Everyone who wants to set up a website must first try to get its two main pillars – domain and hosting. These are concepts that many people have heard about, but definitely not every Internet user can provide a definition of them. In this text we will deal with the domain. We will explain what it is and why it is so important, as well as how to get it and choose it. So what is a domain? You must check it out!
What is a domain in the simplest words?
The concept of a domain is quite complex, but the easiest way to explain is that it is a website address on the Internet. After entering it, the associated website is displayed in the browser bar. Therefore, the terms “domain” and “website address” are often used interchangeably. Domains are used to make it easier for users to navigate the Internet – just like physical addresses in a city are much easier “to use” than, for example, the geographical coordinates of a given place.
Domains are served by the Domain Name System (DNS) service. It translates user-understandable domain names, consisting of specific words and phrases, into an IP address that is understandable by devices that support the network.
What does a domain consist of?
The domain consists of several elements. Primarily:
– domain name,
– extension e.g. .com
To get the full website address, you must add the protocol (http: // or https: //) and optionally a subdomain (usually www.).
The domain name can contain letters, numbers or the sign “-” (hyphen). Upper and lower case letters are not distinguished. Diacritical marks can also be used recently, but in practice they are rarely used. They are sometimes even considered bad practice.
It is also worth mentioning the extensions. There are many types
of extensions that can be divided into several groups:
– national (ccTLD): .nl, .de, .sk, .fr, co.uk, .ru,
– top-level global (TLD): .com, .net, .org, .info, .eu,
– functional (gTLD): .edu (for educational sites), .org (for organizations), .gov (for government sites), .net (for internet access services), .biz (for business), .mil (for military agencies),
– functional second level (SLD): .com.de, edu.fr, .net.sk, .biz.nl,
– regional (SLD).
Domain and website
A domain is not the same as a website – it is just the address of a specific place on the web where it can be found. Registration of internet domain names usually requires a fee and is renewed annually. This means that if you stop paying for the domain, you will lose your internet space and it can be very difficult to recover it. In practice, therefore, each specific address on the network is rented (leased). It is not possible to acquire it indefinitely. However, the right to use the domain can be resold. Some people take advantage of this and buy out “abandoned” domains (that is, addresses for which someone stopped paying) as soon as they pass the quarantine period and return to the free market, and then resell them to the original owners or competitors for a much higher price.
There are also free domains, but they are usually very restrictive and not suitable for building “serious” websites. However, that’s not all, because hosting a website is also necessary. It can be likened to a building plot – it is a server space where all the files that make up the website are stored, i.e. those responsible for its appearance and content.
How much does a domain cost?
As already mentioned, there are free internet domains available. Usually, however, they do not have attractive extensions, and certainly not easy to remember addresses with the ending, for example: .com. Usually, when using a free domain, it is very difficult to reach a wider audience. Sometimes you can get an address for free with a fixed-term hosting subscription, but you usually have to pay the domain fee when extending your contract. How much it costs? Prices depend on the domain name and its extension, as well as the Internet service provider – the offers of individual companies may differ slightly. Often the price of domain registration is attractive and ranges from a dollar to several dozen dollars. However, be careful because, as a rule, its extension (which usually takes one year) is much more expensive. Then the costs (for the domain itself, without hosting) range from several dozen to several hundred dollars.
How to choose a domain name?
Not everyone attaches importance to it, but the domain name is very important – after all, it will be a showcase of your business, regardless of whether it is a corporate or personal website.
In the past, domains directly related to the profile of the website’s activity were selected in order to positively influence the positioning of the website in search engines (e.g. bus rental, website-positioning, etc.). Nowadays, however, it is not necessary, because Google does not distinguish addresses constructed in this way in any way.
Therefore, a much better solution seems to be an address with a unique brand name. In order to obtain good results in the field of positioning, it is worth carrying out successive branding activities, using the company’s name in various places on the web. Thanks to this, it becomes more credible, and thus appears higher in the search results. For this reason, it is sometimes worth buying a second-hand domain. If there are many valuable links leading to it on the Internet, it will definitely support SEO activities, especially if it has a meaningful background history.
However, the users must not be forgotten. The domain name should be easy to remember and write down. Short addresses work best, without or only with single hyphens or numbers and without complicated words or words, e.g. of foreign-language origin, which create doubts as to the correct spelling. Most often, American websites use .com extensions which are considered the most reliable. When operating on many markets, it is also worth choosing the global (.com) extension or creating separate domains with country-specific endings (e.g. .de, .co.uk., .fr, etc.).