How Does a Domain Name Actually Work?

How Does a Domain Name Actually Work? - Posted by Michael on 31/12/2022

You might be familiar with the basics of a domain name or you may have only heard the term before, but what exactly is a domain name, why are they necessary and how do they work? This article will teach you all of the basics about domain names.

Article Contents:
What is a Domain Name?
How Domain Names Work
Cheapest Domain Name Providers
Frequently Asked Questions

What is a Domain Name?
To put it simply, a domain name is an alphanumerical name for your website.

When you push your website to the internet you need to register a name for your users to type. However, this name is only a middleman between your users and host.

Each server is assigned a unique Internet Protocol address (a string of numbers). A typical IP (specifically IPv4) address will look something like: 123.124.125.126.

We use domain names instead as naturally it makes things a whole lot easier.

Although if you know what you’re doing, using the IP can be a good method for testing before making any changes to your DNS.

How Domain Names Work
When you visit a domain in your web browser it begins a process of transferring and requesting data across the internet.

The initial request made from your device is passed across servers that are configured to maintain Domain Name System records. These are are records created by your domain provider to tell devices what IP your domain is pointing to.

Once your device has received the necessary information from the DNS query, your computer will know which server your website is hosted on so that it can forward your visit to the correct website.

There’s more within the world of domains and DNS but that is the basic premise.

Cheapest Domain Name Providers
Cloudflare – Cloudflare launched their domain services in the last few years and have been growing their offering ever since. From what started as a limited transfer only service has now become a pretty decent selection. The best part is you can transfer or register any applicable domains to Cloudflare for no mark-up. That means Cloudflare will charge you the same price they pay to their supplier.

NameSilo – While NameSilo does mark-up their pricing to make a profit their rates are very reasonable. You can also make use of their regular promotions to get the cheapest deal. Additionally NameSilo also offers benefits such as bulk discounts and a resourceful API for integrations with software.

Frequently Asked Questions
Can a domain name be cancelled/refunded?
Most domain providers won’t allow you to cancel a domain that you’ve already registered in return for a refund but some will allow you to disconnect the domain so that it can’t be used anymore.

Can a website be moved to a new domain?
Yes, no problem. You can move your website to a new provider or to an all new domain name without any issues. Take a look at our website migration services if you’re interested in hiring us to do this for you at an affordable rate.

Can a domain name be transferred to a new provider?
Most if not all of the popular domain name types can be transferred to a new provider but you’ll likely have to pay to extend that domain by 1 year minimum.

Do I really need a domain name?
It’s very likely. If you’re publishing a website publically, a domain will be the easiest way to connect your users to your website.

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