What is a domain name?

A domain name is the name that represents a website. On the Internet, every resource is identified with an address. This address is a number.

A website is identified by an address which is a number. Since it is difficult to work with numbers, a name is created. This is the domain name or website name.

Eg: rvenkatachalam.com, gmail.com, irctc.co.in, imiindia.org

A domain name contains atleast one top level domain (TLD) and a second level domain (SLD). The part of the domain name that is after the user defined name is the top level domain. It is also called Domain extensions.


The user defined name allocated for a website is the second level domain. In the example, irctc.co.in, irctc is the second level domain. The TLD or domain extensions are reserved words and you have to choose among them. These indicate the nature or purpose of a website or the geographical location. Now more extensions are being added to the list.


A third level domain can also be seen. This is called a subdomain. It refers to a portion of a website and is generally used to represent a specific functional area like a department.


How serious is the domain name?

The domain name or the website name represents the company or a product online. The domain name itself is a brand. Hence, it should be easy to spell, unambiguous in meaning, unique in branding.

Moreover, the website address is found and people are redirected to the website through the domain name system only.  Hence the domain name is like the master switch for a website.

Holding the control of the domain name itself has become a serious issue now. With the proliferation of cyber crimes which include the use of personal visits, telephone calls, emails and malware,  there are many ways in which a person with wrong intention, can deceive a website owner and take control of the domain name.

Rules for naming the domain

The names can be 3 to 63 characters in length. It can consist of the alphabets(a-z), numbers(0-9). It may include hyphens (-) within the name, but the hyphen cannot be at the start, end or 3rd or 4th character.
This is a general rule for the most popular domain extensions. However, the rules may differ for other domain extensions.

Registering a domain name

After selecting a name for your website that follows the rules, you can register the domain name with an accredited registrar.

There are many accredited domain registrars and their prices also vary.

You can register for 1 year or more. But it is a recurring expense and you cannot permanently own a domain name.

The companies that can offer domain registration service must be accredited by Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN).

While it is not possible for any layman to handle this service, it is recommended to use professional help in registering the domain name as well as managing it.

Ownership of a domain name

The website owner is responsible for the content. Moreover, the domain name represents the online brand. The domain name is like the master switch for the website operations.

The website owner must ensure that the domain name is managed by a trustable agency.

Like any other property, the domain names also are being traded by people.

So, it is safe for a website owner not to allow the domain name to expire. It is better to renew the domain name registration on time.