Basics of Domain Names

This post was written by Mahi-Bhat on January 9, 2009
Posted Under: Domain Names and Hosting

What is a Domain Name?
A Domain Name is a unique name given to every website. It is used to physically locate a website over the Internet. The most basic functionality of a domain name is to provide symbolic representations, i.e., recognizable names, to mostly numerically addressed(IP Addresses) internet resources.
Example : In www.example.com www is the host name, example is the domain name and com is the top-level domain

Domain names must be registered. When domain names are registered they are added to a large domain name register, and information about your site – including your internet IP address – is stored on a DNS server.

DNS stands for Domain Name System. A DNS server is responsible for informing all other computers on the Internet about your domain name and your site address.

For more information visit bellow given websites.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Domain_name
http://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/domain_name
http://www.webopedia.com/TERM/D/domain_name.html
http://computer.howstuffworks.com/dns1.htm
http://www.w3schools.com/hosting/host_domains.asp

Top-level domains
Every domain name ends in a top-level domain (TLD) name, which is always either one of a small list of generic names (three or more characters), or a two-character territory code based on ISO-3166 (there are few exceptions and new codes are integrated case by case). Top-level domains are sometimes also called first-level domains. For more info check the link http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Domain_name#Top-level_domains

Second-level domains and lower level domains
Below the top-level domains in the domain name hierarchy are the second-level domain (SLD) names. These are the names directly to the left of TLD. Next is third-level domains, which are written immediately to the left of a second-level domain and so on. Each level is separated by a dot, or period symbol. For example bbc.co.uk, is a third-level domain. Up to 127 levels are possible.

Who is in charge of maintaining the domain names list?
Network Solutions is in charge of maintaining domain names list. When you register a domain name, it goes through one of several dozen registrars who work with Network Solutions to add names to the list. Network Solutions, in turn, keeps a central database known as the whois database that contains information about the owner and name servers for each domain. If you go to the whois form, you can find information about any domain currently in existence.

How Domain Name Servers Work
A good article on “How Domain Name Servers Work” can be found at www.howstuffworks.com

Sub domain
In the Domain Name System (DNS) hierarchy, a subdomain is a domain that is part of a larger domain. For example, “mail.example.com” and “calendar.example.com” are subdomains of the “example.com” domain, which in turn is a subdomain of the “com” top-level domain (TLD). Sub-domains are domains subordinate to their parent domain. For More Info visit http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Subdomains

Addon Domains
Addon Domains are domain names that point to subdirectories within your hosting account.Addon Domains will not be functional unless the domain name is registered with a valid registrar and configured to point to hosting DNS servers.

Parked Domain
Domain pointers allow you to “point” or “park” additional domain names to your existing hosting account. This will allow users to also reach your website when entering the “parked” or “pointed” domain into their browsers. Domains must be registered with a valid registrar before they can be parked. In addition, they will not be functional unless they are configured to point to hosting DNS servers.

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