A web domain is the name given to identify a website. A domain is what you enter into a web browser to visit a website. For example, to visit Google, you can enter the domain name Google.com into your browser.
You can register domain names from A2 Hosting to get started with your website.
What Is DNS?
DNS is an abbreviation for domain name system. The domain name system is like the phone book for the internet.
DNS is essentially a database of IP addresses. Each IP address is a series of numbers that allow computers to communicate with each other.
A website is identified on a server by its IP address. Instead of your visitors having to remember an IP address to type into their browser to access your site, they instead use your domain name.
When your domain is entered into their browser, DNS translates it into an IP address because that is what computers understand. Your computer is able to connect to your web hosting and show your website on the browser once the IP address is found.
What Are TLDs & ccTLDs?
TLD is an abbreviation for top level domain. It is the extension or portion of a domain name that follows the dot. You are likely most familiar with TLDs like .com, .net, and .org.
These TLDs are designed to signify something relevant to the domain. For example, .com stands for "commercial" and .net stands for NETwork.
There is also what is called a ccTLD, or country code top-level domain. These are designed to signify sites located in or associated with certain countries or territories.
Most of the ccTLDs actually don't have restrictions regarding who can register domain names. In fact, many ccTLDs are commonly misinterpreted as TLDs. For example, while .tv is commonly registered by television and media related websites, .tv is actually the ccTLD designated for the country Tuvalu.
Domain hacks are also a popular use of both TLDs and ccTLDs. This involves creating a full word or phrase when combining the domain name with the TLD to create something your audience will easily remember.
A popular example is using the .me ccTLD for Montenegro and combining it with "aweso" to create the domain aweso.me.
There are also (SLD) second level domain options, particularly popular with ccTLDs. For example, the United Kingdom has a number of second level domains ranging from '.co.uk' (designed for United Kingdom based businesses) to '.net.uk' (designed for UK-based internet providers).
What Is A Domain Registration?
A domain name registration is simply reserving your website's name for a specified period of time. The two parties involved with a domain registration are generally the user who is registering the domain and the domain registrar.
The domain registrant is the user who actually registers the domain name and the domain registrar is the company who helps that user with their domain registration.
There are organizations that are called registries that manage each TLD option. When you register domain names, you would first visit a domain registrar who would in turn check with the registry that manages that TLD to see if the domain is available.
If the domain for the TLD you want discovers that it is in fact available, the registry adds it to their registry and gives you access to it. If the domain has already been registered by another user for that TLD, you will be shown during the domain registration process that the domain isn't available.
Who is in charge of all of these processes? Most countries manage a Network Information Center (NIC). An NIC is the main database that has all the information regarding what domain names have been registered and the IP address associated with each of those domains. The nonprofit organization the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) is in charge of creating and managing the procedures for internet name-spaces.