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Domain Names 101

Domain names provide a human-friendly Internet address for people to find your website on the Internet. Without domain names, your website could only be found by its IP address, which constitutes a series of numbers and periods. Domain names provide a simpler way for humans to find and remember web properties. However, for those of you robots out there, you can also access the website if you know the exact numerical IP address. It’s best to use the domain name though, since some websites have relative URLs that require the actual domain name and not the IP address to resolve correctly.




Domain Extensions

The extension of a domain are the short two or three letter series that follows the actual domain name. The most common domains are “.com”, “.org” and “.net.” Traditionally, a domain ending in COM provides business services or sells products. ORG domains are generally non-profit and volunteer or non-commercial services. NET domains provide infrastructure or internal operations for a company. Of course, these are just guidelines. There are no rules for how you must use a domain name, just general guidelines that most website owners follow. Other extensions exist as well, including “.edu” domains that refer only to schools or country specific domains such as Japan’s “.jp”.


Addon Domains

Addon domains refer to a domain added on to a hosting account. To the end-user visiting a website, this doesn’t really matter and they shouldn’t even know they are visiting an addon domain. Addon domains provide a way to create a new directory within a website account without having to purchase a new website hosting plan. With addon domains you use the resources such as disk space, processing power, and bandwidth of the main website. Addon domains can be accessed by the public by simply entering the domain name into the address bar. So, if your website is www.mywebsite.com, simply enter mywebsite.com into the address bar and the browser will access the folder on your hosting package that holds the content for the addon domain.



Subdomains use the main websites address, but add a prefix to the website. For instance, if www.mywebsite.com provides the main domain, thenwww.subdomain.mywebsite.com adds a prefix or subdomain to the address. Subdomains are useful ways to organize a website. If you want users to quickly access sections of your website, then a subdomain works well. You can name the subdomain whatever you like and when users type in the exact subdomain they will access the folder contents in the websites file structure that refers to that subdomain.


Parked Domains

Parked domains usually have a reduced website hosting cost. In some cases, hosts park a domain for free in exchange for advertising revenue. Parked domains provide little value, but are useful if you have a good domain name that you want to preserve and try and make a few dollars from. Choosing a web host that provides free parking, or cash parking in which you can earn a return on your domain name is a good option for users. However, purchasing a hosting package with unlimited addon domains might make more sense financially. By taking a few seconds to whip up a one page website, you can provide some value to users and make money by posting website ads on your parked domain.


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Written by Brain-Host

Brain Host is an industry-leading web hosting company that offers affordable shared hosting packages, unlimited storage and transfer, and 24/7 server monitoring. To learn more about Brain Host, visit www.brainhost.com.

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