Need a Domain Name?

What exactly is a domain name, anyway?

Wikipedia defines it as “an identification label that defines a realm of administrative autonomy, authority or control on the Internet, based on the Domain Name System.”

Well, that doesn’t clear it up much. So let’s look at the anatomy of a domain name:

http://www.spaghetti.sauce.com/index.html

This entire phrase is a URL (Uniform Resource Locator).

Out of this phrase, .com is the top-level domain name (along with suffixes like .net, org, .mil, .edu, .gov, etc)

Then, “spaghetti” is the second-level domain name.

“.sauce” is the subdomain name.

Then, http://www.spaghetti.sauce.com is the host name.

Domain names have been around since the prehistoric year of 1985, when now-defunct computer hardware manufacturer Symbolics registered their commercial Internet domain name, www.symbolics.com. By ’92, there were still fewer than 15,000 .com domains in the registry; today there are over 192 million domain names worldwide.

Domain names are doled out by domain name registrars, who are in turn accredited by the Internet Corporation of Assigned Names and Numbers. Some domain names are free, but most are still sold for an annual fee, making the registrant a de facto website “owner,” but “lease” is more technically accurate than “sale.” Some companies do offer low-cost or cost-free domain registrations, but usually in return for some sort of advertising scheme on the site. Logically, the more desirable a domain name is, the more of a premium price it’s going to bring (and the higher it will probably rank in search engine results).

There’s also an entire market in resale of domain names, the “domain aftermarket.” Really hot domain names like business.com, wine.com, AsSeenOnTV.com and autos.com brought sums of millions of dollars during the initial ecommerce boom of the late 90s and early 00s.

Click to Create, Register, Search a Domain Name


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