What is a domain name? This question seems to be such an obvious one; however, it is not always that obvious, especially if you are a beginner. A good number of resources out there rarely provide necessary information about domains in black and white. Instead, they all focus on the technical terms. Lucky for you, we have developed a brief guide that will help you answer all the fundamental questions you may have about domain names.
What is a domain name?
A domain name is an address that you type into a website browser with the primary aim of getting into a website. Just like a fingerprint, a domain name is unique to your site and can never be shared between different websites.
Are websites and domain names separate things?
Think of a website as your phone and a domain your phone number. While they are connected, they are separate items. You fundamentally can change your phone (site) at any time and still maintain your existing phone number (domain name) and when need be to link it to your new phone (new website). The critical point is that your domain name is not stuck with any specific site. You can quickly disconnect it and reconnect it to any website that you wish. However, you can only connect it to one website at a time.
Free vs paid domain names
There are many free domain names which you can get from various website builders such as wordpress.com, wix.com, weebly.com and squarespace.com. These website builders provide a ‘sub-domain’ name to its subscribers. While they usually are cheaper, they are not often recommended for business which has long-term goals and wishes to develop own unique brands.
Unlike a free domain name, a paid domain name is one that requires you to make an upfront payment before acquiring all the ownership rights. In this case, you will become the full owner of the site and will have the freedom to choose what you wish to do with it without having to worry about second or third parties. Currently, there are a handful of websites which sell such domain names and at the same time offer domain hosting. Some of the best-known sites include Hostgator, GoDaddy, Justhost and Hostinger.com
How much does it cost to register a domain name?
Registering a domain name will cost you around $10 to $15 per year. However, the cost will be much higher if the domain you seek is highly demanded. The reason for this is that someone may already own the domain name and is reselling it.