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Typing in a domain works like magic. You quickly punch in a few letters on your keyboard, and suddenly you’re sucked into the matrix of the internet. But browsing the web isn’t like solving the mystery on Stranger Things. It’s straightforward technology!

In this post, we will cover everything about domain names — what’s a domain name, how to register a domain name and how a domain name works. 

How to register a domain name with Bluehost (video tutorial)

Registering a domain name is the first step in launching your own website here. Here’s a quick video that will guide you through the domain registration process.

What is an internet protocol (IP) address?

Before we talk domains, it’s important to understand what an IP address is.

Each computer has a unique IP address, which consists of a set of numbers separated by periods (for example, 94.172.0.912). This set of numbers is a language that computers use to communicate with each other over a network.

IP addresses allow any number of internet-connected computers to be distinguished from other computers. It’s just like calling someone on the telephone. Everyone in the world has a unique telephone number, and you have to dial someone’s exact number to reach them.

What is a domain name?

Let’s use a phone analogy to better understand what a domain name is.

You’ve probably got a long list of contacts saved in your mobile phone. Each contact has a unique phone number. When you want to call someone, you usually click on the contact’s name rather than typing in the full phone number.

Domain names are just like contacts in your phone. Rather than typing a complicated set of numbers (the IP address) into your browser, you type in a domain name. That domain name is human-friendly and much easier to remember than an IP address. All domain names are connected to a unique IP address.

Domain Name vs URL

A domain name is the web address that people type to reach a specific website, while a URL (Uniform Resource Locator) is the complete address that specifies the exact location of a specific page or resource on the internet.

There are three different parts of an URL.

  1. Domain name: Bluehost is the domain name in bluehost.com.
  2. Top-level domain: This is the suffix at the end of the URL. Examples include .com, .org, .io, .online, and .blog.
  3. Subdomain: This is a prefix that further classifies a domain, such as subdomain.bluehost.com.

How does a domain name work?

Now that you know the difference between a domain name and a URL, let’s understand the steps of how a domain name works.

Step 1: When a user enters a domain name (e.g., www.bluehost.com) in the web browser, a request is sent to the Domain Name System (DNS) server.

Step 2: The DNS server translates the domain name into an IP address. It searches its database to find the associated IP address associated with that domain.

Step 3: Once the domain’s IP address is found, it is returned to the user’s browser.

Step 4: The user’s browser uses the same IP address to connect to the web server where the website’s files are stored.

Step 5: The web server sends the requested web page files back to the user’s browser using the IP address.

Step 6: The user’s browser receives the files and displays the website’s content and images, allowing the user to view the website.

Importance of domain names and why you need one

Domain names are important as they provide an easy way to access websites, instead of relying on complex IP addresses. Here is why you need a domain name.

  • Build Your Brand: Domain names help create and reinforce your brand’s identity in the online space.
  • Increase Website Traffic: Memorable domain names make it easier for users to find and visit your website, thereby boosting its traffic.
  • Improve Online Recognition: A unique domain name enhances your business’s visibility and recognition among visitors online.

How to choose and register a domain name

To choose your domain name, consider your target audience, and opt for an easy-to-remember domain name that is relevant to your brand. To register a domain name, you need to choose a reliable domain registrar, check availability and buy a domain name

Related: How to Choose and Register a Domain Name

As long as each part of the domain name is unique, you can pick any domain name you want, and register it with a domain name registry.

check availability of a domain name

Conclusion 

When you register an actual domain name, you’re connecting to a DNS (Domain Name System) – a database that links IP addresses to domain names. When you enter a domain in your browser, it connects with root server of the DNS, which matches the domain to an IP address, resulting in a web page loading quickly from the server.

So, now that you know how a domain name works and why having an easy domain name is important for your website, it’s time to choose an ideal domain name and top-notch web hosting and service for your website.

Bluehost provides you with a free domain name when you purchase hosting. As soon as you select your hosting package, Bluehost will instruct you to choose your domain name. You can select your domain name and your top-level domain.

  • Tiffani Anderson

    Tiffani is a Content and SEO Manager for the Bluehost brand. With over 10 years experience across all facets of content and brand marketing, she strives to combine concepts from brand marketing with engaging content through the lens of SEO.

    Education
    University of North Texas
    Previous Experience
    Content Marketing, SEO, Social Media
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