Not everybody knows the difference between a website and a domain name. In this article, you will learn exactly what is a domain name.
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Everything You Need to Know About Domain Names
A domain name is what you what you type in the address bar when you’re trying to access a website.
But, is that all? Well, it’s a lot more than that. We’re going to try to answer every question you’ve ever had about a domain name.
What Is A Domain Name?
A domain name is the “address” of your website.
It is a unique identifier for each website. That’s why the same domain name can’t be used by two websites at once.
A domain name consists of letters and numbers that end with TLDs (top-level domain) such as .com, .net, .org, and so on. You can also put a hyphen in, just not at the start or the end. Moreover, each domain name must not be longer than 63 characters.
Some of the reasons why a domain name is important:
- A unique domain name makes your website stand out from others
- It implies credibility and professionalism
- It can help rank you with SEO
- A domain name is copyright protected
How Is Domain Different from Subdomain?
There are two kinds of subdomains which are:
- Integrated subdomain with a platform – example.wordpress.com
- Added subdomain for a different section of your content – blog.example.com
For the first point, subdomain doesn’t cost you a dime. But, it’s better if you buy a domain name as it can boost your brand awareness.
You wouldn’t want to put your brand side by side with another brand, would you? Having only your brand in your domain sends across a message that you mean business.
Where Can You Get a Domain Name?
Now that you know what a domain name is, let’s take a look at where you can get one for your site.
A few places that give you a domain name are web hosting providers and domain sellers.
Usually, a domain name is bought in a bundle with web hosting. Since you also need hosting anyway if you want to make a website – why not buy both from the same place?
There will be less hassle as you don’t need to worry about connecting the domain to your hosting. Plus, a few web hosting providers offer web hosting packages with a free domain as a bonus.
Hostinger is one of the providers that do this. After purchasing the premium shared hosting for over 12 months, you will be eligible for a free domain with the following extensions: .xyz, .com, .net, .info.
What’s the Difference Between a Domain Name and a Website?
If someone asks you “What’s the website for X?“, you’ll probably answer with its domain name.
However, a domain name and a website are not the same. So, what’s the difference?
Your website is the data stored on a server, while a domain name is an address that points to your site. When you enter a domain name into a web browser, it will take you to the website you’re looking for.
How Much Does a Domain Name Cost?
To answer this question, you first need to know how domain payment works.
You can’t pay for a domain name only once – you need to do it periodically, like a subscription. Usually, the shortest period is one year, but you can also choose to pay once for every two or three years.
Also, there are two kinds of domain payments – first-year and renewal. Most domain registrars give you a discount for every first-year payment, but not for renewals. That’s why you need to pay attention to both prices if you want to plan your budget carefully.
Moreover, there are a few factors that determine a price for each domain, those are as follow:
- TLDs popularity – for example, .com, .net, .org cost more than .online, .xyz, .shop
- Domain registrars – each brand offers a domain with different price
- Domain availability – if the domain isn’t available, you need to purchase it from the owner for a much higher price
Weighing in these factors above, you should take a moment to research which place offers you the best bargain and which TLD suits your purpose.
We’ll help you paint a picture of how much a domain costs by listing the prices from our sister company Hostinger.
|Less popular TLDs (.xyz, .online, .tech, .store, .site, .space, etc)||$0.99||$11.99/year|
Purchasing a domain is easy – go the Hostinger domain checker, type in your intended domain, and add it to cart.
Pro tip: The domain checker will show you which domain options are available.
A premium domain is a domain that someone has purchased for the purpose of reselling at a much higher price. There’s a reason for it – it’s the most sought-after domain which contains very popular keywords.
If you have the resources, choosing a premium domain will set you way ahead for branding awareness. However, if you don’t have the budget or wouldn’t mind putting the extra miles for SEO ranking, we suggest you not take this road.
Here are what you could try instead:
- Abbreviating your domain name such as exmpl.com or edmn.com (Examples of Domain Names)
- Adding hyphen or number such as out-of-shell.com or
outofshell123.com instead of outofshell.com
- Picking different TLDs
Protip: If you find a page similar to one above, it means you’re looking at a premium domain.
We have mentioned the term TLD a few times before, but what is it exactly?
TLDs stands for top-level domains. It’s the extension that you can see at the end of your domain name such as .com, .net, and .org.
Each TLD also defines your website’s identity such as:
- Your site’s purpose – commercial (.com), non-profit organization (.org), or business related to networking and internet (.net)
- Your site’s country (ccTLD) – United Kingdom (.uk), United States of America (.us), Japan (.jp), and many more
However, there are no restrictions that bind each TLD to a certain purpose.
In the end, the decision for which TLD to use falls down to how you want to brand your website. Since .com is the most popular TLD, you may want to pick it as it would be easy to remember and it’s more SEO-friendly.
There are also less popular TLDs that don’t cost you as much – .xyz, .online, .store, .site, .design, .software, .agency, etc. They are good choices if you want to specify your website more and look for cheaper options. However, not many people have caught up with those names – so, it may hurt your brand.
We have covered everything there is to know about a domain name – the definition, where to get it, and how much it costs.
A domain name is the identity of your website – something people remember and use each time they want to pay a visit to your site.
There are many TLDs with various prices. Think carefully about how much you’re willing to invest and which TLD to use.
Now, let’s put this new knowledge to the test. Start picking a suitable domain name for you and take the first step to become a webmaster!