Anatomy of a Domain Name

Posted on:2022-02-18 17:28:22 Views: 259

If you’re buying a domain name, you probably already have some idea what it is. But many people are confused by terms like domain name, top level domain, third level domain and the like. If you’re one of these people, this article is for you. It will provide a clear understanding of what a domain name really is and how it fits into what you type into your Internet browser’s address bar.


Let’s start with an example:

The address consist three parts:

Ÿ   Before the dot,

Ÿ   Between the dots, and

Ÿ   After the dot.


The “.com” part is called the top level domain (TLD). The following are some popular TLDs that you might find on the Internet:

Ÿ   .com: commercial

Ÿ   .org: non-profit organization

Ÿ   .gov: government

Ÿ   .net: network resources

Ÿ   .edu: education

Ÿ   .tv: country code top-level domain (ccTLD) for the islands of Tuvalu, but most often used for television


Now, the most important part is the part between the dots, “Zname.” The part is called domain.

Some rules for the domain are:

Ÿ   It does not allow spaces.

Ÿ   It is not case sensitive, “Zname” and “zname” will lead you to the same location.

Ÿ   You can have dashes or numbers, “Zname-123” for example.

Ÿ   Spaces between characters are not allowed, nor are special characters such as !, @, #, $, %, ^, &, <, *, (, ), {, }, |, [, ], or >.

Domains can contain as many as 63 characters. If you include domain suffixes in your count it can be longer (+4 for .com and +6 for, for example).

The domain along with the top level domain together form a domain name. This term is synonymous to “website address.”


However, there is one additional part that accompanies a domain name to complicate matters slightly. It is the part before the dot, specifically called sub-domain. In practice, however, a website can consist of many parts or area within the same location of a domain. The following website addresses illustrate:




These sub-domains (map,pan,zhidao) are owned and operated by the same operator. The sub-domain allows visitors to channel their intention into different parts of a website.