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What is the internet domain?
In a nutshell - it's a website address in the net.
You enter it to visit a certain website.
When it comes to domains, there are a lot of uncertainties: are they free, can you own one, what's the difference between registration and extension and so on.
In this article, I will try to resolve these doubts.
Table of content:
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The domain is a website address in the net. When you enter a domain name online, an internet search will display a website, which is assigned to it.
Domain services are held by DNS - Domain Name System. It translates a domain name understandable for users (like webwave.me) into IP address understandable for network devices.
Usually, site address and domain name are used interchangeably and I will stick to it in the text.
Domain is made of a few elements:
protocol (http:// or https:// )
host name (www.)
top-level domain (.com.me).
The root domain is made of the second and top-level domain names and is the name of "the highest" in hierarchy site address.
When it comes to WebWave, we have got a knowledge base under the help.webwave.me site address. On this example, "help" is a subdomain, .me a top-level domain, webwave a second-level domain and the root domain is webwave.me.
Site address can contain letters, digits and "-". Capital letters and small letters are treated the same (WeBWAve.ME = webwave.me).
It's worth to mention what are top-level and second-level domains.
Top-level one can be based on country(.uk,.pl,.de,.fr) or functionality (.com,.org).
Second-level domains are the ones, which in domain structure are before TLD like .com.uk.
No, these are two separate things.
Don't forget about hosting... ;)
Imagine that a website is a house. It needs to be built somewhere - some land. This is hosting - a bit of space on servers keeping website files.
In order to find a way to this house, you need to know its address - city, street and the number. This is the domain.
There are many good practices when it comes to choosing a domain name.
If you run a company, the site address should be related to the company name.
It's crucial when it comes to branding (connecting brand name with its domain name). Not to mention, it's just practical: users will more likely remember a site address if it corresponds to the firm name.
What doesn't change the fact, that the number of spare domains is limited. That's why it is worth to select one, which can be associated with the company, brand or activity (blog).
You should also know, that adding "-" to site address is not the best idea, because many websites that spam use them. On the other hand, if "-" is used to separate a two-element company name (like my-dompany.com) it's okay to use it.
Domain works similar to a contact number.
You can change the mobile phone (website) and operator (a firm, where the domain has been registered).
The domain can also be redirected (enter a new DNS address, to which it will refer) or moved to another supplier (you need authinfo). Read more about domain services here.
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Domains can be divided into paid and free.
You can have a free domain for example in WebWave (under the subdomain webwavecms.com).
Unfortunately, for most (top-level and second-level like .com, .org, .software) domains you need to pay.
Interesting fact: some TLD based on countries are used worldwide, for example, Djibouti (.dj) domain is often used by DJs. I am sure you can guess why ;).
Prices vary depending on the kind of domain and the company which will register it.
You should remember, that when registering a new domain sometimes you need to complete some additional formalities (for example with domains .org). Luckily for us, most domains require only some personal details of the person or company and the payment.
Price for domain registration is between 0 and a few euro. The price for extending a domain is bigger, between a few and several dozens euro. Everything depends on the domain and company.
First of all, the price - like I mentioned before, extending a domain is usually more expensive than its registration.
It's worth to remember that registration costs are very often included in the first year of hosting (for example when you buy a Premium Plan in WebWave you get a .com registration for a year for free).
After one year you need to pay for domain extension separately.
Just like I said before: hosting is a land, domain is an address. Both need separate payments.
When you register a domain, you gain a right to it for a year. At least a year.
You can also make a payment for longer - for example, 5 years.
If you have a domain, it's easier to set your own mailbox.
Having a mywebsite.com domain you can set a firstname.lastname@example.org mailbox.
It has a good impact on company image.
Mailbox is an additional service and you need to pay for it.
In WebWave we give it for free to Premium Plan.
In WebWave you get your own mailbox for free
In practice, by paying for a domain you only get a right to use a certain site address.
Again, like with a phone number - as long as you pay for a phone subscription the number is "yours" (only you can use it). When you stop making payments or subscription ends - you lose the exclusiveness.
It's the same story with the domain.
Payments give you exclusiveness to use a certain site address. Having a domain is rather a lease.
You lose the right to use this certain domain. The domain expires.
But! For a short period of time, it is "reserved" for you. In the case of .com domains, you have got 28 days to make your mind and start making payments again.
Usually, you need to pay for domain reactivation. Remember about it.
After this period of time, the domain is back on the market.
If you think that you can avoid domain reactivation costs (by waiting 28 days until it expires and purchasing it again) you are wrong.
There are companies, which automatically buy domains which return on the market - mostly to sell them again but with a higher cost. That's why, if you have a registered domain and you care about it - make sure to make payments on time.
No, but most people think it is worth to use it.
Country-based domains became a standard, especially for businesses that operate in a certain country in a particular language.
That's why companies from the UK use top-level domain .uk.
Of course, you can use any domain name. For example, in 2014 many new domain names appeared on the market and allowed webmasters to create interesting combinations like antivirus.software or dinner.today.
There is a dependence between domain name and SEO, but times when using keywords in site address (EMD - Exact Match Domain) are long gone.
Choosing a domain name corresponding to company name won't hurt.
It's worth to mention that there is a connection between domain age and website position in internet search results (based on ahrefs studies).
Just like I mentioned before, domain is like a phone number - you can easily transfer it between operators.
All you need is the authinfo.
A domain is a site address of a website in the net.
You can never own it, but you get exclusives for it.
A domain needs to be extended for at least a year (or more).
Since you know what a domain is, maybe you will build a website for it - for free with no coding?
Make sure to read articles below:
Authors: Weronika Wawrzyniak
& Bartek Raducha - Led and consulted many websites projects in the cultural area. Worked in an advertising agency and co-led projects of websites for clients such as Beko and Bonduelle Food Service. In WebWave – advertiser and more.
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