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What is a Domain Name?

what is a domain name

Ever wonder what a domain name really is and why are some domains more expensive than others? This article will demystify domains and touch on why some domain names sell for millions and why others sell for a few dollars.

Simply put, domain names are like a street address, without them the mail man would never be able to find your house, you would never get your mail and your paper would be delivered to the wrong person. So when you buy a domain name you really just buying a location where other people can find you.

Now you might have heard somewhere that computers don’t understand language and that they only read numbers and you heard correct. In fact the domain name that we see is really the representation of the series of numbers that the computer sees. For example we see CNN.com but the computer sees 384.84.4807.363 (used for example purposes and not an actual address). Why the conversion then, which do you think you’ll be able to remember?

The number representation of the domain name is referred to as an IP address or Internet Protocol and as a general rule of thumb the number or “address” comes in a series of four groups delaminated by a “.” or “dot.” You might be asking, how does the computer know that “x” number equals “y” domain name?

There is a Domain Name System or DNS which connects the two or matches them up. Basically when you type a domain into your browser, DomFind.com for instance, the computer shoots this domain to the DNS which matches it to the correct IP or number and brings you back the website you typed.

what is a domain name

A website can never have more than one domain name, there may be sites with several domain names pointing to it but, the site can’t sit on more than one, otherwise this would confuse the entire system. (ie. you can’t have one house sitting on different street address.)

If you’re wondering who manages and organizes this amazing and intricate system, that’s taken care of by ICANN or Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers which is based out of Sothern California. They have so much to do with keeping this system in place that they left the distribution of domain names to other companies, called Domain Name Registers or simply, registers.

If you have ever purchased a domain name you’ll be well acquainted with registers, some of the more popular are 1&1, Go Daddy or even Network Solutions.

As we said in the beginning of this article, that domain names are like real estate and while some can be similar no two are exactly alike and that goes for the price as well. You might also be familiar with the old adage, “location, location, location,” and this fits perfectly for domain names as well.

Great domain names are like prime waterfront property, they’re finite so they sell at a premium. One aspect that drives up the cost of a domain name is the domain name extension, or what follows the last “.” The most common, most popular and therefor most expensive, in general, is .com but there are hundreds if not thousands more including, .info, .net, .edu and .gov. Other aspects include length, dictionary words, cadence and personal preference.

Please let us know if you have any question about this article or have any question regarding any of the domain names that you see on this site by contacting our DomFind client services team.

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