Numbers are given to people to identify them on their driver’s license or their social security card. Domain names are no different. Beneath each domain name is a numerical process that translates a local website address into a word or phrase. Having a domain name individualizes each and every website, making each online property unique.
However, how exactly do domain names work?
What Exactly Is a Domain Name?
To put it simply, a domain name is the title, word, or phrase that you type in your web browser to access whatever site you are trying to visit.
However, most people who use the internet do not know the precise details of what occurs when they type the name of a web site into their browser. Every single domain name is associated with a numerical IP address. Once you type in the domain name, the domain name servers (DNS) will translate the words and numbers you type into an IP address. In the end, you are essentially accessing a website through its numerical, IP address.
Understanding Domain Name Servers
Computer language consists solely of numbers. To enable the transmission of information to a computer, the DNS has to translate information based on the address or definition of the domain name.
Simply put, a domain name server is assigned with the sole function of sending and receiving requests that are related to an IP address or domain name. A domain name server works by taking a unique number like an IP address and translating it into a word or phrase that can be inputted to your web browser’s address bar to access your site. Perhaps the largest database in the world is that of the domain name server system.
How Do I Use a Domain Name?
First and foremost, you will need to purchase a domain name. The extension you choose for your domain name will determine the cost. The universally accepted .com extensions are by far the most popular, and these typically cost an average of $10 per year. The .net, org, and .info follow sequentially in terms of pricing and popularity.
A newcomer to the domain name arena is .co, which some speculators believe will be the next “runner up” behind .com’s popularity. The new .co domains just launched in July of 2010, and the domain registrars are charging an average of $30 per year for these web addresses.
Once you have selected your domain name and extension, you will need to register it through domain registrars, such as GoDaddy. After selecting and paying for the domain name, you can log into the registrar’s interface and edit any of the details on your site, including name servers.
The name servers identify the website with which your domain name is associated. When you log into your hosting account and visit the control panel, you will see the name server information. If you log in and cannot locate your name server information, you can call your hosting company, and they will be more than happy to provide them for you.
You will need to input your name server information into the required field within your hosting account in order to enable your domain to be active on their server. Again, if you have trouble doing this, hosting accounts normally offer great technical support online or via telephone.
Buying Older Domain Names
If you are looking to buy a domain name that has already been registered, there are certainly pros and cons associated with this strategy. Keep in mind that the older a domain name is, the more money it is likely to cost. The best thing about the older domain names is that they seem to come in closer to the top on search engines. Some domain registrars sell older domains that have been in existence for several months or years.
Selling Your Domain Names
The buying and selling of domain names has become a lucrative enterprise. If you own a good domain name that you’ve never used, you might want to consider putting it up for sale. There are quite a few auctions online that can help match you up with a buyer for your domain name. If you have a website that has already been established, the domain name associated with that site will be worth even more money.
Domain names are the backbone of the internet, akin to virtual real estate. Registering, buying, and selling domain names has become its own profitable industry, one that continues to grow with each addition of new extensions.