Keeping the answer as simple and as short as possible, a domain name is your website name.
The internet however, as a series of connected computers recognises websites by an IP address which is a series of numbers. The complications of this for users of the internet would be too great. We are capable of recognising and remembers sequences of numbers, we do this every day using phone numbers for example whether its our own, our friends and family or businesses that we interact with. Can you imagine however having to memorise an 11 digit number for every website you wanted to visit instead of typing the web address that you are now familiar with such as google.com.
A domain name can be any combination of letters and numbers, and it can be used in combination of the various domain name extensions, such as .com, .net and more. There are a huge number of domain extensions available today and this is increasing year on year.
A domain name must be registered with a domain registrar before you can use it as your own. You can google domain registrar and be returned hundreds if not thousands of possibilities for places you can go to for this. The one we use and 100% recommend is Namecheap (www.namecheap.com) Every domain name is unique. No two websites can have the same domain name. If someone types in www.yourdomain.com, it will go to your website and no one else’s.
The price of a domain name typically runs between $10 on the lower side can be upwards of $25 per year for more of the premium extensions.
A domain name is an essential (and non negotiable) part of having a website, but it’s only part of the equation. In order to launch a website, you’ll also need a hosting service to store your files so they can be accessed on the internet. Remember that owning a domain name does not mean hosting is also included though you can often when taking out a hosting package get a domain name for free for a year within that purchase.
We have an article on web hosting that may interest you here also as this can be a bit of a minefield when you start off with building your online business.
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