The Anatomy Of A Website Address: What Is A Domain Name?

Domain names are a digitised physical address of a website since it helps people know where exactly they are and need to go on the internet. Businesses who want to build a website should think carefully about what domain name they should use. To help them understand, this article contains information about how a domain name works and the anatomy of a web address, including their purposes: 1) scheme, 2) subdomain, 3) second level domain, 4) top level domain, and 5) page path.

Most businesses in the digital era have both a brick and mortar shop as well as a website. . It is like a digitised version of a physical store where a business owner sells products or services to its customers online, and customers can browse and shop whenever they want on the website. 


For customers to easily access a website, it needs to have a domain name since it helps a website establish an online presence and be found on search engines like Google, Yahoo!, or Bing. 


If you have no idea what a domain name is and its purpose, the following listicles will explain everything you need to know.

What Is A Domain Name?

A domain name refers to a part of a web address or exact location where a website is on the internet. They are the uniform resource locators (URLs) that people type in a browser’s address bar to access a website that they are familiar with, like www.facebook.com.


In short, a domain name is equivalent to a physical address, which helps potential customers easily find a website instead of typing the Internet Protocol (IP) address. When connected to the internet, an IP address is an identifying number that allows a device to send and receive information. 



Even though jotting down an IP address of a website does not take that long, it is much harder to remember than a domain name since it is mostly numbers. Typing a wrong IP address can lead a customer to a different website. 


Most of the time, a domain name has two or three words that are separated by dots. Shown below is an example of a domain name.



The Anatomy Of A Website Address


1. Protocol

Resources such as HTML documents are retrieved using the HTTP protocol. It’s a client-server protocol, which means the recipient, which is usually a Web browser, initiates queries. To build a complete document, text, layout descriptions, images, videos, scripts, and other sub-documents are collected and integrated.


The difference between HTTP and HTTPS is that the latter is more secure since every data it has is encrypted. 


2. Subdomain

Since a domain name is like a physical address, think of a subdomain as a particular room of a property. Its purpose is to help a website become more organised by separating content for different functions.


Typically, the subdomain mostly used by websites is www, which stands for web-wide web and is often placed before the second-level domain. 


3. Second Level Domain

The second-level domain refers to the name of a business’s website. In our case, that would be OOm. Typing the second level domain after the subdomain helps people know they are going to a particular website. For example, basketball fans and enthusiasts who visit nba.com figure out that they are in the National Basketball Association right away. 


4. Top-Level Domain

The top-level domain (TLD) identifies the type of entity your company is on the internet. For example, .com is the most commonly used top-level domain, and it stands for commercial use.


Here are the most common generic domain extensions.


  • .gov (these are reserved for government organisations)
  • .mil (these are reserved for military operations)
  • .com (these are mostly used for commercial businesses)
  • .net (stands for network and also use for commercial businesses)
  • .org (these are reserved for charities, non-profit organisation or education institution)
  • .edu (these are reserved for educational institutions)
  • .int (these are reserved for international organisations)


5. Page Path

The page path comes after the top-level domain, and it is about a particular web page on a website. The purpose of a page path is to help visitors and search engine bots know where exactly they are. For example, right now as you are reading this, you are currently at the page path of “the-anatomy-of-a-website-what-is-a-domain-name”.



The Steps Of How A Domain Name Works

The step-by-step process shown in the image below will provide you with a better understanding of what happens when someone types a domain into a web browser. 


WPBeginner Explanation How Domain Name Work

The web server searches through the Domain Name System’s global server network (DNS) once a user types a domain name into a browser. DNS servers will look for the IP address linked with the domain name of a website. After the DNS servers have discovered information about the IP address, the DNS servers will send it to the web browser. The web browser will only convert the data into a web page after receiving approval to its request from the hosting server of a domain name.


The Bottom Line

The domain name of your business’s website helps your potential customers identify your website and browse through your products or services. The simpler and easier to remember your domain name is, the better since it will help your potential customers recall it right away. 


For more tips or information about website development in Singapore, check out the blog page. You can also contact OOm at +65 6391 0930 or leave a message on our website if you have any other concerns.