A domain name became as important as a brand name in recent years and especially after the COVID-19 pandemic where the marketing behavior and people’s interest shifted online, but what is a domain name, and which domain name suites the best for your business?
To help you with that in this article we will answer the following questions:
- What is a domain name?
- What are DNS records?
- What are the types of DNS records?
- How to choose the perfect domain?
- What are Top-level domains & Second-level domains?
- What are the types of Top-Level domain names?
- What should you consider before registering your domain name?
- Does your domain extension affect your SEO Rank?
- How to add security to your domain name?
- What to do next after registering your domain name?
URL and Domain names:
A Uniform Resource Locator (URL), is a referral to a web resource (such as a website or a mobile application) located on a server or a device in general that is connected to the internet.
There are 3 main parts to a URL; the scheme, Domain Name, and path.
- The scheme in a URL is referred to the type of connection that is being established (such as HTTP & HTTPS) which is the first part of the URL.
- The domain name is essentially the IP address of where this website is located.
- The path is where specific data is stored in the server.
IP addresses are assigned to every device that connects to the internet, and to connect to this device and see the content it holds (such as a website or an application) you can reach it through the IP Address that is being assigned.
However, it is difficult to remember the IP Address, it is easier when it is a string of text or a memorable name, and that is the main use of a domain name which is translating this hard to remember IP address into a string of text or a name and the other way around.
How to assign an IP address to a domain name?
Domain names use something called DNS records (Domain Name Server Records) which is how a domain name can hold the information about where your website, mail servers, and other services you are using are located, the DNS records are stored in what is called zone files in the DNS server or Name Servers.
Types of DNS records:
The DNS records are being stored in zone files in different types for different functions, there are many different types of DNS records, and these are the main ones.
SOA Record: SOA stands for Start Of Authority, holds the information about the domain name and how the DNS zone files are propagating to other servers.
NS Record: NS Stands for Name Server, a Name server is where your DNS records are stored, and this record is used to store the information and points to the location of the DNS records of this specific domain name.
A Record: mostly used to map a domain name with an IP Version 4 and acts as a translator from a name to an IP address and the other way around.
AAAA Record: similar to the A record however this type uses an IP Version 6.
TXT Record: it is a text-based record and it is being used mostly for validation, for a website, email policies, and other validations.
MX record: MX record stands for Mail eXchange record, and is used to map where to deliver the emails for the domain (directs emails intended for a domain to the server that holds the mail services of this domain)
CNAME Record: CNAME stands for Canonical Name, which is an alias that points to another domain, or a subdomain.
SRV Record: A Service Record allows services such as VoIP (Voice Over IP) and others to communicate and to be directed through a different port and host.
SPF Record: A Sender Policy Framework record (SPF Record) is being used by email services to prevent mail spoofing and limit spammer.
How to choose the perfect domain name?
When you start building a website the first thing you need to do is to choose your domain name, and this is one of the toughest and most crucial steps you need to take as this will be your online representative for your business.
A domain name is the first thing that a customer interacts with when they visit your website or they need to know more about your company and it can be used to refer to your brand, having a memorable and unique domain name can make that first impression last longer.
There are a few things you need to look for when searching for the perfect domain name for your brand, a domain name consists of two parts, a Top-Level Domain (TLD) and a Second-Level Domain,
Second-Level Domain name:
The Second-Level Domain name is the second part of a domain, for example, shabaqo.com, in this case, the Second-Level Domain is “shabaqo”, it needs to be short, simple, and represent your brand in the best way possible, the shorter your Second-Level Domain is the easier it is to be remembered, here are some tricks you can use to make your Second-Level domain short, simple and memorable for your customers:
Choose your company name or brand name as the Second-Level Domain name.
If your company name or brand name consists of more than one word you can take the first letter of each word to make it your Second-Level Domain.
Promote and add your domain name to your marketing campaign, the more that it repeats to the reader in different ads the easier it gets to be remembered.
Top-Level Domain name:
A Top-Level Domain is the last part of the domain after the “.” symbol, for example, the domain name “shabaqo.com” in this case the Top-Level domain name is “com”.
