Websites are stored on web hosting accounts. Hosting makes the website available for public view. Websites are assigned an IP address for location and ID. This is like a street address or telephone number. These numbers are not easy to recall but you can buy a name that is easier to represent your website. This is known as a domain name.
You can buy a domain names from a domain registrars for an annual fee. You may reserve your domain for up to 10 years in a single registration period. You may buy a domain from any internet registrar, then direct traffic to your website by configuring domain DNS nameservers settings.
The full address of a website is called the URL, or Uniform Resource Locator. The following example breaksdown a basic URL.
- In the example above, “https://” is called the protocol. This tells the server and browser how to communicate with each other. This can be either secure (https) or insecure (http).
- “www” is the subdomain. This indicates a sub-section of the domain.
- “example.com” is called the domain name. This is made up of two parts, the name (example) and the extension or TLD (com). “example” is the website name. TLD is short for Top Level Domain. There are a nunber of domains to select according to your needs. Some TLD’s are restricted by country or purpose (eg. .gov, .edu, .mil, .ca)
Picking a Domain Name
- Choose a name that is unique and memorable.
- Pick a name that is relevant to your website, company, or industry.
- Make your domain easy to say and type. Avoid hyphens and numbers in your name. Make it as short as possible.
- Avoid trademarks and copyrights. The last thing you want is to change your domain because of copyright infringement.
- Buy a .com TLD first. The .com domain is best for most of websites.
- Be aware of unintended word combinations in your domain name.