A guide to key domain name terms
If you are new to domain names and building websites, it’s easy to get overwhelmed with all the vocabulary associated with domain names.
In this article, we will explain some of the key terminology that you may encounter on a regular basis in the domain name industry.
DNS (or Domain Name Servers)
DNS is like a phone book for the Internet. Its main job is to resolve human-readable domain names into machine-readable IP addresses. This happens every time when you use a domain name, whether you are browsing websites or sending emails. DNS also provides other information about domain names, such as mail services.
The name server used to manage your DNS records with Website.com looks something like this:
A domain name is the address that you type into a web browser address bar to get to a website. An example of a domain name is www.website.com.
All domain names have this , such as .com, .net, or .org. It helps identify the type of website the domain name represents.
A domain registrant is the person or organization that has registered a domain name.
A domain registrar is the company or organization that manages the registration of domain names. A domain registrar handles all of the customer contact for domain name registrations. The registrar will then keep record of the contact information and submit all the technical information to the domain registry. The domain registry then creates all the necessary records for the domain name to be “alive” on the Internet.
A domain registry is the authoritative, master database of all domain names registered in each Top-Level Domain. For example, Verisign is the registry of the TLDs .com and .net.
REGISTRAR-LOCK is a registrar status code on a domain name – meaning the domain is locked at the registrar level. This is usually done in order to prevent unauthorized, unwanted or accidental changes to the domain name, or if the domain has been expired. When set, the domain cannot be transferred or deleted.
Domain forwarding allows you to redirect a domain name to any website address you want.
Domain parking is the registration of a domain name without using it for services such as email or a website. This is usually done to reserve the domain name for future development.
Also known as domain name transfer. A domain transfer is the process of changing the designated registrar of a domain name. A domain transfer usually occurs for a variety of reasons, including:
- Sale of a domain name from one party to another
- Moving a domain name to another registrar with lower prices
- Moving a domain name to another registrar with preferred services.
The cost to transfer your domain to Website.com is equivalent to a 1-yr registration and when the transfer is completed, one year will be added to the domain registration term. In order to complete a domain transfer, an email will be sent to you at the domain admin email contact by the new registrar asking you to confirm the transfer. Confirmation will be done via the domain AUTH Code (which you will need to obtain from your current registrar). Note that domains that are locked by the registrar cannot be transferred, so you will need to check with your current registrar that your domain is unlocked.
Transfer hosting is different from transfer domain. When you transfer hosting, you are essentially using a different company to host your website and emails. Your domain remains with your registrar, but instead you are simply pointing your nameservers to your new host so that all visitors trying to browse your website or send you an email will be directed to the web and mail servers of your new host.
To prevent domain name theft, ICANN requires that domain name be prevented for transfer for 60 days in certain situations:
- Domain name is within 60 days of initial registration
- Domain name is within 60 days of a previous transfer
ICANN, or Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers, is the regulatory body for all domain names. ). Its responsibilities include overlooking Internet Protocol (IP) address space allocation, generic (gTLD) and country code (ccTLD) Top-Level Domain name system management, and more.
Country-code Top Level Domain (ccTLD)
This refers to domain extensions that are assigned to countries. These domain extensions are two-letters long and are generally reserved for residents and businesses of the specific country. Examples of ccTLDs include .ca for Canada, .de for Germany, .jp for Japan and .uk for the UK.
Generic Top Level Domain (gTLD)
These are the domains you see most commonly, like .com, .net. and .org. These are the general-purpose domain names that can be used by websites outside of ccTLDs.
A subdomain is a subdivision of a primary domain name, such as blog.website.com.
An IP Address is a unique number assigned to every machine and device connected to the Internet. This unique identifying number allows information to be sent to and from these machines. IP stands for Internet Protocol, which is the rules and procedures that govern how data is sent across the Internet. In other words, every computer, whether it be a web server or the computer you are using now, requires an IP address to connect to the Internet.
A website is a collection of files stored on a host server. A domain name points to these files so that when a visitor types the domain name into their browser, these files can be displayed via the browser.
Domain Whois privacy is a service offered by many domain registrars that hides your registration details from the public eye. When you register your domain name your ownership details will be displayed on the publicly available whois database. This means anyone can search on your domain name and see the ownership details that you entered when registering your domain name. When you opt for Whois privacy, your domain registrar will replace your information in the Whois with that of a forwarding services or with the registrar’s contact information.