Understanding domain names

Understanding Domain Names

Now the title of this post does not at all justify what I will be writing in this post but regretfully,I just couldn’t think of a better title(believe me,I tried).If you go by the title,the first question that arises in your mind is what is there to understand in domain names? A domain name is after all a domain name,what more do we need to know? Well,you are right but let me just write what I understood till now.

So back in the day,when internet was super young,google and internet were synonymous with each other.I mean I literally use to think that google is internet.And I thought the same for domain names and GoDaddy. It was only much later when I learnt that google is not the internet but a part of it and GoDaddy is not the only place to buy domain names.

Now domain names in themselves are pretty interesting.Why were they needed? Well,on internet,communication is seen as taking place between a client and server.You requesting a web page from your computer are the client,the machine receiving the request and responding back to you is the server.Now here both your computer and the machine responding back to you communicate with each other using their IP Addresses.But it is not easy for humans to remember so many IP addresses.Therefore a domain name is assigned to every IP address so that it is easy to remember them.The mapping of domain name to its IP address is done by the domain name system.Let me just explain you how this whole process works.

DNS maps domain names to its IP Addresses
DNS maps domain names to its IP Addresses
  1. When you type google.com in the address bar of your browser and press enter,your device/machine/computer is requesting the device/machine/computer which is hosting google.com to give access to it.
  2. Now the request first goes to the Domain Name System which retrieves the IP Address mapped to google.com in its system.
  3. Only after successfully retrieving the IP Address of the device/machine/computer which is hosting google.com can the request go to it,which than responds back with google’s homepage in your browser.
  4. What is mind boggling about this whole exercise is that all of this happens in milliseconds.

From a blogging perspective,domain names are extremely important.You are more or less going to deal with domain names and variety of other products related to it.I mentioned GoDaddy earlier because it is the largest ICANN-accredited registrar on the internet as well as the largest web host by market share.In fact,I myself bought my first domain name from GoDaddy.I am specifically talking about GoDaddy because there is a high possibility that you too might buy your domain names from it.

Now buying a domain name is only half job done,you will also be extensively dealing with setting up CNAME and A records for your domain name.CNAME stands for Canonical Name and A record stands for Address record.Both these are extremely important from domain name point of view.To explain in simple terms,A records are used to point a domain or sub-domain to an IP Address while CNAME is used to alias one name to another.Confused? Let me explain you.

Internal workings of the DNS(Domain Name System)
Internal workings of the DNS(Domain Name System)

When you type google.com & press enter the request goes to DNS,the first job it does is locate the public nameservers of google.com in its system.Once it locates the public nameservers,it asks for the A record from it.Now A record as I said earlier points a domain to an IP Address and this is the IP Address which the public nameservers responds back with which than your computer dials to get the webpage associated with it.

As per CNAME,suppose you have nextgenblogger.com and www.nextgenblogger.com pointing to the same application and hosted by the same server.In this case,to avoid maintaining two different records,it’s common to create:

  • An A record for nextgenblogger.com pointing to the server IP Address.
  • A CNAME record for www.nextgenblogger.com pointing to nextgenblogger.com
  • As a result,nextgenblogger.com points to the server IP Address,and www.nextgenblogger.com points to the same address via nextgenblogger.com
  • Should the IP Address change,you only need to update it in one place:just edit the A record for nextgenblogger.com,and www.nextgenblogger.com automatically inherits the changes.
CNAME is used to alias one name to another
CNAME is used to alias one name to another

Overall domain names are pretty important for your business,blog,website, brand and it is the first thing people would notice about you online so make sure your domain name is easy to pronounce and remember and clearly reflects what your business/brand/blog/website is all about.

Share this

About the author

Arindam Bhattacharjee

This blog is authored by Arindam Bhattacharjee,who is passionate about blogging,creating websites and making YouTube videos. Feel free to leave a message.Thanks for stopping by!

View all posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *