Web Design Glossary: Domain Names

Domain Name History

Domain names have been around since the 1980's and the first commercial com domain name was registered in 1985. Since then domain names have been used as the primary address tool for humans to use the internet more easily by identifying different addresses where data is located. Thanks to domain names we can easily find any website information on the Internet using a common World Wide Web language that unifies all data systems into one global network of simple addresses.
 

Domain Name Extensions

Domain names come in all shapes and sizes and each come with an extension suffix that is attached to the address such as '.com', '.net', .co' and others. Every country has its own unique domain name extension such as .com for the United States, .jp for Japan, .de for Germany, .es for Spain .br for Brazil, and so on. All domain names must be purchased using a sanctioned registrar that will maintain the records for your domain name and collect an annual fee for the responsibility of maintaining and routing Web traffic to your specified domain name servers or DNS.
 

Long and Short Domain Names

Domain names can be as short as short as one character or as long as 63 characters. However, because it is useful for users to easily remember and type a domain name most businesses have domain names that are 20 characters or less so they are easier for their clients to remember, to minimize the amount of time & space it takes to time it, and to reduce the likelihood of someone making typos while typing it.
 

Purchasing Domain Names

The purchaser of a domain name from a certified registrar acquires the right to own the domain name and use it as they please as then becomes their legal property and may not be used by or controlled by anyone else without the owner's permission. Every domain name that contains a unique set of characters under each extension is its own unique legal property and may be managed separately and distinctly from any other domain name. Domain names can be sold and purchase from other domain name owners and through third party sales networks or agents. Domain names can be worth as little as $0 and as much as millions of dollars. Just like any other legal property domain names are worth the perceived value that they are given by society and can accrue value over time or lose value in a short amount of time. Domain names are created when the first registration request is made and an individual decides to on that legal property.
 

Domaining and Domainers

The process, strategy, and science behind purchasing domain names as well as the business of buying, selling, choosing, reserving, and dealing in the market of domain names can be referred to as the action of domaining, which can be performed by a domainer or domain investor.
 

Domain Names in Web Design

In Web Design, domain names are a critical and foundational aspect of beginning any website project. Domain names are used as the location identifier for the web server where website files are hosted. Domain names for a website are often purchased from a registrar that may also host the website. A web designer, webmaster, or website administrator will need to utilize the Control Panel or CPanel to change the settings for the domain name to assign and enable it to point to the corresponding web hosting server where website files are located.
 
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