Domain name is a unique identity that defines a realm of administrative autonomy, authority or control within the Internet.
Alternatively, it’s the address or URL that people type into their browser to get to your website.
Domain names are formed by the rules and procedures of the Domain Name System (DNS). Any name registered in the DNS is a domain name. They are used in various networking contexts and for application-specific naming and addressing purposes.
In general, a domain name represents an Internet Protocol (IP) resource (e.g. Domain name: coguntosin.com, IP address: 18.104.22.168), such as a personal computer used to access the Internet, a server computer hosting a website, or the website itself or any other service communicated via the Internet.
According to Verisign third quarter report of 2018; there are approximately 342.4 million domain name registrations across all top-level domains (TLDs), while country-code TLD (ccTLD) domain name registrations figure was given as 149.3 million. Addition of these two figures alone gives us 491.7 million registered domain names across the globe as at September, 2018.
Types of Domain Name
Top-Level Domain (TLD) refers to the suffix or the last part of a domain name. There’s a limited list of predefined suffixes which includes:
TLDs are classified into two broad categories, which are; generic top-level domains (gTLDs) and country-code top-level domains (ccTLDs).
1) Generic Top-Level Domain (gTLDs) is a generic top-level domain name that identifies the domain class it is associated with (examples are; .com, .org, .edu, etc).
2) Country Code Top-Level Domain (ccTLD) is a two-letter domain extension assigned to a country, geographic location or territory (examples are; .ng, .uk, .eu, etc).
3) New Top-Level Domain (nTLDs) refers to new top-level domain names that are geared towards brands organizations and services, as they’re more customized, flexible and relevant (examples are; .voyage, .app, .ninja, .cool, fm, tv, etc).
Categories of Domain Name
A domain name helps you build a brand that connects with your audience and allows customers to find you online, which gives you credibility.
There are lots of domain name extensions, which are all meant for specific purposes or brands. Let me explain some of these domain name extensions and their purposes or what it’s been reserve for.
1) .com : For commercial website
2) .net : For tech/network organisations.
3) .org : For organisation websites (typically for NGO)
4) .ng : For businesses in Nigeria or associated to Nigeria
5) .biz : For start-up businesses or SMEs.
6) .info : For information.
7) .gov : For government websites. In Nigeria, you will be requiring presenting some documents before registering this domain name.
8) .co.uk : For business website in United Kingdom
9) .me : For businesses and people wanting to make their online presence personal
10) .academy : For academy
11) .africa : For websites of businesses, agencies or NGO associated with the continent of Africa.
12) .band : For bands websites
13) .bar : For hangout places like bar, restaurants & guesthouses websites.
14) .bio : For profile websites.
15) .blog : Though, it was introduced not quite long after most bloggers had adopted .com, .com.ng, .net for their blog extension. This is for news websites (blogs).
16) .boutique : For boutique websites.
17) .church : This is for Christian worship centres like house fellowship, campus fellowship, churches, mountain tops websites. Even though they’d preferred using .org
18) .consulting : This is a special domain name extension for consulting company’s websites.
19) .fm : This is specially for radio station websites.
20) .news: This is for news transmitting websites. In case of a corporately owned news platform, it’s more professional to use this domain name, .com, .com.ng instead of .blog domain name extension.
21) .edu : For (higher institutions) educational websites. Just in the case of .gov, you’ll be requested to present some documents before registering this domain name in Nigeria.
22) .sale : This is for ecommerce websites.
23) .school : This is for learning institutions of all levels, preferably basic schools
24) .voyage : This is good for traveling agencies
25) .uk : This is for businesses registered and operating in United Kingdom
26) .tv : This is for television station websites.
27) .mobi/mobile : This is used by mobile devices for accessing Internet resources.
28) .properties : This is a domain name reserved for website of companies dealing with house, land and other property businesses.
29) .xyz : What a funny extension. The domain name extension was adopted in 2014. It can be used for corporate websites.
30) .mil : For military