What is a Domain Name?

A domain name is more or less like a street address for your business or residence. On the web, each website and its resources can only be accessed via a certain address. A domain name is divided into two main sections; a top-level domain and a second-level domain. The top-level domain (TLD) is the section of the domain name located on the right side of the dot. Examples of TLDs include .com, .org, .net, .biz, .me among others.

On the web, each website and its resources can only be accessed via a certain address.

A second-level domain (SLD) refers to the section of the domain name located before the dot. If you have a website like www.xyz.com, xyz is the SLD. The www is not part of your domain name and is known the subdomain.

The organization tasked with the coordination of domain names globally is the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN). This organization manages the links between domain names and IP addresses making it possible for you to access a website by simply typing a domain name instead of an IP address.

Domain names have an expiry period and must be renewed for continued use. Various web hosting companies give you the opportunity to buy domain names as part of their hosting packages. You can also buy a domain name through one provider and host it with another.

When choosing a domain name, pick one that is easy to memorize and remember. Difficult domain names can jeopardize chances of visitors finding your site. Your geographical target should also be reflected in your choice of domain names. If you are targeting an audience based in the United States, a .us TLD will be appropriate while a .co.uk is for United Kingdom. If you are targeting a global audience, a .com domain is excellent.

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