Web Domain  What is it? + Its Types and Uses ▷ 2020

Internet domains are one of the most important elements in the cyberspace structure that we have today. Without them, We can assure you that it would be much more difficult to use the web and navigate with the freedoms and facilities that we know.

Currently, just entering a website name is enough to make the corresponding request that will take the browser to its homepage. Before it was not like that, domains did not exist and to find a website you had to be much more skilled with a computer.

In this article you will know everything you need to know about web domains, so that you understand its real operation and thus also its tremendous importance to make things easier for us when browsing the Internet.

What is a domain and what is its purpose in the functioning of the Internet?

A web domain is the name that identifies a web page within the Internet in the domain name system or DNS. The latter is a protocol that was created to replace the IP addresses of the websites, by names that are easier to remember and write, thus facilitating common user access to the network and humanizing it.

The domain also has the ability to detach the portal from the IP address of the computer on which the data is stored. Thanks to this, if you use free hosting and want to scale to another paid company, you can do it with total freedom. Otherwise, we would be doomed to use the same web host forever.

How were websites identified before the DNS protocol?


The birth of the DNS protocol is older than the Internet we know today, and for this we must go back to the first years of this. At that time it was called ARPANET, and it was a small local network, a few computers interconnected with each other.

In addition, the users of it, They were engineers and computer geniuses of the time who worked for the US Department of Defense, since the purpose of this was purely military.

The engineers used a system in which they could link to the other computers on the network knowing their IP address, so they had memorized them perfectly. However, they realized that this was inefficient, because as the network grew it would be impossible to learn all the addresses to access each computer.

So a couple of name engineers Paul Mockapetris and Jon postel designed a system in which gave an IP address a unique name that would identify it within the network, in such a way that just by introducing it, it could be connected to the corresponding equipment.

This system would be known as DNS, and at first it would be administered by the United States Department of Defense itself. At the time of its creation, the so-called domain extensions were also established, which were a way of indicating what was the main use of the same.

At that time, the first 6 extensions were established and continue to be used today. These are:

  • .Com: for domains of commercial use.
  • .Net: for companies that provide internet services.
  • .Org: for organizations.
  • .Gov: for government entities.
  • .One thousand: for Department of Defense portals.
  • .Edu: for educational and similar services.

Anatomy of a domain What are the parts of a website name?

The anatomy of portal names is pretty straightforward. A web domain has two parts that are:

The name is generally the most striking, since it is what we remember the most when looking for a website. While the extension indicates what is the usefulness of said domain within the network.

Although domain names are important within the structure of the Internet, it is the extensions that have a greater administrative weight in the operation of the same. These are the ones that tell the computer what type of website you are entering.

In addition, it is this that makes a domain unique since they can have several extensions such as Amazon.com, Amazon.com or Amazon.eu, Once an extension is occupied in a domain name, it cannot be repeated, so it is impossible for there to be two websites named Amazon.com.

The latter makes it clear that extensions are what really make a domain unique and cannot be occupied by any other portal on the Internet.

Domain types and examples How are website addresses classified?

The domains are classified into three groups and these, once again, are determined by the domain extensions.

Here we present each and every one of them:


Generic domains are those of global use and that identify a website according to its usefulness. These are not linked to any type of territory or geographical area, and are generally used for commercial websites, organizations or the media. The best known are .com, .net, .org, .biz (for business portals), .info (information portal).


The territorial first level domains are those that are linked to a specific geographical area, and indicate to the Internet that said portal is located in a certain country in the world. An example of these are all .es (Spain), .co (Colombia), .eu (European Union), .ve ​​(Venezuela) or .mx (Mexico).

3rd level

Finally there are the third level domains, which are those that combine the concepts explained above. That is, they have a generic and a territorial extension, which serve to indicate that an organization, business or store is in a certain country. An example of a third-type domain would be the website of the Spanish Administration (Administración.gov.es) or portals such as moneymas.com.es and the like.

It should be noted that these domains have fallen into disuse, so there are very few websites that use this combination unless they are government departments or institutions.

Domain vs subdomain How is each different?

The term subdomain often causes confusion among users and some wonder if this is a type of domain, and the reality is that it is not at all.

A subdomain is used to identify a website that is part of the same brand or internet domain, sold being as a branch of this. Generally, it is written before the main domain and the extension, and is used to segment the content.

However, these have gradually become obsolete. In the past, if a company had a main website where it offered its services and wanted to create an article blog, created a blog.empresa.com-style subdomain, in such a way that they could create in it a parallel web in which only the texts were shared.

The problem with subdomains is that they have certain behaviors that make them look like an independent domain, which has its own authority, resulting in completely new positioning work required.

That is why subfolders are currently being used more, which are addresses that hang from the domain and indicate a section within the web, absorbing all the DA of the original domain, and being easier to position new content in it.

*Note: currently subdomains are only used for websites hosted on free content managers such as wordpress.com or blogspot.com.

URL and web domain the same? Main differences

Another issue that causes confusion is URLs, and it is often believed that they are the same as domain names, but the reality is that they have a much more complex operation. This is because they are not only used to identify a website, but for any document or file that is on the Internet, indicating your exact address.

URL stands for Uniform Resource Locator, and it’s just what it does. Locate each and every one of the resources that are stored on the Internet. To do this, it interacts with various protocols. The most popular of them is the HTTP or hypertext transmission protocol, which mainly identifies web pages, as well as FTP, which identifies downloadable documents.

The anatomy of a URL is much more complex than that of a web domain, since in fact, they contain the same domains in their structure.

That said we can identify the following parts:

  • HTTP: this would be the identifier of the hypertext protocol.
  • WWW: address of the resource.
  • Meanings: which is the name of the web where the file is.
  • Extension: which would be the extension that identifies the type of domain.

After these four parts, there is what is known as the URL path, which indicates the exact location where a file is located on the web. For example, if you enter the sports section of a digital newspaper with a story about Rafa Nadal’s victory at Roland Garros, you will come across a URL like this:

  • Elmundo.es/deportes/tenis/nadal-gana-roland-garros.

The data that comes after the slash (/) indicates the exact path where the article is located. In this case we have the article “Nadal wins Roland Garros”, is in the section of “tennis”, from the section “sports” from the newspaper elmundo.es.

Why do I need hosting to host my website after buying the domain?


Many novice users in the world of web development wonder why it is necessary to hire a web hosting service to host our domain and portal on the internet, and the truth is that this is not true.

If you wish, there is nothing to prevent you from hosting your website on your own computer. The problem with which we find ourselves doing this is that it is a slightly demanding process, which will make the computer that we assign to be solely and exclusively for this, in addition to that it must always be turned on, since if you turn it off you will not be able to access the server and therefore the web will be down.

In this situation, the most convenient (but not mandatory) is to hire a hosting service, which is nothing more than paying for the rental of a computer where your website data is hosted and it is kept online for as long as possible .

If you have any questions, leave them in the comments, we will answer you as soon as possible, and it will also be of great help to more members of the community. Thank you! 😉

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