What Exactly are Domains

Top level Domain Names
Second level Domain Names

Website Address - URL

Updated: January 4, 2022
By: RSH Web Editorial Staff

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What is a Domain Name

With the World Wide Web, all websites have a unique Domain Name or a URL Uniform Resource Locator. These URLs are assigned a set of unique numbers called IP numbers or Internet Protocol Numbers. All Web Servers use this individual I.P. address to identify and connect the Website to the end-users: You, the Internet surfer.

While one cannot normally choose or change the I.P. Address of the Website. We can select a Domain and the domain ending extension, TLD
For a simple example, a domain name is our postal address and the TLDs could be called the zip code.

What are Domain Names

Our website address or domain name is similar to a Contact entry in a phone book. We assign a Name to a Number and use the contact's name to connect the phone number to the entity. We can choose what we want to save the contact name as, but the phone number stays the same. Similarly, we can select our domain name but not the I.P. address.

What are TLDs?

Top level Domain. Second level Domain.

Every domain name has two parts, just like a phone number
With phone numbers, the area code comes first. With domains, the Area Code, or what we refer to as the Top level domain comes last.

Let us look at rshweb.com as an example
rshweb.com is the complete domain name
The .com is the top level part of a Domain and the rshweb is the second level part of the Domain name
The nice part of Domains is you can choose the phone number as well as the area code.



Top Level Domains add specifics to the domain name or the Website
TLDs can denote the Country of the Website, the purpose of the Website, and even services provided through the Website. Most website owners have their preferences for the Domain they want for their business, and more often than not, they opt for the ones directly matching their registered businesses and brand name. While the Second Level Domain takes care of the title, the Top Level Domain can add more specifics about a business.

And yes, the good old .com is still the most popular, but most of the good ones are taken.

TLDs are stored in the root zone of the Domain Name System of the Internet or the DNS databases. The creation of TLDs during the initial years of the Domain Naming System aimed at stabilizing this through categorization. TLDs today are being used in various ways to attract and help the owners and the end-users alike.

Types of TLDs

There are three types of TLDs, as assigned by IANA and ICANN and officially recognized worldwide.

gTLD - Generic Top Level Domains
sTLD - Sponsored Top Level Domains
ccTLD - Country Code Top Level Domains.

In the past, the selection of TLDs was limited. Prior to the change in ICANN policy, there were only about 20 gTLDs. There are now over 1200 TLDs to choose from. You can view all at the IANA website.

Although the vast majority of Domains registered are still of the gTLD category. Other domain extensions are rapidly growing.

gTLD - Generic Top-Level Domains

Examples of these are:.

.com - Commercial
.org - Organization
.net - Networking
.info- Information
.edu - Education
.gov - Government

In 2011 ICANN opened the door for companies and organizations to register their own gTLDs, which greatly expanded the list of gTLDs and explains why we now also have gTLDs like:.


404 Page


These are top level domains that represent specific countries. A partial list of these domain extensions are:.

.au Australia
.br Brazil
.ca Canada
.cu Cuba
.eg Egypt
.fr France
.de Germany
.in India
.il Israel.

Choosing a TLD

With over 1200 generic TLDs to choose from. Finding the one that best matches your Website might be a confusing task. While the number of generic TLDs offers excellent options, there are a few options that one might like to consider before deciding on the TLD best matching the business.


A domain extension has to be relevant to the type of business. For example, .gallery might be a great option for an art gallery. It probably would not be fitting for a .bar or a .coffee shop.

Target Your Audience

Geographical location, age, and preferences of target consumers must be considered while choosing a TLD. A locally sold product in your country will do great with a country code Top-Level Domain (ccTLD). But a generic name (gTLD) such as .party might do well for the young consumers.

The .org Domains would also work very nice for a Non Profit Organization.


Some TLDs can be nightmares for Search Engine Optimization. This is mainly due to the cheap cost, and Spammers snatch up these domains. Other bad domain extensions according to Spamhaus are:
.gq - the country code for Equatorial Guinea
.cf - the country code for the Central African Republic
.ml - a domain based in Mali controlled by a telecommunications company
.ga - the country code for the Gabonese Republic
.men - one of the 2015 wave of initial new top level domains
.loan - another of the initial 2015 wave
.date - another 2015 domain, though one that was initially recommended to be denied
.top - a Chinese TLD initially created in 2014
.bid - another topic focused domain initially created in 2014, aimed at auction sites.


All TLDs come with a price, and one must take into account the budget earmarked for TLDs. Domains are more than just URL extensions. They add value to the Website in ways more than one. With thousands of options to choose from, one can now dare to be different from the .com with very good results.

Domain Name Search

Find out instantly if your Domain Name is available. Then register it before someone else grabs it.

We welcome your comments, questions, corrections and additional information relating to this article. Please be aware that off-topic comments will be deleted.
If you need specific help with your account, feel free to contact us anytime
Thank you


Monty P
Great help with domains for me.

Mike F
Nice to know these things. Thank you much for sharing.

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