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Domain Name Overview

A domain name is a specific string of characters used to help people easily find websites. For example, typing in a browser's URL address bar will display this website. Behind the scenes, every domain name is linked to a numerical address on the internet called an Internet Protocol (IP) address which looks like and is the internet address for the server which contains the domain's website. A browser will query special servers called nameservers to determine the IP address for a particular domain name. The Domain Name System (DNS) includes the rules and procedures for domain names and how they connect with different services such as websites and email.

How to Get a Domain Name

Domain names are rented through special domain name registrar companies. Domains are rented in yearly increments and usually cost around around $10 per year. Once a domain name is purchased, the DNS for the domain will need to be modified to point to the server which will be hosting the domain's website. Web hosting companies or website development companies will usually handle DNS updates for website owners.