What is a domain name?  Most of us use them throughout the day without stopping to think about their importance and how they work.  Our interface of entering and searching for companies and information has us relying on words (i.e. domain names) not numbers (i.e. IP addresses)  Domain names are addresses on the internet for a website and email. They are the basis for your online identity, be it personal or business.

When you type in a domain name into your browser bar you’re really calling up a name server that tells your browser what number address (IP Address) your website or email sits on.  This works because some pretty smart people created the DNS (domain name system) over 25 years ago!

The value of a good domain is that it can be easy for others to remember or find you in search.  As the Internet is getting increasingly crowded it is now more important than before to have a good domain(s) that accurately states why you’re online and one that can easily be remembered.  The good news is that with the launch of hundreds of new extensions beyond .com, .net and .org you can now find a domain name that is better than the old one’s created over a quarter century ago.   For the first time in the history of the Internet, the word to the right of the dot is as important to the choice you make to the left of it.

ICANN the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers has put together this brief beginner’s guide to Domain Names 101.  I’ve included it here for your reference. Some good points to remember are:

  1. A Domain name is the building block of your online identity.
  2. Consider locking your domain name so that changes without your permission can’t be made (most registrars allow you to do this)
  3. Check your Whois data and make sure it is accurate
  4. Keep track of your domain renewal dates so that you don’t accidentally let your domain expire.