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What Is a Web Domain Name, in Everyday English?

What exactly is a web domain name, in everyday English, not in computer technical geek language I hear you ask?

Good question. When a web server computer is connected to the internet, it usually uses a communication protocol to communicate with other computers that are also connected to the internet.

On the internet, each computer has a special address, the concept is similar to a phone number

Each computer has a unique name so when one computer wants to communicate with another, it starts a computer communication with it, a bit like the way you pick up your cell phone (also known as a mobile phone) and call a friend of yours. You can’t phone your friend unless you know your friend’s phone number.

The computer’s phone number is a special number usually in 999.999.999.999:9999 format. For example 123.132.43.32:80

google.com is a web domain name that at the name of writing this is using address 74.125.24.113

The “:9999” part is a port number, think of this like another door (for example front door or back door or side door) into a house. This defaults to 80 when accessing normal websites. When accessing a secure website that ‘door’ is more secure and is usually port 243 and the two computer communicate with each other using encryption to help protect the information being transmitted.

Imagine instead of putting google.com in your internet browser, you had to put in 74.125.24.113 instead.

Putting in 74.125.24.113 instead of google.com would work, however it is much easier to put in google.com

However if google.com decided to use a different web server, it may have a different address. Then google.com would have to send out “we have moved to a new address, here is the new address” notices.

However instead of doing this, they would simple change the address associated with the google.com domain. You as a normal user of the internet would not been realize that they had moved address.

Using domain names is much easier than using these special addresses

Using google.com is much much easier than using that long number. Each website you visit on the internet has an address in that long number format. So after doing your business with google, you then want to jump over to your bank, which would also have a long number format address.

Behind the scenes, a service translates google.com into 74.125.24.113

Currently at the time of writing this, domain names ending with .COM are the most popular. As the internet has become so popular, many more alternative names after the dot are becoming available. Examples include .GURU and .BAR

What is a web domain name?

A web domain name is a name that is associated with a website or indeed can be associated with multiple websites on the same web server. Web domain names must be registered and to keep them active they must be renewed every so often, usually every year or two, up to ten years at a time on payment of the applicable fees.

Registrar web domain names

You can registrar web domain names and keep them parked for potential future use or to stop others from using those particular web domain names. You can obtain your domain name at cost if you are a Domain Cost Club Member and as noted in my Domain Cost Club review.

Registering web domain names

Nearly anyone can register a web domain name, so you can buy a unique web domain name for your website.

Some different domain extensions are restricted, and you have to satisfy those conditions in order to registrar a domain name in that domain extension. Assuming that the web domain name you want is not currently registered to someone else, so you need to be quick.

When a web domain name is registered and the owner keeps renewing it before it expires, that web domain name stays with that owner. If that owner omits to renew it in time, that web domain name becomes available for others to potentially register.

Be careful that you do not registrar a domain name that may potentially conflict with a registered trade mark or business as you may not have full legal rights to use that domain name as it is conflicting with that registered trade mark or business.

With most domain registrars, you can get domain privacy. This is an additional service. Some domain registrars charge up to $14.95 per domain name per year for domain privacy services. For domains currently registered with Domain Cost Club, this service costs $0 (zero) extra per domain name per year.

Current Domain Cost Club members can earn referrals on membership subscriptions and on renewals of membership subscriptions. I explore this in more detail in my domain business article.

Domain Cost Club
If you buy or renew domains, you should look at them. They are a no-frills low cost domain registrar, who also provide free domain privacy services for domains registered with them.
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David
Hi, I'm David, the senior editor and senior writer at Work From Home Notes covering products, apps, services, and work from home issues and trends. Prior to launching Work From Home Notes I was an IT professional for over twenty seven years. Now I work from home. Read more.