The domain name has three main parts each separated by a dot (.). Learn the difference between these parts of the domain and what they are used for.

A domain name is an interesting thing. It’s something we primarily need to navigate to so that we can land on the website we want. Sometimes we own them for our own websites or even use domain names to forward to other services, like our social media channels.

Your domain name is connected to the particular IP address of your website – it serves as the online address of your website.

Domain names can be thought of as a series of “parts” or “labels” separated with dots.

As we all know, Domain names have three labels.

Those three labels are A top-level Domain (or extension or domain suffix), A Domain name, and an Optional Subdomain name.

For example,

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When you’re navigating to any website address or URL, you will also see the Protocol. The protocol comes before the subdomain, such as having a secure (HTTPS ://) vs a non-secure (HTTP ://) website. Don’t submit information through an unsecured website’s form. In the last few years, insecure websites have seen a negative impact on their SEO.

Always buy a Security Certificate for your website, for the sake of your customers who are sharing personal information in forms, email sign-ups, making accounts, and doing e-commerce purchases.

Subdomain:

Now, let’s see what Sub-domain is. 

A subdomain is related to the main or root domain and is the left portion of your Second-Level Domain, which is probably your brand, company, or personal name. The subdomains are often considered as “third-level domains.” The most common and familiar subdomain is “www.” You do not need to have “www” in your subdomain, but you can choose to keep it there if you want so.

Subdomains allow you to set up multiple websites using a single domain. Search engines recognize subdomains as individual websites. So it means you get more chances to increase your traffic. They allow you to set up backlinks to your primary or main domain, which can increase its authority.

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Domain name:

Domain names are known as the second level of a domain’s hierarchy. Domain names on a specific TLD which is called a root domain are purchased from registrars and represent the specific, unique location of a website. Search engines do use the keywords in domain names as a ranking factor which explains the existence of domains like “where-to-buy-the-best-cakes-in-Ahmedabad.com”

One of the easiest ways to define a second-level domain is that it consists of that part of the domain name to the left side of the “.com” or other similar extensions, which is a top-level domain.

Top-level Domain:

Top-level domain or TLD refers to the last segment of a domain name and also the part that follows immediately after the “dot” symbol.

Sometimes it’s also known as a domain name suffix as your domain name ends with the TLD. A TLD is assigned and supervised by The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names. Besides, a list of all the valid Top-level domains is maintained by the IANA and is updated from time-to-time

There are officially three types of TLDs recognized by IANA: 

  1. gTLD – Generic Top-Level Domains

These are the most popular types of TDLs. Some examples include “.org” for non-profit sites such as NGOs, charities, and “.com” for commercial sites. These types of domains are available for registration.

  1. sTLD – Sponsored Top-Level Domains

These TLDs are supervised by private organizations

  1. ccTLD – Country Code Top-Level Domains

Every ccTLD recognizes a specific country and is usually two letters long. For example, the ccTLD for India is “.in”.

About the Author

My name’s Semil Shah, and I pride myself on being the last digital marketer that you’ll ever need. Having worked internationally across agile and disruptive teams from San Fransico to London, I can help you take what you are doing in digital to a whole next level.

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