A domain name is an address that people use on the internet, whether for websites or for email. It's a string of characters that usually spells out a word, a company name or person's name. You can buy domain names from a domain registrar such as ourselves, and they can be incredibly useful things. There are many different types of domain names available to purchase, so check out our domain types and prices page to find out more, or take a look at what comes with a domain when you register with GetDotted.
Without a domain name, you'd still be able to access and view websites, but only by typing a series of numbers (an IP Address), into your browser's address bar (e.g. https://126.96.36.199/). Domain names provide a neat, human-friendly and much more memorable alternative, which is why you'll find it almost impossible to find a website without a domain name 'pointing' to it.
What's the difference between a URL and a domain?
A Uniform Resource Locator (URL) is simply a web address where you'll find a 'resource' or document on your web space (hosting space), for example:
https:// getdotted.com /domain-name-types/
The first part (https://) defines the protocol used. The second part (getdotted.com) is a domain name. Domain names give us humans an easy way to remember how to get to certain pages. For instance, you might remember in 3 weeks that you were on our site - getdotted.com, but if domains weren't included in URL's, you'd have to remember the specific IP address for a website, such as http://192.168.384.849! A domain simply turns an IP address into a string of characters that's easier to remember.
The last part (/domain-name-types/) is the all-important resource location. This explains the route taken through the file structure in your web hosting. The example above is referencing the file domain-name-types/ within the root directory (/).
Because a URL points to a resource on your website, when search engines index your website they will give some weight to keywords found in a URL . For example if the URL was https://getdotted.com/co-uk-domains.php then there's an indication as to what the page has on it, so a search engine can find the extra keywords and relate the content more effectively. A URL should be easy to remember at best and easy to read out at it's worst.
What can I do with a domain?
There are lots of things you can do with a domain name. We've picked out the most popular reasons for wanting a domain name below.
Set Up a Website at your Domain
To create a website, you will need to set up web hosting and assign your domain to it. Then you will need to add content or upload your files and publish. Web hosting is basically storage space on a server. You upload your content to the storage space and publish it to make it available for others to view online.
Whether you are looking to design your site from scratch or would like to use WordPress to build your site, Freeola has a selection of hosting options, which are suitable for every skill level. We even have our easy-to-use website builder, Really Quick Sites (RQS), which makes it easy to build a responsive site for free, in minutes.
Every GetDotted domain comes with a free one-page website to get you started, with use of our easy-to-use website builder RQS.
Set Up Unique Email Addresses at your Domain
You can of course create custom email addresses at your domain. Whether for personal or business use, it's a great way to ensure that you stand out.
Your GetDotted domain comes with one free email address at your domain, if you'd like multiple email addresses and the ability to synchronise email across all of your devices, EmailPro is our cheap email service, offering you unlimited addresses at your domain.
Protect Your Identity and Ideas
One of the most popular reasons for buying a domain name, is to protect your identity regardless of whether you intend to use it or not, to prevent competitors or other people from registering your identity, and trading off your identity.
A Highly Profitable Investment
Domain names have become increasingly valuable over the years, it's now incredibly rare to be able to register one-word domain names that feature in the dictionary, making them potentially incredibly valuable if you manage to get your hands on a good one.
There's no limit to the worth of a domain name. Different domain names are worth more to different people (in a similar way to car number plates), regardless of whether they are a dictionary word or popular phrase.
If you have a domain that you are potentially looking to sell, you can list it for sale completely free using our Sell Your Domain facility. If you can't find your perfect domain, you can also take a look at the pre-owned domains being sold by GetDotted customers to see if there is anything that takes your fancy.
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