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What is a domain name?

Domain names, websites and URLs are not the same thing.


Brief Summary


A domain name, or domain, is the name of a website that you can type into your web browser to access it. It’s like the street address of a house, but for a website. It consists of a website name and a domain extension. Our domain name is one.com.

A domain name is what comes after the ‘@’ in an email address or after the ‘www.’ in a web address. For example, if the complete URL or web address is https://www.one.com/en/email, then the domain name in it is ‘one.com’. As you can see, while domain names and URLs are related, they are not the same. If you think of it as a house, the domain would be the street address, and the URL would be the entire route to the location, including the specific room inside the house.

What is a web address?

In order to understand what a domain name is, you need to understand what a web address is. A web address contains information about the location of a web page. It is also known as the URL and it basically, just tells the internet how to get to your site.

Now, lets make this easier by breaking it down:

Breakdown of a web address
  1. HTTP / HTTPS protocol for passing information to this website; “S” is for secure and means there is an SSL certificate for this domain
  2. Subdomain, similar to a folder on your computer; www is a subdomain too
  3. Second-level domain; this is what your register when you buy a domain
  4. Top-level domain, in this case generic or gTLD for short
  5. Page or file name
  6. Page extension such as .html, .aspx

You can also check out our short YouTube video explaining Domains short and simple:

What is a domain name? | Everything you need to know about domains!

What are the different types of domains?

Examples of top level domains within a domain name

If you’ve spent any amount of time on the web, you’ll know that most websites end with .com, but there are many other types of domains. There are domains that end with .net, .org or more recently .io or .tv. These are known as domain extensions, or Top Level Domains (TLD).

Requirements and prices to register these TLDs vary, but one.com makes it simple to register a wide variety of over 250 different TLDs.

What is the purpose of a domain?

If you own a business, you’ve probably had someone at some point telling you; you should register a domain name. That’s because if you have a website, you need a domain name. There are many reasons for registering a domain name, such as:

  1. Registering your domain name means nobody else can use it.
  2. Having a domain name gives your website a professional look.
  3. If you register a domain name, you can customise your email.
  4. You know the old saying; if you aren’t online, you don’t exist.

How do domain names work?

So, how do domains names work? When you type a domain name into your browser’s address bar, your browser searches for the website with a corresponding IP address. This is the job of the Domain Name System (DNS). It just maps the domain name (which is much easier for people to remember) into an address the browser understands.

Where to buy domain names?

Anyone can buy a domain name. Domain names can be purchased from registrars (like us) who register a domain for you if it is not currently owned. You can check domain name availability quickly on our website; all you need to do is type your desired name into the one.com search bar. You can only purchase a domain name if it is not owned, to ensure that when someone types in your web address, it leads to your website and not someone else’s. Domains are registered and renewed annually, meaning that a domain cannot be owned outright forever. To help protect your registration, providers often set up auto-renewal on your domain.

What is web hosting, and how does it work with a domain?

Back to our house metaphor. If the domain is the address, then web hosting is the plot of land where you’ll actually build your house (or your website). Web hosting typically comes with several features, such as the ability to host email on your domain and a web space where you can run your website.

If you buy a domain with web hosting through one.com, they will be automatically configured to work with each other. Should you need to change the settings, you can easily do so from a single place- our beautifully designed and easy-to-use Control Panel.

So, what is a domain name?

In summary, you’ll need to know the following:

  1. A domain name is like your street address; its what comes after the www. in a web address.
  2. Web hosting is the space you buy on the internet to build your website.
  3. A domain name includes a websites name and a domain extension.
  4. There are many domain extensions to choose from; you don’t need to settle for .com.
  5. You need to buy a domain name from registrars, such as one.com.