The domain, or domain name, is part of your website address (URL) which uniquely identifies your website.
For our purposes, the domain, or domain name, of your website is the same as the URL or web address. Your domain is technically the portion of your web address which sits inbetween “www.” and the “.com.”
Domains are “purchased” and registered through a registrar. Popular registrars include GoDaddy.com, Bluehost.com or Hostgator.com (our 3 favorites).
Purpose of a Domain
The purpose of the domain is to allow your new website to be located using a name rather than numerals. It is through this domain name that others will be able to view your new website. Your domain represents the exact location of the files which constitute your website.
The domain represents the physical location of your website according to the IP address, which is the numeric equivalent of your address.
Because it’s easier to remember a name compared to a series of numbers, we use the domain name. The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) oversees the coordination IP addresses and domains on the Internet.
Most registrars also offer hosting and other services. For instance, it is easiest to purchase your domain, host your website and setup email all at the same registrar.
If you have multiple websites and domains, it is easiest to use the same company. At the very least, it is more efficient to organize renewals through one single company.
You are not actually purchasing your domain. You are renting your domain on a yearly basis. Domain “ownership” expires and needs to be renewed.
You may purchase your domain from a registrar. Popular registrars are places such as GoDaddy.com, Bluehost.com and Hostgator.com. All domain registrars will register your new domain with the central governing agency called ICANN (see above).
Regardless of where or who you use as your registrar, all domains are registered at ICANN. One registrar is no better than another, but prices may vary.
For SEO (search engine optimization) purposes, we recommend purchasing your domain for multiple years. Search engines such as Google are able to determine the length of time you have registered your domain. Blackhat sites are untrusted sites, are shunned by search engines and generally do not register more than 1 year at a time.
Your New Website
Once you have purchased your domain, your next step is to create your brand new website. This is not done automatically, but is easily handled with your registrar. Most registrars can also host your website.
If you have questions or concerns, please leave a comment below!