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What Are the Different Types of Domains?

by | Last Updated Nov 22, 2019 | Domains | 0 comments

Picking a domain name is crucial for anyone who is creating a new website.

You know that; your domain name would be the face of your brand. And You want to raise the chances of your website’s success. For that, you would have to take some time to find a brandable and unforgettable domain name before the registration.

You can choose the right name from five types of domain names.

There is a lot more that goes into a domain name than you might imagine. But, not every style of the domain name would be the right choice for your website; and this makes things clearer.

Before you can take a domain, you have to have a solid understanding of domains as a whole.

In this post; we would take a look into what a domain name is, how domain names work. We also highlight the five various types of domains.

This information would help you to choose the right domain for your next online presence.

What Is a Domain

Every home has a physical address. Consider your domain name is the equivalent to this address but on the web. Your home’s address lets people find and drive to your home. And your domain tells web browsers where to go to find and display your website.

The domain name is often synonymous with the name of your website, and it would be the face of your site.

Amazon.com, Google.com, Facebook.com are a few examples of domain names. All of them are brand names and domain names at the same time.

Apart from the standard ‘.com’ extensions, there are many different types of domains available.

How Domain Names Work

Domain names are a shortcut to memorising complicated IP addresses. Without a domain name, you would have to enter a full IP address into the web browser’s address bar.

Instead of being able to type in ‘hostmywebsite.online’, you would have to use a string of numbers like 8.9.37.209.

Owning names that are easy to remember would surely help potential visitors find your website faster through a search engine like Google Search.

Most of the time, you can’t just type IP Address into your browser and expect the browser to send you to the website either. Because in most of the cases, especially in a shared environment, the IP Address only points to the server where the website is stored.

If you wish to access the website using the IP Address, there need to be specific server configuration in place as well. For many people using the internet, this is difficult and time-consuming.

Here, domain names act as the middleman and make this process simple.

Who Supervises the Domain Name System

Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) manages Domain names.

ICANN designates what domain names and domain name extensions are available to use. ICANN also maintains a huge database of every location that domain names points.

The Domain Name System (DNS) virtually maps your domain name to the server where your website hosted. If you have ever used any web hosts, then you have probably had to work around with your domain DNS records already.

Overall, the DNS makes a more useful and user-friendly web.

How Domains and Website Hosts Work Together

A website would be only accessible when two things are in place – a domain name, and a web server.

The web server is where you would store all of your website’s assets, such as files, databases, images, and more. This space is what you are renting from a hosting company like Host My Website Online when you subscribe to a web hosting service.

By choosing a high-quality web host, you would increase your website’s performance, search engine rankings, and many other things. Your choice of web host would either increase your chances of growth or be nothing more than a loss.

5 Different Types of Domains Available

Now I assume that you have a better understanding of what domain names are and how they work. Let us check the types of domain names that are available for you to register.

While most people think of a website, they usually think of the standard ‘.com’ Yes, ‘.com’ is still the most familiar domain extension. However, there are many varieties of extensions available.

There are five various types of domains available to you. But some won’t be available to you or everyone unless you are running a specific kind of website. We explain this in detail below.

1. Top-Level Domains

Top-Level Domains (TLDs) are at the top of the internet hierarchy of domain names. At the moment, there are over thousands of different TLDs available to register. Recently ICANN opened up new TLD registration and approval, so companies and individuals could pitch and register unique TLDs. This handy choice set the number of TLDs available rising.

Here is a full list of the top-level TLDs currently available to register. Here are just a few of the ones we offer for registration at Host My Website Online.

When you prefer a top-level domain for your domain name, you have to choose a name that would improve your brand reach. The domain name also should be aligned with your brand name.

Just because a particular TLD is available to you, it doesn’t mean you should register it. Many TLDs are more like vanity extensions vs something you should use for the foundation of your site and your online identity.

2. Country Code Top Level Domains

Next on our list, we have country code top-level domains (ccTLD). As the name points, these are technically tied to various countries. Every country has its specific ccTLD in control. But you don’t have to use one ccTLD, just because you live in a specific country.

For example, the ccTLD .io is technically for websites based out of British Indian Ocean Territory. Still, there are reputable websites like codepen.io use .io ccTLD.

Imagine, you are making a website in a particular country. And you want to indicate to your visitors that they have reached the right site. In a situation like this, these country-specific domain extensions can be helpful.

For example, websites based in India can use the ‘.in’ extension, while companies from Singapore can use the ‘.sg’ ccTLD.

