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Monday, December 12, 2011

Understanding Domain Names And The URL

By Dean Smith

Simply put, domain names are realm designations or identification labels that describe a territory of administrative control, independence, or power in the world of internet. They also identify an IP, internet protocol, resource like a web site. It is important to understand the difference between a URL, Uniform Resource Identifiers, and a realm designation.

The DNS, or Domain Name System, dictates the procedures and rules by which a designation is created. The designations are organized in subordinate order in the DNS with the first level being the top level or TLDs, top level domains. These include generic top level domain names or gTLD that use com, org, and net. They also include ccTLD names, or country code top level domains.

The second and third level are next in line and are typically used by people who want to connect local networks on the internet, create a public access resource, or operate a web site. The realm designations are managed by registrars who charge for their services.

Many people will set up a blog or attempt to design a web site without completely understanding domains and URLs. With the number of sites available to help complete these tasks not many people take the time to learn what the connection is and how they operate. In fact many individuals think that they are the same as a URL. The confusion is understandable since the two work together to get people to the resource they have searched.

However, they are a hostname used to identify the host and are part of a URL. They indicate the ownership of a specific resource. The URL is a numerical sequence that takes an individual to the specific site. An example of a realm designation that is part of a URL for a web site will look similar to

A realm designation is an identification tag that is used to show control or ownership of a resource. The name provides an easy to recognize and memorize designations to internet resources. The names are usually called domains and the registrants are called domain owners. Registering a name only gives a sole right to use it, but does not grant legal ownership.

It is not so difficult to understand what domain names are and what their purpose is. Keep in mind that a hostname is actually a realm designation that is a part of a URL. The URL will direct people to a specific site while the name indicates ownership of the resource.

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