Skip to content
Home > Blogs > Domain & Hosting > What is a Domain Name, its types and How does it work?

What is a Domain Name, its types and How does it work?

what is a Domain Name,its typs and how does it work

A domain name is an important component along with a web-hosting component for establishing a website or online presence. A domain name can be thought of as the online equivalent of a physical address, and it plays a critical role in making your website or business accessible to all internet users around the world.

In this article, we will explore the concept of domain names, their types, and how they work. And then understand why they are essential to the success of your online presence. Whether you are new to the world of online business or have internet usage experience, understanding the basics of domain names is a critical step in establishing your online identity and building your brand on the internet.

What is a Domain Name?

A domain is a unique and human-readable address that identifies a particular website on the internet. Every website working on the internet has its own unique address that billions of internet users can use for accessing the website on their web browsers or software apps.. For example; “webynuts.com” is a domain name that identifies Pakistan’s leading WordPress development agency, and “facebook.com” is a domain name for Facebook, a famous social networking website.

How does Domain Work?

Domain names work on the internet through a system known as Domain Name System (DNS). For DNS operations supporting the internet, there is a global network of DNS servers located around the world. In a DNS server, there is a large database of domain names with their corresponding IP addresses. The DNS server works similarly to a phone’s contact list where for each contact name there is corresponding IP address is available.

In the following, you can understand the working of a domain in following 5 steps;

  1. When the client or user types a domain into the web browser, the computer will send the request for the IP address of the domain name to a near DNS server located in a global network of Domain Name System (DNS) servers.
  2. After receiving the request, the DNS server searches its database for the IP address associated with the domain name. If not found, then it will forward the request and ask the next connected DNS server for the IP address.
  3. The next connected DNS server that has information about the IP address will return it to the initial first DNS Server to which the client requested first.
  4. After getting the information about the IP address, the first DNS server will then send the IP address to the browser of the computer which is directly connected to it.
  5. In this final step, the browser of the user’s computer will now send the request directly to the hosting server for the website. Here the user’s computer will bypass all DNS systems and communicate directly to the hosting server having the corresponding IP address associated with the domain name.
How domain name works with DNS on internet

Parts of a Domain Name

There are two main parts of any website domain separated by a dot ( . ). The first part of the domain known as the Second-Level-Domain (SLD) represents the name of an organization. And the second part known as the Top-Level-Domain (TLD) defines the extension of the domain. The extension of the domain such as .com, .pk, .org, .gov, and others indicates the type of the website or organization.

These two main parts of the domain name jointly become part of the complete Uniform Resource Locator (URL) address that you can use for accessing the resources of the website. URL is a unique identifier that generally consists of multiple parts including a transfer protocol, domain names, the path, and query parameters for the resources of the website.

Parts of a Domain

Types of a Domain Name

There are many types of domains introduced and managed by the International Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN). Though, the sole purpose of introducing a wide range of different domain types is to expand the availability of domains and increase the competition in the domain name industry. Each type of domain has its own benefits serving different purposes for a website.

There here are several types of domains, and in this article, we will discuss seven major types as mentioned below;

  1. Generic Top Level Domain (gTLD)
  2. Country-Code Top Level Domain (ccTLD):
  3. Brand Top Level Domain (bTLD)
  4. Internationalized Domain Name (IDN)
  5. Sponsored Top Level Domain (sTLD)
  6. Third Level Domain
  7. Second Level Domain (SLD)

1. Generic Top Level Domain (gTLD):

A Generic Top-Level Domain (gTLD) is a type of top-level domain that is not related to any country or geographic location. These gTLDs are intended to be used for specific purposes as some popular ones are mentioned below;

  • .com – for commercial sites
  • .org – for organizations
  • .net – for networks
  • .biz – for businesses
  • .info– for information platforms
  • .edu – for educational websites or institutions
  • .gov – for government organizations

2. Country-Code Top Level Domain (ccTLD):

Country Code Top Level Domain (ccTLD) is a type of top-level domain used for websites associated with specific countries or regions. These ccTLDs are only two letters long, so all two-letter top-level domains represent ccTDLs. Examples of some ccTLDs are mentioned below;

  • .us– for United States
  • .uk – for United Kingdom
  • .pk – for Pakistan
  • .in– for India
  • .au– for Australia
  • .ae– for United Arab Emirates
  • .ca– for Canada

You can use ccTLD especially when the target audience of your website or organization is only one particular country. Certainly, the Usage of ccTLD also helps internet users to understand where the entity is located and which country is its target audience.

