Domain Names are the human-friendly versions of IP Addresses. Imagine trying to remember a set of digits like 135.42.732 in order to reach your favorite shopping site instead of simply myshop.com. A domain name is an actual address you enter into your browsers’ bar to arrive at the designated website.
The most prominent benefit to domain names is the ease of remembering. Add to that they’re used to create a unique brand identity for many online businesses, from corporations to home-biz entrepreneurs. Domain names offer a method of identification to show ownership since every name is registered through a Domain Name Registrar.
Every domain name is created following the rules of DNS. The Domain Name System is what translates what you type, into the corresponding string of digits known as the IP Address. Designed utilizing levels, each level is known as a label and can contain anywhere from 1-63 Octets, which are 8-bit units of digital information. Organized so the TLD (Top-Level Domain) is the farthest right label, domain names use a hierarchy system from right to left. Familiar TLD’s include com, biz, and net.
The middle label is known as the Mid-Level Domain and is commonly used by end-users who have registered websites and other open resources. For example, the Google in www.google.com. The mid-level domain may contain more than one label, as long as each label is separated by a Full Stop (dot). At the very beginning of the domain name are the machine name and protocol language such as www, en, HTTP, https.
When all the labels and stops are in proper order it’s considered to be a Fully Qualified Domain Name (FQDN). Even The FQDN has limitations as it cannot exceed 253 ASCII characters in textual representation.
It’s important to understand, even if you have registered a domain name with a registrar, it does not mean you have legal ownership. Instead, it reserves the exclusive use of said-name for as long as you renew. Typically names are paid for annually and it’s crucial to stay on top of your renewal date. Since no two domain names are the same, keeping the one you created is vital to your online identity.