Article brought to you by Nilead, a website builder platform with fully managed design and build service.
You decide to bring your business or brand online and find out a bunch of confusing terms “domain”, “URL”, “website”, “TLD” and more, it is no surprise to be overwhelmed with all this. In this article, we will explain some of the basic terms of the elements need it to begin a website, their meanings, and their roles.
Domain or domain name in simple words is the name of a website. It’s the part after “www.” in the web address, you can also find it in the email address after “@”. When someone asks how to find you online, usually what you answer them is your domain name.
To understand why we need domains, we have to dig a bit deeper into the technical infrastructure of the internet. Computers use Internet Protocol (IP) Addresses, which are a series of numbers used to identify each other on the network; however, normal humans find it hard to remember IP Addresses (for example, 126.96.36.199 is one of the ips you can use to access facebook.com). Domain names can be considered human-friendly aliases of these IP Addresses.
Examples of known domains are:
One of the first steps to establish an online presence is buying a domain name. Anyone can buy a domain name by going to a domain registrar (check below). You will have to find a name that no one is using, and pay an annual fee to own it. You can also choose from several domain name endings (or “TLDs”, see below), like “.com”, “.org”, “.edu” or “.net”, just to mention a few.
A domain registrar is a company that sells and officially registers domain names for websites, making them unique to you, and no one else can own them. A simple search on a domain registrar’s page will tell you if the domain you want is available and how much it will cost.
These are some domain registrar companies
TLD (aka Top Level Domain) also known as an internet domain extension, is the very last section of an internet domain name, located after the last dot-like “.com”, “.org”, “.edu”, etc. This serves as a way to understand what a website is about/purpose or where it’s based.
TLDs are categorized into groups: Generic Top-level Domains (gTLD), Country Code Top-level Domains (ccTLD), Infrastructure Top-level Domain (ARPA), and Internationalized Top-Level Domains (IDNs). Some top-level domains are open for any person or business to register, while others require that certain criteria be met.
Generic Top-level Domains (gTLDs) are the common domain names you're likely most familiar with:
.edu (education): Limited to educational institutions only
.gov (government): Limited to U.S. governmental entities only
Country Code Top-level Domains (ccTLD) countries and territories have a top-level domain name available that's based on the country's two-letter ISO code. Here are some examples of country code top-level domains:
.us: United States
Infrastructure Top-Level Domains (ARPA) This top-level domain stands for Address and Routing Parameter Area and is used solely for technical infrastructure purposes, such as resolving a hostname from a given IP address.
“ Country top-level domain can be useful for SEO in regional market. ”
A URL stands for Universal Resource Locator, this is the complete web address used to find a particular web page. While the domain is the name of the website, a URL provides a way for the user to locate a resource or page within the website. Every URL contains a domain name, as well as other components needed to locate the specific resource or page in the website.
Some URLs examples:
In order to publish a website online, you will need to sign up for a web hosting service. The web host service basically stores all the pages and information of your website and makes them available to computers connected to the Internet.
Finding a good Web host shouldn't be too hard, since there are thousands available. Just make sure the Web host you choose offers good technical support and ensures little or no downtime. You'll usually have to pay a monthly fee that varies depending on how much disk space and bandwidth your site will use. While you can host your website anywhere, it's a good choice to host your site as close to your target audience as possible to optimize the website's loading speed for your audience. To illustrate this point, we have written an article on choosing web hosting for your Vietnam-based website, this article explains the importance of choosing the right hosting provider for your business.
Buying a domain and pay a hosting service, doesn’t mean you have a website running. Like we explain previously a domain is the name of a website, a URL is how to find it, the Web host is where the information will be store and the website is what the user sees and interact with once it gets there. When you buy a domain, you have purchased your site's name, but you still need to design and build the website.
A website is a collection of content, normally in multiple pages, that is collected or grouped under a single domain. You can imagine it like a building, where the domain is the name of the building, the URL is the building address, the Web host is the land where the building stands and the website is the actual building, where the rooms with furniture are the equivalent of the pages.
To summarize, in order to create a website, you will need
A domain name (like nilead.com)
A domain registrar and a web host
A web designer or website builder to create the site
Digital content the text images, videos, other types of media, and information that the visitors will see when they go to your website.
Website 101 is a series of articles that NILEAD’s team will create explaining the terms related to the website. From the basics to web design and development: our goal is to help and non-tech users to understand the basics of a website and the process behind empowering them for the web.