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What is the importance of a domain name and what is a good domain name?

Answer: A domain name serves as the address of a website. For example, to visit Apple Computer's website, you would type "http://www.apple.com" in your Web browser's address field. The "apple.com" part of the address is the domain name. Other addresses such as "store.apple.com" and "info.apple.com" both use the apple.com domain name but point to different Web servers linked to the apple.com.

Surprisingly, a domain name is not the real address of a website location, but instead points to the actual identifying address. This address is called the IP address, and could be something like "17.254.3.183." Every website is linked to an IP address, but typically uses a domain name so that the address is easier for ordinary people to remember. Domain names are translated by "DNS servers" that Internet service providers (ISPs) use to match IP addresses with domain names. The IP address above is actually the address of apple.com, so if you type "http://17.254.3.183" into your browser's address field, you should be directed to Apple Computer's website. However, you'll probably agree typing "apple.com" is much easier.

Because people remember website addresses based on domain names, choosing a good domain name is crucial when creating a website. Generally, short, easy-to-remember domain names are best. It is also helpful if they are easy to type and easy to say. Finally, make sure the domain name describes the content of the site well. Domains ending with ".com" are the best, but ".net" and ".org" are also good options if your first choice is taken. Domains like ".cc," ".name," and ".info" are not as well indexed by search engines, so steer clear of those if you can.

Entered: January 21, 2005 – by Per Christensson

Category: Web

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