As you are setting up a new website, there are a couple of basic steps you can not avoid, such as selecting a web host and picking up a domain name and registering it with a domain registrar. These might seem a bit complex for beginners, but our beginner guide will help you sort things out. Below, we are going to discuss domain names.
Domain name vs Web Hosting
As we already stated, a domain name is not similar to a web host. As a comparison, think about web hosting as your house (where all your stuff is stored) and your domain name as the address of your house. Web hosting is the storage place, while your selected domain name is the address of that storage place.
Domain Name System (DNS)
A domain name could not exist without the invention of Domain Name System or DNS.
The Domain Name System – DNS, was invented in 1983 and it is used to transform the complex IP addresses into alphabetical domain names. This transformation is needed as the alphabetical names are much easier to read and keep in mind by people.
Top Level Domains (TLD)
Top Level Domains or TLD is about the ‘extensions’ of domain names. For instance, in ‘Google.com’, Google is the actual domain name and the ‘com’ is the Top Level Domain. Other TLDs are for instance, .net, .org, .info, or .ws.
There are TLDs based on countries, also known as country code TLDs or ccTLDs. For instance, .uk, .co.uk, .com.my, .de or .com.au are such ccTLDs.
These country code TLDs are limited for the citizens of the given country and activities with such domain name websites are under local regulations and cyber laws.
Subdomains and addon domains
Subdomain is the name in front of a Top Lvel Domain. For instance, in ‘mail.google.com’ the ‘mail’ is such a subdomain. Subdomain is quite frequently confised with addon domain, although addon domain is only the second, third… independent domain which was added in a single hosting account. Basically, a subdomain is a secondary domain in front of a Top Level Domain name. In addition to that, in the case of addon domain, the owner of it has to renew its registration. In the same time, subdomains do not cost anything.
Registering Domain Names
Domain name registration is managed by Internet Corporation for Assigned Named and Numbers or ICANN, while the process of domain registration is performed by third-party companies, known as domain registrars.
As a customer, you can’t directly register a domain name at ICANN – a nominated registrar must be selected. Even more, in the case of ccTLD domain, you have to select a registrar credited by national ccTLD authority.
Normally, a domain name registration should cost you around $7.5 – $45 per year. However, as the domain registration market is a highly competitive one, prices might greatly vary from one registrar to another. It is advisable to research and compare prices between a couple registrars prior of purchasing from any of them.