When creating a website, registering your domain name is one of the essential steps you have to conduct first. As such, it’s important for you to know how the whole process works as a simple mistake could turn fatal for your online business. For this article, therefore, we help you understand some of the crucial aspects of a domain and also show you what happens once you’ve registered your name.
Domain Names as Pointers
All websites you find on the web have a specific IP address e.g. 126.96.36.1990. However, using that IP address every time you want to go to that particular website can be quite a nuisance which is why domain names are preferred instead. This means that your visitors do not have to remember your IP address any time they want to access your site. Rather, all they need to do is type your domain name to find your website.
The advantage of using a domain name in place of an IP address is clear. Every time you try to log into a website, your browser tries to establish the IP address of the page you are visiting (more on this later).
Parts of a Domain Name.
Every domain name is made up of two parts: a second level domain and also a top level domain (TLD).
The second level domain is the part of the domain that you create on the left of the dot. For example, in the domain name website.com, “website” is the second level domain.
On the other hand, the top level domain (TLD) is that part on the right of the dot which can include .COM, .ORG, and .NET among others. Luckily for you, choosing a top-level domain name doesn’t have to be a difficult task since there are tens of them available today. However, the most notable TLD remains to be the .COM. Nonetheless, while it’s often advisable to use the .com for your site, it’s also important to check what best suits your business and the target market when choosing a TLD.
For example, you can opt to use country code top-level domain names such as the .UK (for the United Kingdom market),.CA (for Canada residents) and also descriptive ones like .MONEY .BLOG, even .PIZZA.
Registering Your Domain Name
To register your domain name, the first thing you need to do is to identify a reputable domain name retailer. Before your domain name is registered, the domain retailer you choose must first run a search to check with the domain registry to ensure that your preferred name is available. These retailers are known as registrars. Some of the popular ones include Namecheap and GoDaddy.
Every top level domain name has its own registry. For instance, Verisign is the registry tasked with managing .COM domains. As such, whenever a registrar wants to check whether the .COM domain you want to register is available, it runs a domain name check with them. If it’s not taken, you are free to register it through the registrar of your choice including Namecheap or GoDaddy. Verisign will then mark that particular domain as unavailable which therefore means no one else can register it.
Verisign will also need to understand where your domain is hosted. As such, your registrar relays this information to them after which it’s stored in Verisign’s database that now serves as an address book.
How to Use Domain Names?
For anyone to access your website, your domain name has to point to a specific IP address (as we had seen earlier). The procedure of linking your domain name to a certain IP address normally involves connecting multiple servers. This process is also known as pinging.
When a browser makes a request to a website, the domain name is made to run through several servers until it detects the specific TLD server to which it belongs. This particular server, which is run by a registry for the TLDs helps to determine the IP for the requested website.
Using this information, users can now locate your website’s actual IP address and ultimately access the page they are looking for in their browser. This whole process moves quite swiftly although you can make it even quicker by using a caching system that stores the IP address. This means that users do not have to repeat the process each time they visit your website.
Domain names help make things smoother for website owners as well as users trying to locate a website. While it’s not a must for you to understand everything involved in website creation, it’s vital to learn some of the aspects such as the roles of the registrars and registries and setting of hosting servers among others.
Why wait? Register your next domain with Godaddy.com today, and get started on your new website in minutes!