What is a Domain?

The web is the busiest place we know today, with millions of websites now available online, competing to catch the users' attention. Apart from the common marketing and search engine optimization techniques, one of the key weapons website owners use in 'fighting' for their visitors' attention is the name of their website - i.e. their domain.

What a domain refers to?

The power of the domain name lies in that it gives a website its own unique web address where it could be found at and associated with. Let’s take for example your brick and mortar store, if it is located in an easy-to-find place and your clients know how to reach it - they will surely come and visit you. If it is not easy for them to follow the way to your site, then no advertising method will be able to bring them there.

This is why, if you have come up with the idea to have your own website, the first thing that you do need to think of is how you will name it. In other words, you will have to think of choosing a suitable domain for your site. For that purpose you will have to know what your site will be for, whether it will represent your personal or business profile, and what audience it will be intended for. When you have all that in mind - finding the right software and web hosting service for creating and putting your website online will be an easy task.

What a domain looks like?

Choosing a domain for your website is absolutely necessary. But before you rush to make your domain registration now, it is good to get yourself familiar with the structure of a domain. As an example we could use the address of the page you are now at. If you look at the address bar of your browser, you will see the following name:

www.ntchosting.com/domains/domain.html

In this long sequence of letters, the domain is just ntchosting.com. This is the name that we, at NTC Hosting, use to refer to our website. It was chosen with one basic idea in mind - to reflect the name of the company (NTC Hosting) and the offered services (web hosting plans), so that it is easy for you, our customers, readers and partners, to remember our website and find us online. The ‘/domains/’ part is the directory this page is located in on the server and ‘domain.html’ is the name of the page file itself.

The domain itself contains two basic parts. The first part is the second-level domain, or SLD, that you make up yourself (in our example this is ‘ntchosting’) and the second one is the top-level domain, or TLD, that you select from a list of pre-defined TLDs offered by your domain registrar. While the first part is totally dependent on your imagination and creativity, the TLD is the general part of the domain name where you have a limited choice. Since it is the after-dot part of the domain, the TLD is also known as a domain extension, in imitation of the file extension. However, there are currently more than 100 different TLDs on the web, so you still have a great freedom in selecting the desired domain.

Domain Extensions (TLDs)

Generic domains (gTLDs)You must be all familiar with the most popular domain extensions on the web - .COM, .NET, .INFO, .ORG, .BIZ, .NAME, .MOBI, etc. They are all known as generic top-level domains (gTLDs) and are open for registration to all users worldwide, regardless of their sitizenship, residence or age.

All international domains have their formal purpose, for instance, .COM is intended for commercial sites, .NET for network companies, .ORG for non-profits, .BIZ for businesses, .NAME for personal pages, .MOBI for mobile-device optimized sites. Nevertheless, most of them, with the exception of .MOBI, can be used for any type of websites. Their growing popularity and easy-to-spell syntax have made them a preferred choice among users.

Country-code domains (ccTLDs)If you are wondering why there are so many (over a hundred) domain extensions on the web, the answer is that almost any country in the world, including small islands, has its own top-level domain. The list is really impressive. You can find extensions from .US for United States to .NU for the island of Niue. The country domains are a great way for companies and organizations to target their local audiences more closely. It is important to know that each country has specific registration rules for its official domain, so you should always check them before you choose your country domain.

However, many country domains like .CC, .ME, .TV, .WS, .BE, .NL have appeared to be really attractive for registration, due to their speaking-for-itself spelling. For that reason, most of their countries have granted registrars the right to promote their domains as international extensions and even as new fresh alternatives to the popular but ‘running out of stock’ generic domains. Thus, most people today do not even know that these domains were originally intended to be country-code domains!

A domain with NTC Hosting

Choosing to use the services of NTC Hosting gives you to possibility to register almost any generic or country-code domain available. Each domain registration or transfer is equipped with loads of domain control options, integrated into the Domain Manager tool of your web hosting Control Panel. Some of the most important domain management options include: Custom DNS Records, ID Protection, Full Whois Management, Domain Parking etc. If you choose to register any of the generic top level domains, you will be able to take advantage of our free domain option. Also, you will have the option to register multiple domains and manage them from one place.