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Fundamentals of Domain Names

Website, URL, Domain name. Aren’t they the same? You might have heard them being used interchangeably, but each one has a separate meaning.


A digital resource, such as a web page, a collection of web pages or multimedia content, which are accessible on the World Wide Web.


An acronym that represents Uniform Resource Locator and refers to the particular route to the location of a website. Think of it as GPS directing you to a specific location within an address. An example would be

Domain name

An identifier which is used to locate and access a website. It is essentially a web address. Domain names must be registered and renewed through a registrar service. and would be examples of domain names.

Here’s how a domain name might appear:

Example url: WWW is the subdomain.
        Reinvent is the secondary level domain. Dot com is the top level domain.

Top-Level Domain

The top-level domain (TLD), also known as the domain extension, is the ending of the domain name, or the letters that follow the dot symbol. For example, common domain extensions are .com (commercial), .org (organization) and .net (network). There are also country code top-level domains (ccTLDs) such as .us (United States), .ca (Canada), .co (Colombia), .cn (China), .eu (European Union).

If you are thinking about securing a domain name for your website, decide which extension you want to use from the very beginning. Unless you are launching a non-profit, or other non-commercial venture, .com is generally going to be the best choice. Your domain name is a crucial component of your brand, and with over 140,000,000 active .com registrations, it is the most recognized extension in the world, which can immediately add a degree of trustworthiness and authority to your website.

Second Level Domain

The second level domain is simply the section to the left of the dot symbol. In our example of, "reinvent" is the second level domain. You can get creative, but keep in mind that shorter domain names, which exclude hyphens are better; they are more memorable. Many organizations simply use their brand name for convenience because it is their identity, but others use a keyword which defines their industry, or the products and services they provide.


In addition to your domain name, subdomains can be used to organize your website into different sections, such as "" and "". Although subdomains are created separately to the main domain name, they are still referred to as part of the domain.

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