A domain name is your unique name on the internet. It is like your online address, as it were, which you can use for your website or your personal e-mail address.
Your address on the internet
Thanks to your address, others know where to find you and you can easily tell where you live. Just imagine having to explain where you live to someone from another city when there are no addresses.
A domain name does the same thing for your website. Your website has an IP address that refers to the physical location on the server in the hosting company. That's a string of numbers no one wants to remember. Your domain name makes it a lot easier. The domain name system (DNS) translates the IP address into a domain name and vice versa.
Domain name and top-level domain
A domain name consists of two parts:
- the actual domain name, e.g. dnsbelgium
- the top-level domain (or extension), in our case: .be
There are 2 types of top-level domains:
- Country code top-level domain ( ccTLD ). These refer to countries (.be for Belgium, .nl for the Netherlands, .de for Germany etc.).
- Generic top-level domain ( gTLD ). These are generic top-level domains (e.g. .com, .org, .net, .shop, .online, .pizza…).
The combination of a domain name and a top-level domain makes your website perfectly accessible and people can email you at your personal e-mail address.