3. Generic Top-Level Domains

Next, we have got generic top-level domains (gTLDs). Indeed, gTLDs is more of a definition than an actual type of domain. As the description suggests, it is just a different variation of a TLD. That means you could technically classify this type of domain as a TLD as well.

Let us look at a few examples now. Military organisations use the ‘.mil’ extension and educational institutions can use the ‘.edu’. And ‘.org’ is meant for use by various non-profit organisations.

You can register many gTLDs even if you don’t meet the requirements. But for some gTLDs like ‘.mil’ and ‘.edu’ you must fit the conditions.

You can see a full list of the current gTLDs that are available to register publicly.

4. Second-Level Domains

In terms of hierarchy, the Second-level domains are below the TLDs or gTLDs. However, this name second-level doesn’t mean they are any less authoritative or less worthy. Instead, this describes the second portion of the domain name, such as the ‘hostmywebsite.online’ in ‘www.hostmywebsite.online’.

There are also country code second-level domains that might be like the following:

.co.in – Indian companies commonly use this.

.gov.in – Various Government agencies use this throughout India.

.gov.uk – Government agencies use this throughout the United Kingdom.

5. Third Level Domains

In the domain name hierarchy, the Third level domains come below the Second-level domains. Third level domains aren’t a full domain name of themselves, but merely a portion of a full domain name.

For example, in the domain name ‘www.hostmywebsite.online,’ ‘www’ is the third level domain.

You can have a fully functional domain name without setting up a third-level domain name. For example, ‘hostmywebsite.online’ would perform just well, without you type www first.

Sometimes ago adding the ‘www’ used to be a requirement of domain names resolution; this usage is no longer needed.

Typically, the only real reason you would be using a third-level domain is when you are adding a subdomain to your existing domain. You can use subdomains for a variety of purposes. Here are some of the most common use cases:

You are adding a blog; you can host your blog on a subdomain like ‘blog.example.com,’ to create a separate content hub.

How to Choose the Right Type of Domain Name

I assume that now you are well versed in the different types of domain names available. We are now going to dive into how you can choose the most suitable domain name for your requirements.

In this section, I am not talking about choosing the business-name part of your domain name. And I assume that you have already decided your business name. Instead, I can help you to choose the right type of extension for your site.

Now, here is how you can take the right domain name extension.

1. It Should Align With Website Goals

As you now know, different domain name extensions cater to different types of websites. You won’t try to choose the ‘.mil’ extension if you are creating a blog about kittens. If you have a website that based in the USA, you wouldn’t want to go with the ‘.co.in’ extension either.

First, think about what kind of website you are developing. And then prefer an extension that aligns with your theme and overall goals.

You can check what other sites that are within your niche are using for their domain name extensions. Based on this information, you can go for a suitable extension.

2. Go for Something Common First

If you are busy in searching the entire list of TLDs available, you are probably flooded with options. Some of them might be a perfect fit for your site. But it is not always the perfect option to go with a unique extension.

If this is your first site, it is usually better to go with a standard domain name extension.

Imagine, if someone can remember your domain, but not your extension, they would probably try common ones like, ‘.com’, ‘.net’, ‘.org’, or ‘.in’. If you have a crazy extension, your visitors may struggle to find your domain name.

You can register a new domain name with a different extension later. Once you are established and have an existing audience, you can migrate your site to a new extension if you wish.

3. Secure Related Extensions

Let’s assume that you have found the perfect domain name with the .com extension. As a next step, you can register this domain and secure all of the related extensions by registering all of them. Then, forward all of the different extensions to your primary domain.

The advantage of doing this is that if someone guesses the wrong extension, you can redirect them to your website. Plus, you make it difficult for any competitors to swoop in and register your domain under a different extension.

The best method to get the ideal domain name is to come up with a shortlist of potential options first. And search them in a domain name checker to see if any of them are available. There is nothing worse than getting excited about your dream domain, only to find out later that someone else is already registered it.

You see, choosing the right kind of domain for your new website is incredibly critical. Your domain is the face of your website. And that’s what you are going to build your brand around. If you choose the wrong domain, and you will either have to change it later or scrap your plan entirely.

Are you ready to choose a domain? I hope that the information above has given you the knowledge that would surely help you choose the right type of domain. Register your domain with Host My Website Online today!

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By Gifty Antony

Gifty is passionate about Web Development and connected with various communities. She loves WordPress.

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