There are two main types of Top-Level Domain names (TLD) which are; Country Code Top-Level Domain names (ccTLDs) and Generic Top-Level Domain names (gTLDs).
Country Code Top-Level Domain names:
A ccTLD is an internet Top-Level-Domain that is generally reserved for a country, all ccTLDs identifiers are two-letter long, here is a list of currently available ccTLDs and the country for which this code is reserved for:
|#||Name||Country||Where the name came from|
|1||.ac||Ascension Island (United Kingdom)||Ascention Island|
|3||.ae||United Arab Emirates||United Arab Emirates|
|5||.ag||Antigua and Barbuda||Antigua and Barbuda|
|6||.ai||Anguilla (United Kingdom)||Anguillia|
|12||.as||American Samoa (United States)||American Samoa|
|15||.aw||Aruba (Kingdom of the Netherlands)||Aruba, West Indies|
|16||.ax||Åland (Finland)||.al and .ad already allocated|
|18||.ba||Bosnia and Herzegovina||Bosnia|
|22||.bf||Burkina Faso||Burkina Faso|
|26||.bj||Benin||.be, .bn, and .bi already allocated|
|27||.bm||Bermuda (United Kingdom)||Bermuda|
|30||.bq||Caribbean Netherlands ( Bonaire, Saba, and Sint Eustatius)||.be and .bs already allocated|
|38||.cc||Cocos (Keeling) Islands||Cocos Islands|
|39||.cd||Democratic Republic of the Congo||Congo, Democratic Republic|
|40||.cf||Central African Republic||Central African Republic|
|41||.cg||Republic of the Congo||Congo|
|43||.ci||Ivory Coast||Côte d’Ivoire|
|44||.ck||Cook Islands||Cook Islands|
|47||.cn||People’s Republic of China||China|
|49||.cr||Costa Rica||Costa Rica|
|51||.cv||Cape Verde||Cape Verde|
|52||.cw||Curaçao (Kingdom of the Netherlands)||Curaçao, West Indies|
|53||.cx||Christmas Island||Christmas Xmas|
|61||.dz||Algeria||El Djazair / Dzayer|
|65||.eh||Western Sahara||Español Sahara|
|72||.fk||Falkland Islands (United Kingdom)||Falkland|
|73||.fm||Federated States of Micronesia||Federated States of Micronesia|
|74||.fo||Faroe Islands (Kingdom of Denmark)||Føroyar|
|79||.gf||French Guiana (France)||Guyane Française|
|80||.gg||Guernsey||.gu, .gs, and .gy already allocated|
|82||.gi||Gibraltar (United Kingdom)||Gibraltar|
|83||.gl||Greenland (Kingdom of Denmark)||Greenland|
|87||.gq||Equatorial Guinea||Guinée équatoriale|
|89||.gs||South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands (United Kingdom)||South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands|
|91||.gu||Guam (United States)||Guam|
|94||.hk||Hong Kong||Hong Kong|
|95||.hm||Heard Island and McDonald Islands||Heard Island and McDonald Islands|
|103||.im||Isle of Man||Isle of Man|
|105||.io||British Indian Ocean Territory (United Kingdom)||Indian Ocean|
|119||.kn||Saint Kitts and Nevis||Saint Kitts and Nevis|
|120||.kp||North Korea||Korea Democratic People’s Republic|
|121||.kr||South Korea||Korea Republic|
|123||.ky||Cayman Islands (United Kingdom)||.ci and .cy already allocated|
|127||.lc||Saint Lucia||Saint Lucia|
|129||.lk||Sri Lanka||Sri Lanka|
|147||.mp||Northern Mariana Islands (United States)||Marianas Pacific|
|150||.ms||Montserrat (United Kingdom)||Montserrat|
|159||.nc||New Caledonia (France)||New Caledonia|
|169||.nz||New Zealand||New Zealand|
|173||.pf||French Polynesia (France)||Polynésie française|
|174||.pg||Papua New Guinea||Papua New Guinea|
|178||.pm||Saint-Pierre and Miquelon (France)||Saint Pierre and Miquelon|
|179||.pn||Pitcairn Islands (United Kingdom)||Pitcairn|
|180||.pr||Puerto Rico (United States)||Puerto Rico|
|191||.sa||Saudi Arabia||Saudi Arabia|
|192||.sb||Solomon Islands||Solomon Islands, British|
|197||.sh||Saint Helena, Ascension, and Tristan da Cunha (United Kingdom)||Saint Helena|
|200||.sl||Sierra Leone||Sierra Leone|
|201||.sm||San Marino||San Marino|
|205||.ss||South Sudan||South Sudan|
|206||.st||São Tomé and Príncipe||São Tomé|
|207||.su||Soviet Union||Soviet Union|
|209||.sx||Sint Maarten (Kingdom of the Netherlands)||.sm, .ma, and .mt already allocated|
|212||.tc||Turks and Caicos Islands (United Kingdom)||Turks Caicos|
|214||.tf||French Southern and Antarctic Lands||Terres australes et antarctiques françaises|
|224||.tt||Trinidad and Tobago||Trinidad Tobago|
|230||.uk||United Kingdom||United Kingdom|
|231||.us||United States of America||United States|
