Strictly speaking a domain name is the identifying string you enter into the address bar to get to a website. For example our domain name is allthe.domains.
Anatomy of a domain name
Typically a domain name can also be known as a Fully Qualified Domain Name [FQDN] or a hostname. It is comprised of a Top Level Domain [TLD]
What is the difference between TLD, gTLD, ccTLD...?
A TLD means Top Level Domain and is the extension at the end of a domain. They are categorised into the following:
- gTLD - generic Top Level Domain. This would be .com or .info or .net.
- ccTLD - country code Top Level Domain. For example .uk or .de or .eu.
- grTLD - generic restricted Top Level Domain. A small number of generic domains have restrictions to ensure that all sites using them fall into certain categories. This includes .biz which can only be used by businesses.
- sTLD - sponsored Top Level Domain. These have some restrictions on them and don't have The more well known ones would include .travel [limited to the travel industry], .mil [United States Military], or .museum.
- IDN - Internationalized Domain Names. This includes Top Level Domains which are not in a Latin script and therefore don't follow the ascii character encoding. Some examples would include .香港 or .ಭಾರತ.
There are a number of others which can't be purchased and were instituted for a number of reasons. These include ARPA [infrastructure top-level domain], tTLD [used for testing and can't be accessed normally]
How does a domain work?
Congratulations, you're now fully versed in domain names and are sure to be impressing your friends at the next party! Take a look at our beginner's introduction for all things web hosting next!