Domain names are used to name web sites and the specific Internet Protocol (IP) addresses it belongs to. IP addresses identify a particular computer or device on a network. Domain names are used as part of a website's Uniform Resource Locator (URL), which is the World Wide Web's version of a database where the address of all documents and other resources are stored.
Domain names have to be created following rules and procedures outlined in the Domain Name System (DNS) and one of their most important functions is to label numerically addressed internet sources as recognizable names to make them memorable and easier for use. They are used by individuals, corporations and businesses to establish their own online presence and can create names, which correspond to their own name or their brand to provide a link between their physical and virtual existence.Origins
The use of domain names dates back to the Advanced Research Projects Agency Network (ARPANET) era, which began in 1969. The ARPANET was created to allow universities to share data processing facilities and was later expanded to include military bases and other ARPA funded locations. The Internet now is vastly different to this early network and each computer on the ARPANET retrieved files from a computer at SRI, which linked the computer host to a numerical address, but it wasn't until 1983 that the DNS was introduced on the ARPANET.Specifics
A domain name consists of labels e.g. https://www.madeupname.com
- http(s):// = Hyper Text Transfer Protocol (s = with secure sockets – SSL) which is the way information is requested between servers and browsers.
- www. = World Wide Web
- madeupname = the domain name desired or created
- .com = a suffix which identifies the type of website the domain name represents.
Domain names are quite cheap to register and you can renew them every few years. You may need to think of a creative variation if you want your website to be about something popular as all domains with common words have been taken already and each domain name must be unique. You will keep your unique website as long as you maintain and upkeep the fees required. If your domain name is not renewed or if it expires, other people can purchase the domain name instead.
Revised September 19th, 2015
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