is the German extension
    .co.uk is the United Kingdom extension
    .us is the United States extension

The Domain Name
The section between the sub-domain and the extension or between the dots is called the domain name.

From the above example www.protrada.com the domain name is protrada. The domain name is the brand of the website and if the domain name impinges on other trademarked brands the owner can expect to receive a cease and desist letter or a formal summons.

Rules for the Domain Name
Below is a listing of the rules for a domain name:

  • Domain names cannot have spaces.
  • Domains are not case sensitive when typing, For example typing “Protrada” and “protrada” will lead you to the same location.
  • Domains can have dashes or numbers, fitness-news12 for example.
  • Spaces between characters in a domain are not allowed,
  • Special characters such as !, @, #, $, %, ^, &, <, *, (, ), {, }, |, [, ], or > are not allowed.
  • A domain is allowed up to a maximum of 63 characters.

Now you should have a much better idea to answer the question of what is a domain name.

Domain names are used to identify one or more IP addresses. For example, the domain name microsoft.com represents about a dozen IP addresses. Domain names are used in URLs to identify particular Web pages. For example, in the URL http://www.pcwebopedia.com/index.html, the domain name is pcwebopedia.com.

Every domain name has a suffix that indicates which top level domain (TLD) it belongs to. There are only a limited number of such domains. For example:
gov – Government agencies
edu – Educational institutions
org – Organizations (nonprofit)
mil – Military
com – commercial business
net – Network organizations
ca – Canada
th – Thailand

Because the Internet is based on IP addresses, not domain names, every Web server requires a Domain Name System (DNS) server to translate domain names into IP addresses.


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