What is a domain name?
A domain name is your website name. A domain name is the address where Internet users can access your website. A domain name is used for finding and identifying computers on the Internet. Computers use IP addresses, which are a series of number. However, it is difficult for humans to remember strings of numbers. Because of this, domain names were developed and used to identify entities on the Internet rather than using IP addresses.
A domain name can be any combination of letters and numbers, and it can be used in combination of the various domain name extensions, such as .com, .net and more.
The domain name must be registered before you can use it. Every domain name is unique. No two websites can have the same domain name. If someone types in www.yourdomain.com, it will go to your website and no one else’s.
Why you need a Domain Name
Free Domain Names
Some web hosts offer free domain names, however, the domain names reflects the host. For example, [yourname.webhost.com]. A domain name in this format is also known as a subdomain.
Although the domain is free and functional on the Internet, it has its limitations:
- Most search engines do not accept subdomains from free web hosting providers.
- It is not easy for your visitors to find your website, as now they need to remember your website name as well as your host’s URL.
- You will not be able to transfer the subdomain to another web host.
IDN Domain Names
IDN are domain names that are written in foreign languages, like Chinese, Japanese or Russian. IDN stands for Internationalized Domain Names. IDN domain names allow people from all over the world to communicate websites, domain names and URLs in their native languages.
Most domain names registered to date are written using the 26-character Latin/English alphabets and numbers, an encoding called ASCII. IDN allows for the use of non ASCII characters in domain names. When an IDN is registered, the foreign characters are encoded in Punycode using a number of algorithms. Punycode is simply an ASCII version for the IDN, allowing it to resolve with the current internet system.
Punycode domains can be identified by the “xn-” beginning.
Whois is an Internet database that contains information on domain names, including the name servers associated with the domain name, the domain registrar, registrant and the domain’s Administrative and Technical contacts. By performing a WHOIS search, you can find out when and by whom a domain was registered, their contact information, where the website is hosted, when the domain expires, and more.
The Whois is also a tool that searches the domain name information contained in WHOIS databases. It is generally used to check the availability or ownership of a domain name.