What is a domain name?

Simply put, domain names make it easier to locate different web addresses on the Internet.

Think of a domain name as a nickname for an IP address. An IP address is represented by a complex series of numbers that can be quite difficult to remember. Domain names were created to make it easier to remember addresses on the web.

Domain names are built out of two parts, a top-level domain (TLD) and a second-level domain (SLD).

Top-level domain:

  • The TLD is found at the end of a web address, so for instance in example.com it would be .com.
  • The main purpose of a TLD is to identify something about the web address like its region, organization, or its purpose. For example, .com typically means that a website has some “commercial” intent.

Second-level domain:

  • The SLD refers to the first part of a web address, so in example.com the SLD is example.
  • The SLD gives a specific destination for a web address.

Additional Resources:
What is an IP address?
What is a gTLD?
What is a ccTLD?
What is a domain extension?
What is a URL?
What is a new gTLD?

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