Domain Name Registration Terms
A glossary of Domain Name Registration terms.
What is a domain name?
Domain names are the familiar, easy-to-remember names you find on the Internet, such as domainpeople.COM.
Domain names correspond to a series of numbers called Internet Protocol numbers (or IP addresses) that serve as routing addresses on the Internet.
Imagine if people identified themselves by their phone numbers instead of their names. Domain names fill a similar purpose on the Internet and are much easier to remember than a series of numbers.
Domain names identify a specific network location on the Internet. It is your identity on the Internet and provides you with an address that other Internet users can use to find you on the World Wide Web.
Here are some domain names you might be familiar with:
domainpeople.COM - DomainPeople Inc.
linux.ORG - Linux Online Inc.
microsoft.NET - Microsoft Corporation
cira.CA - the Canadian Internet Registration Authority (CIRA)
What is an IP address?
Every computer on the Internet has a numeric address called an IP Address, which is used to identify the location of the computer. An example of an IP address is 188.8.131.52. Each domain name replaces this string of numbers with a simple word or expression. Having a domain name means you don't have to remember a cumbersome numeric address.
What is a DNS?
DNS stands for Domain Name Server (also referred to as Domain Name Service or Domain Name System). A DNS translates domain names into IP addresses. If someone wants to access DomainPeople's web site (www.domainpeople.com), the DNS translates the domain name into its corresponding IP address 184.108.40.206, allowing the computer to locate DomainPeople's web server.
What is a URL?
URL stands for Universal Resource Locator and is a unique identifier for your web address. Your URL contains your domain name. An example of a URL is http://www.domainpeople.com.
No two web sites can have the same URL. Whoever registers a domain name first gets to use it in their URL. This is why it is important to register your domain name before someone else does.
What are the components of a domain name?
A top-level domain (TLD) refers to the suffix attached to Internet domain names. The most common top-level domains used on the Internet are .COM, .NET and .ORG.
Country Code Top-Level Domains:
Two letter top-level domains, such as .CA .uk, .DE and .jp, are called country code top level domains (ccTLDs) and correspond to a country, territory or other geographic location. The rules and policies for registering domain names in the ccTLDs vary significantly from country to country and may be reserved for use by citizens of the corresponding country. DomainPeople offers .CA registration.
The body of a domain name is called the second-level domain. In domainpeople.COM, "domainpeople" represents a second-level domain within the top level domain of .COM.
You can also put another word in front of the second level domain. For example, information.domainpeople.com. or henry.domainpeople.com. In these examples the words "information" and "henry" are called "host" names or a "sub-domains". You do not need to register a host or sub-domain with a Registrar.
What is a Registrant?
The entity, organization, or individual listed as the legal holder of the domain name is known as the Registrant.
What is a Registrar?
The organization responsible for the actual registration of the domain name is known as the Registrar.
What is a Registry?/ What is ICANN?
Formed in October 1998, the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) is a non-profit, private sector corporation formed by a broad co-alition of the Internet's business, technical, academic, and user communities. ICANN has been recognized by the U.S. Government as the global consensus entity to coordinate the technical management of the Internet's domain name system, the allocation of IP addresses, the assignment of protocol parameters, and the management of the root server system.
ICANN is dedicated to preserve the operational stability of the Internet; to promote competition; to achieve broad representation of the global Internet community; and to coordinate policy through private sector, bottom-up, consensus-based means.
ICANN is located at http://www.ICANN.ORG.
The Canadian equivalent for .CA domain names, the Canadian Internet Registration Authority (CIRA) is located at http://www.cira.CA.
What is an Administrative Contact?
The Administrative Contact is the person or organization authorized by the domain name Registrant to act on behalf of the legal entity listed as the owner of the domain name. The Administrative Contact should be able to answer non-technical questions about the legal entity's plans for using the domain name and the procedures for establishing sub-domains.
What is a Billing Contact?
The Billing Contact is the person or organization that will be invoiced for registrations and renewals of the domain name.
What is a Technical Contact?
The Technical Contact is the person or organization that maintains the domain name Registrant's primary name server and resolves software, and database files. The Technical Contact keeps the name server running and interacts with technical people in other domains to solve problems that affect the domain name. An Internet Service Provider often performs this role. If the Technical or Billing Contact information is missing from the Registration Agreement, it is presumed that the domain name Registrant has authorized the Administrative Contact/Agent to act as the Technical Contact.
In many cases, a single person will be the registrant and sole contact for a domain name.