If you are new to the world of domain names and its techie words, don’t worry; this guide will help teach you the basics.
What you will find in this guide:What is a domain name?
What are domain names for?
How to register your own domain name
Registrants, registrars and registries; what are they?
What are ccTLDs, gTLDs and new gTLDs?
What is a domain name server?
WHOIS database, what's that?
EPP status codes
Every server, website, computer or device connected to the Internet is identified with an IP address - a unique string of numbers. Random numbers are often difficult to remember, so in order to make it easier for us humans, the DNS (Domain Name System) was invented. This system allocates a unique alphanumeric piece of text, or a domain name to an IP address.
In others words, a domain name is a simpler and more memorable translation of an IP address. A domain name is not a website, or a synonym of a URL; it is just a part of it. Domain names are made up of two parts: the extension (.COM) and the name in front of .COM (eurodns).
A domain name is composed of a string of up to 69 characters, without spaces; they can include all the letters of the Latin alphabet, numbers from zero to nine, and hyphens. IDNs (Internationalized Domain Names) are available for some domain extensions allowing the use of accented characters and non-Latin scripts (Cyrillic, Arabic, etc.). IDN domains allow users to register domains in their own language, making the Internet more available. In 2013 there will be 110 new IDNs released onto the Internet, allowing even more users to communicate in their own language.
The purpose of a domain name is to create a memorable name for websites and/or email addresses. Domains names can be used for personal or business use, to go online, make your business visible to the world; or to create a personalized and original email address.
Domain names can be registered through any accredited domain registrar, of which EuroDNS is one. It's worth noting that domain names aren't bought and owned forever, rather they are registered for a number of years, after which point they will need to be renewed.
To register your first domain name, start by searching our database of available names from the big blue box on our domain registration page. If you get stuck you can always check out our How to register a domain guide or contact our Support team.
Registrant: A registrant is the person or organization applying to register a domain name. When the registration is completed, the registrant will be the owner of the domain name and will gain the right to use it for the time the domain has been registered.
Registrar: A registrar is an organization that has been proven trustworthy and qualified to sell domain names. EuroDNS is an official registrar, accredited by ICANN and loads of registries. We are a kind of intermediary between the registrant and the registry.
Registry: A registry is the organization allocated as the official administrator and manager of an extension. They manage a really big database containing all the records for their extension.
Too many letters, not enough words. Every industry has its acronyms, initials and abbreviations; please see below for a brief description of some from the domain industry.
- TLD stands for top level domain, which is a geeky way of saying domain extension. For instance, the TLD of eurodns.com is .COM.
ccTLD represents a country code domain, e.g. .DE for Germany, .FR for France, .US for America, etc.
gTLD is a generic domain representing a specific purpose, e.g. .COM for commercial, .GOV for governments, .INFO for information websites, .XXX for the adult entertainment industry, etc.
new gTLD stands for new generic top level domains. These are the newly proposed domains that began launching on the Internet in 2014. The new gTLDs will allow registrants to register more specific domain extensions according to hobbies, cultures, interests, businesses, communities, and cities.
A domain name server allows the translation of domain names into IP addresses in order to load a website page or connect an email to its owner. During this process the alphanumeric domain name is translated into its corresponding numeric IP address.
The WHOIS database is a huge definitive data source that contains all the information about registered domain names, including contact information, expiration date and name servers.
Every domain name has at least one EPP status code (Extensible Provisioning Protocol), or domain name status code, sometimes more. It’s vital you know what they mean because they show the status of your domain name in the WHOIS database. Why it’s stopped working, is it safely locked, when it will expire, if a transfer is being processed. They can warn you about unauthorised deletions, transfers, renewals, and updates. Giving you time to protect your domain name from hijackers.
Please read our EPP status codes blog post where we display the meaning and the action you need to perform. Some actions are purely to keep you updated whilst others are warnings and you need to act quickly.
Please don't hesitate to contact our support team if you have any questions.