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An Introduction to Domain Names

Updated: Jun 2, 2022

Website, URL, Domain name. These are three terms you might have heard being used interchangeably during conversations, but did you know that each one has a separate meaning?


What's the difference?


Website: A digital resource, such as a web page, a collection of web pages or multimedia content, which are accessible on the World Wide Web.


Domain name: (For example bluenova.com) An identifier which is used to locate and access a website - think of it as an address. Domain names must be registered and renewed through a registrar service.


URL: (For example https://bluenova.com) Stands for Uniform Resource Locator and refers to the particular route to the location of a website. Think of it as GPS directing you to a specific location within an address.


Top-level domain


The top-level domain, sometimes known as the extension, typically indicates something about the website that it relates to, the entity associated with it, or the geographical origin. Common domain extensions are .com (commercial), .org (organization) and .net (network), but there are many others such as .us (United States), .ca (Canada), .co (Colombia), .cn (China), .eu (European Union) just to name a few.


If you are thinking about securing a domain name for your website, decide which extension you want to use from the very beginning. Unless you are launching a non-profit, or other non-commercial venture, .com is generally going to be the best choice. Your domain name is a crucial component of your brand, and with over 140,000,000 active .com registrations, it is the most recognized extension in the world, which can immediately add a degree of trustworthiness and authority to your website.


Second-level domain


A second level domain is simply the word just to the left of the domain extension, the .com or .org. In the example bluenova.com, the word bluenova is the second level domain and .com is the top level domain. Essentially, it is the most memorable part of your url.


After choosing your extension, you can get creative and decide what you would like the second level of your domain to be, but keep in mind that shorter domain names which exclude hyphens are better, because they are more memorable. For convenience, many organizations simply use their brand name because it is their identity, but others will use a keyword which defines their industry or the products and services they provide.


Subdomain

In addition to your domain name, subdomains can be used to organize your website into different sections, such as: “blog.bluenova.com” and “shop.bluenova.com”.


Although subdomains are created separately to the main domain name, they are still referred to as part of the domain.


So, now you have a better understanding of domain names, isn’t it time you found out how you can secure one for brand?



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