What Is A Domain Name?
A domain name is your websites address. This is the address that people type into their browser bar to reach your website.
An example of this is: https://theforge.digital
To give you a more detailed example:
The Internet is a giant network of computers connected to each other through a global network of cables. Each computer on this network can communicate with other computers.
Each computer is given an IP address. This is a series of numbers that identify a specific computer on the internet. A typical IP address looks like this:
Because these numbers are often difficult to remember, domain names were chose to solve the problem.
So, instead of typing in a string of numbers, you simply type in a domain name.
How Do Domain Names Work?
Next, we will take a look at what happens when you enter a domain name into your browser.
Firstly, it sends a request to a global network of servers that form the Domain Name System (DNS).
These servers then look up for the name servers associated with the domain. Then they forward the request to those name servers.
For example, if your website is hosted on Hostgator, then its name server information will be like this:
These name servers are computers managed by your hosting company.
This computer is called a web server. It has special software installed (Apache, Nginx are two popular web server software). The web server now fetches the web page and pieces of information associated with it.
Finally, it then sends this data back to the browser.
The Different Types of Domain Names
Domain names are available in many different extensions. The most popular one is .com. There are many other options like .org, .net, .tv, .info, .co.uk, and more.
Let’s take a more detailed look at different types of domain names available.
Top Level Domain – TLD
Top level domain or TLD are generic domain extensions that are listed at the highest level in the domain name system.
There are hundreds of TLDs, but the most popular ones are .com, .org, and .net.
Country Code Top Level Domain – ccTLD
Country code top-level domain or ccTLD are country specific domain names which end with country code extension like .uk for the United Kingdom, .de for Germany, .in for India.
They are used by websites that want to target audiences in a specific country.
Sponsored Top Level Domain – sTLD
Sponsored top-level domain or sTLD is a category of TLDs that has a sponsor representing a specific community served by the domain extension.
These include .gov.uk or .ac.uk The first being for the UK Government. The second being for educational establishments in the UK