What is a domain? - Explanation in easy words

If you are still starting your journey in the digital world it is easy for you to have a big mess in your mind with all the concepts you should know. You will wonder what a domain is, if it is really necessary, if it is the same as an IP or if there are different types of domain and how they work ... Read More

What is a domain?

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If you are still starting your journey in the digital world it is easy for you to have a big mess in your mind with all the concepts you should know. You will wonder what a domain is, if it is really necessary, if it is the same as an IP or if there are different types of domain and how they work.

This and other questions are basic for anyone looking to get a digital presence or consider creating a web project.

Through this article we will answer all your questions related to domains on the Internet, including their differences with a hosting, a URL or a DNS.

In addition, we will see clearly and easily what you need to have a domain, how to register it or if it really expires.

What is a domain?

An Internet domain is like your address or the license plate of your car, but on the internet.

That is, let's say that a domain is a unique name that identifies your website so that any user can visit it.

If you have a blog, for example, the domain is the address you type in the browser to find it, such as mypage.com.

What is the difference between hosting and a domain?

Hosting (also called web hosting) is a service we pay to host our space on a server that will make our website visible for 24 hours a day.

You can have a domain of your property, but if you also do not add a hosting when you enter your address you will not be able to see anything other than the name of your page and maybe some advertising from your domain registrar.

Hosting providers are the companies that rent the space to host your website, that is, to store and be visible all the pages that make up your online site, such as a blog, databases, images, videos or emails, among others.

These companies usually also offer domains in their plans for customers.

Is a domain name the same as an IP address?

It is not exactly the same, an IP (Internet Protocol) address is a unique number that identifies any device connected to the network through the IP protocol.

Domain names "translate" these numbers into friendly and easy-to-remember addresses for any user.

In other words, the name of a domain is simply meant to be a user-friendly nickname. The true technical address of the hosting of a web page is its internet protocol address or IP address.

An IP address consists of four numbers between 0 and 255.

That is, if your IP address is it will be much easier for your visitors to write the domain mipagina.com to find you on the Internet than having to type the numbers.

Therefore, a domain and an IP address are complementary, but they are not the same.

What is the DNS server and what is its difference with a domain?

The DNS server (Domain Name System) is responsible for assigning a name to each of the IP addresses.

Let's say it's a friendly internet naming method to designate web page addresses.

Similar to international telephone numbers, the DNS provides each server with a simple formula for memorizing and spelling. At the same time, domain names hide the true IP address.

In conclusion, the domain is the name of your address on the Internet, while DNS is the system used to link your domain name to an IP address.

Is the name of a domain the same as a URL?

The name of a domain is usually part of a larger internet address, called "URL" (Uniform Resource Locator).

A URL is more specific than the name of a domain and provides more information.

It includes the specific address of the page, the name of the directory, the name of the team and also the language of the protocol.

Some examples of URLs with domain names in bold are the following:

  • https: // www. hostingniche.com / what-is-a-domain /
  • http: // bbc.co.uk / news / business /
  • http: // www. mypage.com

How do you spell domain names?

Domain names are organized from right to left, with general descriptors on the right and with specific descriptors on the left.

It is similar to the placement of a person's first and last names, last names on the right and specific names on the left. Together these descriptors are called "domains."

Examples of internet domain names:

  • hostingniche.com
  • madrid.es
  • bbc.co.uk

There are different types of domain, as we will explain in depth a little later.

  • In this section it suffices to say that the top-level domains (main domain or TLD) are located to the right of the domain of a name (such as .com or .net).

  • The domains mid-level (equivalent to children and grandchildren in a family) are placed in the middle.

  • The prefix name (usually "www") is located on the far left.

The different parts of the domains, or their levels, are separated by dots.

Why do I need a domain of my own?

An own domain is indispensable if you want to be identified on the Internet quickly. In the same way, if you are looking to have an online presence, visitors have to know what your address is, but if your web project is also a business, you need a proprietary domain for several reasons that we will summarize below.

  • You have an email address that brings professionalism to the image you want to convey.

  • With your own domain, your website becomes your business card and you can also have your corporate email @ yourcompany.com. In this way, you can promote yourself with the name you want, the simpler the better.

  • Differences your brand from other competitors.

  • It is easier to position yourself in the search engines than if you opt for a subdomain type of another company. If you own your domain you do not depend on a service provider that will make your website disappear if for some reason you want to leave.

What types or classes of domains are there?

Domains are classified into two large groups: geographic first level domains or ccTLDs and generic first level domains or gTLDs.

The gTLDs are the most common and the extensions usually report on the activity of the web, while the ccTLDs are focused on countries and the extension uses the two-letter geographical code.

Before explaining them in depth, let's consider some details:

  • The name of a site, or its address, has a part called the Top Level Domain (TLD).

  • The gTLDs (the g is generic) are of universal use and the best known example is the .com, which was conceived as a TLD for commercial purposes.

What are gTLDs?

What makes gTLDs different from other TLDs is that they must always be composed of at least three letters and are usually thematic. Each gTLD is linked to a particular activity, for example .com was intended for business, .org for non-governmental organizations or .net for networks.

Today these uses are not necessarily respected, but they do serve as a reference. The first TLDs appeared in 1985 and among the first are .com, .org, .net, .edu, .gov, .mil, .int and .arpa.

In that same year the first geographical TLDs appeared as well. More than thirty years after its creation, there are already over a thousand TLDs, which has been derived from the new gTLDs that have been made available to users.

Are there restrictions to use gTLD?

Within the gTLD there are some with restrictions of use and they are known as "sponsored." It is companies and institutions that set the rules for their use and also ensure that they are used correctly.

Examples of this type of gTLD are the .gov used by the US government. Other sponsored gTLDs are regulated by private initiative.

