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What should you know about domains?

What is a domain?

A domain name is, quite simply, the name of your website. The domain can be found in the URL and is used in order to locate the website of a specific person or organisation. Each domain name or URL directs users to a specific IP address. Domains are easier to remember than a long and complicated IP address, which takes the form of a series of numbers. A domain can be divided up into three different elements: a subdomain, a domain name, and a top level domain (TLD). Take about.1and1.co.uk as an example: the ‘about’ element is the subdomain, the ‘1and1’ element is the domain name itself and the ‘.co.uk’ part of the URL is the top level domain. It is also possible to have multiple subdomain levels, info.about.1and1.co.uk for example, which you can use to segment your website into separate categories. The length limit of a complete domain name is 255 characters. With 1&1, you can choose a domain name that best suits you or your business, or you can transfer an already existing domain over to 1&1. Next, customers can select a TLD from a wide variety of domain extensions on offer. When choosing a domain name, it is important to select something that properly reflects the ethos of your business in a concise and catchy way. A good domain should be memorable, brandable, and should have a suitable extension.

What are country code TLDs?

ccTLDs are country code TLDs and are always made up of a two-letter code that is assigned to every country. The United Kingdom uses the ccTLD .co.uk and .uk. The first one is the well-established and popular domain name for UK businesses. But the .uk domain name is the new, shorter domain for everyone, from
businesses to individuals, and a great choice for celebrating your UK identity. It brings the UK’s values to a global audience and, being shorter, puts the emphasis on your name. The ccTLD .uk was launched on the 10th of June 2014, along with the exclusivity rights of registration for many existing customers owning a .co.uk | .org.uk | .me.uk | to register the matching .uk domain.

What are NTLDs?

NTLD stands for new top level domains. These will be issued by ICANN (Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers) in different phases. The new domains are an exciting departure from the classic extensions such as .com, .co.uk, .org and .net. The main features of NTLDs are as follows:
  • The new batch of top level domains are usually based off of certain categories like location (.london), brand (.cocacola), community (.centre) and industry (.fashion).
  • Over a thousand new extensions are set to be released in different phases over the coming years.
  • The new domains provide more diversity and flexibility, allowing organisations to personalise their domains.

What is SSL?

SSL stands for Secure Socket Layer. It is a protocol that transmits information securely over the internet in an encrypted form. Each website with an SSL certificate can be identified by the ‘https’ element and a padlock icon in the URL. With Solidblueliquid, you can assign an SSL certificate to your domain in order to ensure a secure connection from the user’s computer to a browser. This is an especially important element for websites that require personal information.

How are domain names structured?

There’s a lot of terminology associated with domain names, which may seem daunting at first, but is actually quite simple. These terms help explain how domain names are structured. For example, the components of www.order.solidblueliquid.co.uk includes four levels of domain names. So here ‘order’ is our fourth level domain, ‘solidblueliquid’ is our third level domain; ‘.co’ is our second level domain, and ‘.uk’ is our TLD. The table below shows an overview of this structure:

.com, or .uk

are both top level domains (TLD)

co.uk

is a second level domain name (SLD)

feature.co.uk

is a third level, or three-part domain name

project.feature.co.uk

is a fourth-level, or four-part domain name

Note: In 2014 the top level domain .uk was released. This means UK based websites can register for a country specific domain name just using .uk, without the .co.

The examples in the table above are just the domain names, which don’t include the server name. Once the server name is included (such as www.) then this address is complete and becomes a fully qualified domain name (FQDN). An FQDN is the full address of a website, including the server.

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