|235||.vc||Saint Vincent and the Grenadines||Vincent|
|237||.vg||British Virgin Islands (United Kingdom)||Virgin Islands|
|238||.vi||United States Virgin Islands (United States)||Virgin Islands|
|241||.wf||Wallis and Futuna||Wallis Futuna|
Generic Top-Level domain names:
A gTLD is one of the categories of the Top-Level domains that is maintained by the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA) which can be used for general-purpose, currently, there are more than 1,500 generic top-level domain names such as .com, .net, .info, and so on
There is also another type of gTLDs named sTLD stands for Sponsored Top-Level domain names, which is the type of Top-Level Domain names that are sponsored by a specific entity or business.
Here are some examples of the sTLDs:
- .gov: used by the US government
- .edu: for institutes that are accredited by the US Department of education.
- .mil: used by the US Military.
Things you need to consider before registering your domain:
Some of the domain extensions have restrictions and roles regulated by the government of that country or the company that manages it, so make sure to read about the domain extension if it has restrictions.
Here are some of the roles and regulations that are commonly used by the governments to give you a kick start:
Your domain name should not infringe a company name or a brand name that is already registered in the country or internationally known.
Your domain name should not contain culturally offensive words.
Your domain name should not hold a name of a ministry or a known authority in the country.
Does your domain extension affect your rank in SEO and Google Search?
Nop, Google does not care what kind of extension you hold, whether it is a ccTLD or a gTLD, Google search algorithm looks for content and how can it benefit the person who uses Google to offer the best website that can benefit the user the most in their search.
However, a domain name can have an indirect effect on the user, if your domain name has an unfamiliar extension or an odd one, the user is more likely will not click on your website which leads to less traffic to your website and in turn, it will affect your SEO rank.
How to add security to your domain name?
A domain name is the most important aspect of your brand name as nowadays everything is shifting online, and we all know how frustrating it is going to be if you well established your company and your company’s website and then your domain gets hijacked by a hacker,
Therefore, adding security to your domain name is a very important step, there are different levels of security that you can add to your domain name:
Registrar Level Security:
A registrar is a company accredited and authorized by The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) to sell domain names.
Here are some tips on how to secure your domain at the registrar level:
Generate a strong random password for your domain access.
Activate Two-Factor Authentication.
- Activate WHOis Protection ( This will hide your domain information from the public.)
- Activate email alerts for DNS changes.
Name server Level Security:
Activate DNSSEC (Domain Name System Security), This will ensure the authenticity of the queried data or DNS records.
Email Security, you can do this by adding specific DNS records such as SPF, DKIM, and DMARC records, this can be provided by the email security provider.
Server Level Security:
Install and activate an SSL (Secure Socket Layer) certificate.
DDoS (Distributed Denial of Service) protection.
WAF (Web Application Firewall), can help you filter unwanted traffic or queries to your domain and DNS records.
What to do next after registering your domain name?
By reading this article you will understand more about the domain names, DNS records, and how to pick the perfect domain for your business, however, this is not the only thing you need to do to establish your digital presence if you are ready to take the next step after registering your domain name you can read the following articles to give you more details on how to build your website, and where should you host your website.
And you can always contact our professional team to guide you to your successful digital presence!