  • Non-sponsored gTLDs are controlled by ICANN (The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers). This type of gTLD can be used by any type of natural or legal person as long as they are not registered by another user.

  • Some of the non-sponsored gTLDs that arrived with the new millennium and that have a very specific profile are: .biz for businesses and companies, .name for private individuals, and .pro for professionals. On the side of the sponsors appeared: .aero for the aviation industry, .museum for museums, .jobs for job offer sites, .travel for the tourism sector and .xxx for porn sites, among others.

  • The current trend is that the new gTLDs are taking greater prominence due to the saturation of traditional top-level domains, so we will see more addresses with these types of extensions in the near future.

What are ccTLDs?

Each country in the world has its own TLD and is known as ccTLD, short for Country Code Top Level Domains. They are characterized by being composed of two letters and being administered by the same countries, who set the conditions for registration.

An example is the .mx for Mexico or the .es for Spain.

Only countries can have a ccTLD?

There are geographical areas that, without being a country or state, have their own ccTLD, such as the European Union, which uses the .eu. There is also the case of Puerto Rico in the Caribbean, which is not a country, it is a Commonwealth of the United States, but it has its own ccTLD: .pr.

  • Each country administers its ccTLDs as it sees fit and the restrictions for using a geographic type TLD vary according to the nation where it is requested, which has led to quite peculiar cases. For example, there is the case of the ccTLD of Tonga Island (.to), which does not allow searches via Whois and has made ccTLD ideal for domain owners who want to remain anonymous.

  • The ccTLD of Montenegro (.me) also became a momentous event in the history of the internet when it was released to the public in 2008 and domain hoarders did good business. Sites like insure.me and judge.me sold for tens of thousands of dollars ($68,005 and $8,000 respectively) in 2011.

How do you register a domain?

Currently, the domain registration market is liberalized, that is, you can choose any domain registration company or even request it from a hosting provider company so that it is the company that is responsible for registering it for you.

To make it very simple you can follow our advice.

Do not choose the first company that appears on Google to register your domain. A good idea is to analyze the different offers and choose to register with a trusted company.

Can I transfer my domain?

Yes, no problem, you can transfer your domain, but it requires processing. First, you will have to contact your hosting provider or, individually, through a registrar.

CcTLD domains are managed by the NICs of each country, the entity in charge of transferring domains.

If the transmission is made individually, you must take into account some details, among others:

  • You can only make the transfer if the domain is still valid.

  • There can be no outstanding payments.

  • The domain must have a life of at least 60 days.

  • The domain must be active before transferring.

  • It is necessary to be the owner of the email account that appears as an administrative contact.

  • If instead the transmission is from one provider to another, we recommend that you follow these steps.

Do domains expire?

Yes, domains expire when their expiration date ends, so it is important to renew them before reaching this end or we will be exposing ourselves to unwanted penalties. To avoid them, it is advisable to renew the domain that interests you for more than a year so that we do not pass the expiration date.

Finally, if you want to know the expiration date of a domain, simply go to a WHOIS search engine, which will provide us when a domain ceases to be operational.

Is it possible to earn money with a domain?

Obtaining economic benefits in the Internet domain market is a real possibility, although it requires experience and knowledge in this market, among other factors.

We can generate income mainly through domain parking, the purchase and sale of top-level domains and, finally, through the resale of domains and hosting.

How do I make money with domain parking?

To generate income with the parking of domains it is necessary, as its name indicates, to "park" a domain while it is not in use. Through this resource the administrators of a site can earn some money with the unused domain and thus cushion the expense of maintaining it.

There are two types of domain parking:

  1. The non-monetized. In this case, all those sites that you enter and you find the "page under construction" announcement fit, which makes it clear to the visitor that the site is not available but is working on his return.

  2. The monetized. In the case of monetized parking we are facing sites that, although they do not have content, do insert ads to generate money through impressions or "pay-per-click."

Domain parking is quite useful for those administrators who are looking for the right time to sell a top-level domain, which may have a high value in the future due to its characteristics.

In addition, a fairly elaborate business model has been created around domain parking, in which domain owners and advertisers make money through companies that specialize in the same parking lot.

How to make money with the buying and selling of domains?

The buying and selling of domains is another way to generate income for many administrators or owners of higher level domains (gTLD), who sometimes earn considerable amounts of money. The idea behind this business is quite simple: buy domains at low prices and then sell those same domains at much higher prices.

To succeed in this market, you have to have enough intuition and ability to understand where trends are going. A domain that is cheap today can be worth thousands of dollars in a few years and there will always be a company that pays them just to have it.

There are several factors that determine the price of a domain, such as the following:

  1. Whether or not indexed by Google

  2. Your good position in search engines

  3. The facility to remember the name

  4. The domain extension

  5. The fact that it can become the name of a brand

  6. If the extension is international or not

In case of gathering most of these traits it is said that we are facing a Premium domain.

Finally, there is also the value given by the person interested in buying it. It may be that for a specific market it is very attractive and that tremendous potential is derived from its use.

How to generate income with resale of hosting domains?

A third way to make money through domains is to resell them along with a hosting service. The resale of hosting is a very lucrative business for people who know how to promote their services and the most common thing is that the hosting is sold along with a domain.

The mechanics to be a reseller of hosting is quite simple:

  1. The reseller hires a reseller hosting plan.

  2. The reseller resells it to its customers, so it becomes an intermediary with no more worries to sell.

  3. The technical problems are addressed by the company that provides the reseller hosting plan.

  4. For example, a reseller of hosting can pay a plan of fifty dollars and that storage to sell it to many clients at a smaller price, but that allows him to obtain greater profitability.

  5. If we also add a domain to the hosting, the business is enriched and there is a greater profit margin. This is very attractive for web designers, for example, since they don't have to buy them separately.

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