Domain names are unique identifiers that represent websites on the internet. They provide a human-readable address that allows users to access websites easily. Let’s break down how domain names work:
- Domain Registration: To have a domain name, you need to register it through a domain registrar. Registrars are companies authorized to manage domain name registrations. During registration, you provide your desired domain name and personal information, and if available, you can purchase the domain for a specific period (usually annually).
- Domain System Hierarchy: The Domain Name System (DNS) organizes domain names into a hierarchical structure. The hierarchy starts from the top-level domain (TLD), like .com or .org, followed by second-level domains (SLD), such as your website’s name, and optional subdomains, like “blog” in blog.example.com.
- IP Address Resolution: When someone enters a domain name in their browser, the browser contacts a DNS resolver to resolve the domain name into an IP address. The resolver queries authoritative DNS servers, starting from the root DNS servers, to find the IP address associated with the domain.
- Website Hosting: Once the browser obtains the IP address, it establishes a connection with the webserver hosting the website associated with that IP address. The webserver then retrieves the requested web page and sends it back to the user’s browser.
- Domain Name System (DNS) Updates: You can manage DNS settings for your domain name, like mapping it to different IP addresses, creating subdomains, or setting up email servers. These changes are made through the DNS management interface of your domain registrar or DNS hosting provider.
Overall, domain names act as user-friendly shortcuts for accessing websites, allowing computers to translate human-readable domain names into IP addresses that computers understand.