What is a Domain Name?

Computers connected to the Internet have unique numerical addresses so that electronic information is delivered to the right place. The domain name system (DNS) translates the numerical addresses of computers into more user-friendly names. The resulting domain names are easier to remember and help people to find information on the Internet.

Some examples of domain names:

bbc.co.uk
virgin.com
tesco.com

Domain names are used to identify and locate web pages and websites. For example, in the web site address "http://www.your-domain.co.uk" the domain name is 'your-domain.co.uk'.

Domain names are also used in e-mail addresses, for example, yourname@your-domain.com, that enable people to send and receive electronic messages.

Why do I need a Domain Name?

You need a domain name in order to host a website or use a personalised email address, however you do not need to host a website or use personalised email in order to register a domain name. You can start with just registering the domain name on it's own, and then add services like website hosting and/or email at a later date.

Advantages of registering your own domain name:

  • Domain names build credibility on the Web
  • Domain names are portable
  • Domain names produce a feeling of professionalism
  • Domain names are memorable