What is a domain name?

A domain name is a Web address, such as coolexample.com, that is linked to an IP address (which represents a physical point on the Internet). The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) is the governing body that coordinates links between IP addresses and domain names across the Internet, so you can find websites by entering domain names instead of IP addresses into your Web browser.

For example, think of an IP address as an address for a house or business, such as the White House. The address, 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue is comparable to an IP address, and the name you know it as, the White House, is comparable to a domain name.

A domain name consists of a top-level and a second-level domain. A top-level domain (TLD), or domain extension, is the part of the domain name located to the right of the dot (coolexample.com). The most common domain extensions are .COM, .NET, and .ORG. Some other popular domain extensions are .BIZ, .INFO, .NAME, and .WS. These common extensions have certain guidelines, but are usually available to any registrant, anywhere in the world.

There are also restricted top-level domains (rTLDs), like .AERO, .BIZ, .EDU, .MIL, .MUSEUM, .NAME, and .PRO that require registrants to represent a certain type of entity or to belong to a certain community. For example, the .NAME domain extension is reserved for individuals, while .EDU is reserved for educational entities.

Country-code TLDs (ccTLDs) are for websites and registrants of a particular geographic location, such as .BZ (Belize), .CA (Canada), .DK (Denmark), .EC (Ecuador), .IE (Republic of Ireland), .UK (United Kingdom), .US (United States), and .ZW (Zimbabwe).

The part of the domain name located to the left of the dot (coolexample.com) is called the second-level domain (SLD) name. The second-level domain name is the "readable" part of the address and refers to the organization or entity behind the Internet address. Second-level domain names must be unique on the Internet and registered with an ICANN-accredited registrar.We use ENOM, an ICANN-accredited registrar, you can register domain names through us.

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