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What is a Domain Name?

what is a domain nameClients often ask, “what is a domain name?“, because they don’t understand the phrase domain name and know it as a web address!

Here is a simple explanation of what domain names are.

A domain name is a human friendly address for a computer connected to the internet anywhere in the world. For example, www.mywebsite.co.uk. Computers are actually identified by a series of numbers called an IP address. IP stands for Internet Protocol. Each IP address is unique to every computer on the internet anywhere in the world. It looks something like: 10.5.122.90. Hard to remember right? Particularly if you had to remember one of those for each and every website you want to visit?

The easiest way to explain domain names to a layman is to use an everyday analogy.

Analogy is the best way to explain “what is a Domain?”

Mrs Smith has a house. So people can find that house she tells people her address:

10 Leven Road, Leeds, LS1 1PD, Yorkshire, England, UK (this is a fictional address by the way!)

Now, it’s quite hard to remember that long address if you have never seen it before, but if Mrs Smith could simply say my address is “Mrs Smiths House” and you could find it by that alone, that’s far easier to remember isn’t it?

Well, relating that to the what is a Domain Name question, if you had to remember the IP Address for every website you want to go to, it would be damned near impossible. Humans are rubbish at remembering strings of numbers. Most people don’t even remember their mobile numbers! The domain name e.g. www.mywebsite.co.uk is a human friendly method of sharing addresses for websites, and is totally unique for each and every website.

The purpose of a Domain Name is to request the presentation of a web page to be viewed through your web browser such as Internet Explorer or Firefox.

In essence think of a domain name as an address for a house. Instead, a domain name is an address for a computer.

We hope you now understand what a Domain name is. Find out how to register a domain name on our next post or look at similar posts below.

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