Domain Glossary: What Does a Domain Mean?
Technical Terms and jargon got you confused? Below are some commonly used terms and their definitions in the domain name registration industry.
- Primary and
Secondary Name Servers
- Primary and
Secondary IP numbers
- Domain Parking
- Modification of your
domain names contact information
- Web Hosting
- Transfer (Domain
- Top Level Domain (TLD)
- Second Level Domain
1. Domain Name
A domain name is the core of your online identity. It is
the address web surfers use to find your web site. Your
domain name is yours entirely because once registered, no
other party may use that identity online in that Top Level
Domain Names always have 2 or more parts, separated by
periods/dots. The part on the left is the most specific,
and the part on the right is the most general.
on the Internet use IP (Internet Protocol) numbers (e.g.,
123.452.06.31) to locate other computers.
Internet users would have a difficult time remembering
these long strings of numbers to find sites, so Domain
names were developed to translate IP numbers into easy to
remember domain names.
The entity, organization, or individual who is the
owner/lease holder of a particular domain name is known as
the Registrant. When registering a domain name for a
Company or Organization be sure that the Company or
Organizations name is listed as the Registrant if you wish
for the Company to have control over ownership/lease hold.
An ICANN accredited entity (or an affiliate to such an
entity) which acts on behalf of a Registrant regarding
domain name registrations or modifications, is known as a
The organization responsible for the actual administration
and maintenance of the top-level domain database is known
as the Registry. The Registry is where Registrars create
new or modify existing domain names for Registrants. For
the .Com, Net, and .Org extensions the Registry is a US
government contracted database.
Contact Records are individuals or groups who represent a
Registrant on matters related to the Registrant's domain
name(s). There are three types of Contacts:
Administrative, Technical, and Billing. Contacts have the
ability to Modify information pertaining to a domain name.
A Contact may be a single person, a company, or
DNS stands for Domain Name System. This System translates
a domain name such as RegisterFly.com into IP numbers. DNS
is basically a piece of translation software which allows
humans and computers to easily communicate. The network of
computers that constitute the Internet map domain names to
their corresponding IP numbers.
The DNS record consists data similar to the following
Primary IP address:
7. Primary and
Secondary Name Servers
The Primary and Secondary Name Servers indicate the
hostname of a name server that will contain authoritative
data for the domain name being registered and will
deliver/translate that domain name to its corresponding IP
number. The designation of "secondary" indicates
that the name server will be used in addition to and as a
backup for the primary name server that is listed as
8. Primary and
Secondary IP address/numbers
IP stands for Internet Protocol. A unique number
consisting of 4 parts separated by periods/dots. Every
machine which houses information that is available on the
Internet has a unique number, which correlates to its
Registrars require Primary and Secondary Name Servers and
IP Numbers for every domain registered (DNS). Every domain
name has to be linked this information for it to be valid
(i.e., each domain name needs to have an address attached
to it). At the time of registration some people do not yet
have Name Server and IP Number information (which is
provided by a Web Host), therefore our Registrar offers
'domain parking' (Free of charge) on their servers. It is
a convenient and Free way to hold or 'Park' domain name(s)
for an extended amount of time if you are not ready to use
Modification of your domain names contact information
"Modification" is a function where a domain
names information is updated to reflect new contact or DNS
information. Administrative and Technical Contacts have
the ability to modify domain name information. There is a
fee to change the Registrant of a domain name. All other
modifications to Administrative, Technical, Billing, and
DNS are Free.
Contact firstname.lastname@example.org with modification requests.
11. Web Host
Web Hosts offer a service where their "server"
computer stores your web site's HTML files, and graphics
for a fee. Their server allows your web site to be viewed
over the Internet.
(Internet Service Provider)
ISP stands for Internet Service Provider. An ISP provides
access to the Internet for others via some connectivity
service(s). Examples of ISPs include Earthlink, AOL,
Mindspring, and PSInet to name a few.
InterNIC was an U.S. government agency that has been
effectively replaced by ICANN (Internet Corporation for
Assigned Names and Numbers). ICANN now oversees the domain
names industry concerning the TLD's .Com, .Net, and .Org .
ICANN is technically an international organization, which
holds meetings at different international locations
throughout each year.
WhoIs is a term referring to a domain name search feature
for the .Com, .Net, and .Org database. The WhoIs can be
used to search for the owner/lease holder of any domain
name which has already been registered. This is valuable
information if you wish to contact the owner of a domain
name that may or may not be attached to a functioning web
Registration for domain names needs to be renewed based on
some scheduled yearly interval. This gives the Registrant
(you) and the Registry an opportunity to update contact
information and settle on the payment of the registration
16. Transfer -
Registrant (Domain Name Owner/Lease Holder transfer)
The procedure for change of ownership is known a
Registrant Transfer. Domain names can be given or sold to
a different party, or the name of a company might change.
The Registrar requires a process by which permission from
the old owner to hand over control to the new owner is
obtained and authorized by notary public documentation.
17. Top Level
In the example YourCompany.net the “.net” is the Top
Level Domain. There are two types of Top Level Domains.
The most common type is gTLDs (generic Top Level Domains)
, such as .Com, .Net, .Org. The other type of TLD is
the ccTLD (country code Top Level Domains) which are
assigned to all countries and their dependencies (e.g.,
Germany is .de). Every TLD Registry - generic or country
code - has its own prices, policies, and procedures that
Registrants (name holders) in that Registry are subject
to. It is important to know and be prepared to accept
these terms before registering name(s) in a particular
Registry. The most commonly registered names are in the
.Com, .Net, and .Org gTLD's.
In the Domain Name System (DNS), the next highest level of
the hierarchy underneath the Top Level Domains. In the
example of the domain name YourCompany.net - the
“YourCompany” part is the second level domain. Second
level domain names are the what Registrants decide upon