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Overview of Domains

2018-06-17 ONE NET WIKI

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Domains are web addresses used to communicate on the Internet. Once you register a domain name, you can use it as your website address or as an email address. Domain names are created to make IP addresses more human-friendly.

Registering a domain name is one of the first steps to starting a new business. That’s because whatever name is chosen will represent the business’s space on the internet — and, possibly, a customer’s first impression of the company.

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The type of domains is as follows:

TLD - Top Level Domains

These are at the highest level in the DNS structure of the Internet. There are several different types of TLD's, being:

  • ccTLD - country code Top Level Domains

    Two letter domains established for geographical locations. When originally designated, usually only residents of a country could register their corresponding ccTLD; but over the years quite a few countries have allowed parties outside their shores to register website names.

  • gTLD - generic Top Level Domain

    The best known generic TLD's include .com, .net, .biz, .org and .info - these can be registered by anyone, anywhere in the world. However, some of the new gTLD's more recently released have various restrictions.

  • IDN ccTLD - internationalised country code top-level domains

    A top-level name with a specially encoded format that allows it to be displayed in a non-Latin character set (i.e. special characters).

Second Level Domains

Directly below a TLD in the DNS hierarchy, e.g. .com.cn

Third Level Domains

Directly below a second level in the DNS hierarchy. e.g. domainregistration.com.cn

The difference between second and third level can be a little confusing. For example, hotmail.com is considered a second level domain, but hotmail.com.au would be classed as a third level.

Subdomain

Part of a higher ranked domain name in DNS hierarchy; e.g. example.domainregistration.com.cn.

Some services offer subdomain "registration" - but this usually isn't ideal for businesses and should probably be avoided for establishing a commercial website as the registrant of the upper hierarchy name has control over the address. Having your own name can also help with credibility

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