What is a Domain?

David, Max| 2013-12-31 Domain, Tutorials Comments( 0 )

A domain name locates an organization or other entity on the Internet. It helps users find your site. Just as businesses have street addresses, all websites have a domain name. If you have problems coming up with a domain you should read further about how to find a domain name.

Domain Syntax

The domain name mywebsite.com might translate to 198.102.434.8. This makes it much easier to remember a website's Uniform Resource Locator (URL).

E.G. The top-level domain for www.mywebsite.com belongs to the top-level domain com.

The hierarchy of domains descends from right to left; each label to the left specifies a subdivision, or subdomain of the domain to the right.

Above the example shows the specific a subdomain of the com domain, and www is a sub domain of mywebsite.com. This pyramid of subdivisions can have up to 127 levels.

Each label may contain up to 63 characters. The full domain name may not exceed the length of 253 characters in its textual representation.

A hostname is a domain name that has at least one IP address associated. E.G. The domain names www.mywebsite.com and mywebsite.com are also hostnames, whereas the com domain is not.

Top-Level Domains (TLD)

A top-level domain (TLD) is the last segment of the domain name refers to the suffix attached to Internet domain names.

The TLD is the letters immediately following the final dot in an Internet address. Current top-level domains include:

  • com - commercial businesses; this is the most common TLD
  • gov - U.S. government agencies
  • edu - Educational institutions such as universities
  • net - Network organizations
  • org - Organizations (mostly nonprofit)
  • mil - Military

Types of TLDs

  • Top-level domains, as recognized by ICANN, fall under the following categories.
  • Generic top-level domains (gTLD) -- These are the most common and familiar TLDs. Examples include "com" for "commercial" and "edu" for "educational." Most gTLDs are open for registration by anyone, but there is also a subgroup that is more strictly controlled.
  • Country-code top-level domains (ccTLD) -- Each ccTLD identifies generally used or reserved for a country, a sovereign state, or a dependent territory. The ccTLD for the United Kingdom e.g. .co.uk
  • Infrastructure top-level domain -- There is only one TLD in this group, ARPA (Address and Routing Parameter Area). The Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA) manages this TLD for the IETF.
  • Sponsored top-level domains (sTLD): These are overseen by private organizations.


New generic Top-Level Domains (or gTLDs) will forever change the way you live online. Over the years demands for more gTLDs and ICANN has received many proposals for establishment of new top-level domains. For the latest new TLDS visitors can go to http://newgtlds.icann.org/en/

Add-on Domain

An addon domain is a fully functional domain that can be created from within your control panel. Just think of it as having multiple hosting packages that shares the same control panel.

When creating an Addon domain, three things will happen. Firstly a folder is created in the (public_html directory). Next a subdomain is created for primary domain attached to the new folder. Lastly, the new domain is associated with the subdomain.

Let’s look at the example below:

  • mysite.com/XYZ
  • XYZ.mysite.com
  • XYZ.com

As you can see 'mysite.com' - you assign the Addon Domain 'XYZ.mysite.com' to the folder 'XYZ' then the following routes (url) would be true. All of these paths (Above) can access the same directory and will display the same website.

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