A domain name is a unique name that identifies a website. For example, the domain name of the Tech Terms Computer Dictionary is "techterms.com." Each website has a domain name that serves as an address, which is used to access the website.
Whenever you visit a website, the domain name appears in the address bar of the web browser. Some domain names are preceded by "www" (which is not part of the domain name), while others omit the "www" prefix. All domain names have a domain suffix, such as .com, .net, or .org. The domain suffix helps identify the type of website the domain name represents. For example, ".com" domain names are typically used by commercial website, while ".org" websites are often used by non-profit organizations. Some domain names end with a country code, such as ".dk" (Denmark) or ".se" (Sweden), which helps identify the location and audience of the website.
Domain names are relatively cheap to register, though they must be renewed every year or every few years. The good news is that anyone can register a domain name, so you can purchase a unique domain name for your blog or website. The bad news is that nearly all domain names with common words have already been registered. Therefore, if you want to register a custom domain name, you may need to think of a creative variation. Once you decide on a domain name and register it, the name is yours until you stop renewing it. When the renewal period expires, the domain name becomes available for others to purchase.
NOTE: When you access a website, the domain name is actually translated to an IP address, which defines the server where the website located. This translation is performed dynamically by a service called DNS.
Updated: September 14, 2012