For instance, you want to open an online store for selling your products in Pakistan then it is recommended to choose .pk as ccTLD.

3. Brand Top Level Domain (bTLD):

Brand Top Level Domain (bTLD) is a new type of top-level domain that companies can register to have their brand as particularly as TLD. Such type of top-level domain was formerly introduced by ICANN in 2011 for facilitating companies to increase and make stronger their brand recognition in the competitive market.

For example, the Apple company which is running a number of websites for their products (such as iPhones, iPads, Mac Books, Airpods, etc) registered their top-level domain “.apple” as bTLD from ICANN in 2015. The Apple company now can use the “.apple” top-level domain exclusively for its websites or services such as its developer portal (developer.apple), and iPhone mobile website (iphone.apple).

However, registering a Brand TLD is a complex process, and companies must follow the strict requirements of ICANN to be eligible for their brand’s top-level domain.

4. Internationalized Domain Names (IDNs):

Internationalized Domain Name was initially introduced in 2003 and is another type of Domain name represented by some or completely non-ASCII-based characters like letters from Arabic, Chinese, Russian, Hindi, or Urdu languages. As there are some countries in the world for instance China, Russian where natives don’t speak or understand the English language. Therefore for internet users of non-English speaking countries, website owners felt a need to register domains in their choice of language. IDNs allow users to register their domain names in their own language thus making the internet more accessible and inclusive for people around the world.

Following are some examples of IDN top-level domains that have been registered so far;

IDN TLDUsage forLanguage
.网址Web AddressChinese
.公司CompanyChinese
.在线OnlineChinese
.手机Mobile PhonesChinese
.भारतIndia (for Indian companies)Hindi
.コムCompanyJapanese
.پاکستانPakistan (for Pakistani companies)Urdu

5. Sponsored Top Level Domain (sTLD):

Sponsored Top Level Domains (sTLDs) are specialized types of top-level domains that are operated by a group of specific organizations or industries to serve a particular community with a special purpose. Unlike generic or country-code top-level domains, sTLDs are managed by sponsoring organizations that set rules and policies for the use of such top-level domains. Hence, anybody can not use sTLDs, as these domains are reserved for groups of organizations that share common criteria

Following are some sTLDs and their sponsored organizations with their criteria for using such domains:

sTLDSponsorCriteria for Usage
.eduEducauseEducational Institutions of the USA
.govCybersecurity and Infrastructure
Security Agency
Government entities of the USA
.museumMuseum Domain Management AssociationMuseums
.milDoD Network Information CenterUS Military entities
.asiaDotAsia OrganisationCompanies, organizations, and individuals in the Asia-Pacific region
.postUniversal Postal UnionPostal services

5. Third Level Domain (TLD):

Third Level Domain is a part of a Full Qualified Domain Name (FQDN), where it appears immediately before (or to the Left of) the second-level domain. Whereas, an FQDN is a complete domain name that is made up of several parts separated by dots (.) including a third-level domain, second-level domain (SLD), and top-level domain (TLD).

For creating separate subdomains for different parts of a website, third-level domains can help to organize and categorize information more effectively. The usage of third-level domains can provide several benefits including improved organization of website resources, enhanced branding, flexibility for developers to manage and deploy online resources, improved security, and improved search engine rankings.

For instance, in the domain name “support.google.com“, “supportis a third-level domain, “googleis a second-level domain (SLD), and “.com is a top-level domain (TLD). Here Google company used the third-level domain and subdomain to create a separate website for its Help/Support website.

5. Second Level Domain (TLD):

Second Level Domain (SLD) is a part of the fully qualified domain name (FQDN) that comes immediately to the left of the TLD part of the domain. This part of the domain represents the unique name of an organization or website on the internet so the SLD plays an important role in establishing a website’s online identity and brand recognition.

For example, in the domain name “webynuts.com“, “webynuts” is a second-level domain (SLD) that reflects the name of this agency/company, and “.com” is a top-level domain.

Leave A Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Open chat
Hello ! How can we help you?