What is a Domain: Definition & Meaning - Explained in Detail

June 3, 2024
13 Minutes
Modified on:
June 3, 2024
Written by:
Swati Bucha
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A domain is the foundation of your online presence. Your domain name essentially serves as your business storefront, where prospective and current consumers can find you. Additionally, a memorable domain name can help you easily differentiate yourself from the competition. 

The domain name registrar industry is expected to reach USD 4.05 billion by 2031 (from 2024), growing at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 4.7% from its anticipated USD 2.65 billion in 2023.

For this reason, understanding what is a domain is may be quite helpful in ensuring the success of your online presence, especially if you are a business owner trying to boost sales through your website. We've put together this comprehensive guide to assist you in understanding domain names and how to register your own domain name CV to run your webpage.

What is a Domain Name?

Want to know what is a domain name? A domain name is the unique identification for your website, also known as the web address. It's what users enter into their browser to find a website. It's also a simpler version of your IP address, which appears as a long, sometimes difficult-to-memorize string of numbers. 

Every computer is assigned an IP address, a string of digits that serves as its unique identification. For instance, Twitter’s domain name is twitterinc.com, but its IP address is

How Do Domains Work?

Let's explore what happens when you enter a domain name in your browser to get an overview of how it works. Your web browser initially sends a request to the Domain Name System (DNS), which is a global network of servers, when you enter a domain name.


After that, these servers search for the domain's nameservers or DNS servers and send the request to them. For example, if your website is hosted by Neo, the DNS records for your website's name servers will look like the following:

  • ns1.neo.com
  • ns2.neo.com

These name servers are essentially computers managed by your hosting provider. The server hosting your website will receive your request from your hosting company. 

This machine is called a web server and is installed with special software (two widely used web servers are Apache and Nginx). At this stage, the web server retrieves the webpage and any related data, finally returning this data to the user's browser.

Reasons to Get a Domain Name

Domains are not only used to help visitors find your website. After understanding what is a domain name, let us now examine a few additional uses of custom domain names below.

1. To Gain Ownership

A domain gives you control of your website's address. As long as you have it registered, nobody else can claim it. This gives you complete control over which website it points to, who manages it, what data is connected to your domain name account, who maintains it as a domain name registrar, and whether you wish to sell it.

2. To Solidify Your Brand Identity

Having a domain name that is identical or similar to your business name may help in building a recognized online brand for your business. When a visitor navigates from your homepage to your blog to your knowledge base on your website, they will notice that other elements and the primary domain name remain the same.

3. To Establish Credibility

A domain name that is consistent with your business name builds credibility and gives users a sense that your website is more reliable and professional. By aligning your domain name with your business name, you gain the trust of your visitors, who will feel more comfortable filling out forms or completing surveys on a website that shares the same domain name.

4. To Stand Out Against Competitors

A simple yet memorable domain name can help you stand out from competitors that have strange or confusing domain names. For example, Google might not have competed as successfully with Yahoo and others if it had been called BackRub.

5. To Be Memorable

If your domain is easy to remember, visitors will be able to type it into their search engines, potentially bringing more direct traffic to your website. For instance, t-bones.com is the short and attractive domain name of T-Bones Great American Eatery. Compared to an alternative like t-bonesgreatamericaneatery.com, this is significantly easier to recall.

6. To Build Authority

Domain names not only help build your brand but also give you an idea of how likely it is that your website will rank higher in search engine results than that of your competitors. In general, a domain with more authority is older.

Types of Domain Name 

Numerous extensions are available to determine what a domain is. The most widely used is .com. Other options include .org, .net, .tv, .info, .io, and many more. Typically, using a .com domain extension is a good idea. Let's examine different types of domain names in greater detail.

1. Top Level Domain – TLD

Generic domain extensions listed at the top of the domain name system are called top-level domains, or TLDs. They are also known as generic top-level domains or gTLDs. There are hundreds of top-level domains (TLDs). However, the most well-known are .org, .com, and .net. Lesser-known TLDs include .biz, .club, .info, .agency, and many more.

2. Country Code Top Level Domain – ccTLD

Country-specific domain names that end in a country code extension, such as .uk for the United Kingdom, .de for Germany, or .in for India, are known as country-code top-level domains or ccTLDs. Websites that wish to target viewers in a specific nation use them.

3. Sponsored Top Level Domain – TLD

A sponsored top-level domain (sTLD) is a type of top-level domain (TLD) where the sponsor is a particular community that the domain extension serves. For instance, .edu stands for educational organizations, .gov for the US government, .mil for the US military, and so on.

4. New Generic Top Level Domain – New gTLD

You can select the best domain name to represent your brand on both sides of the dots by using a new generic top-level domain or New gTLD.

For instance, Armoire, a clothing rental company, enhanced its brand story with the domain name "Armoire.style" by adding the extension .style. Similarly, if John owns a small delivery business, he might find a match with a descriptive extension, such as .delivery. Therefore, his domain name is "John.delivery".

5. Second Level Domain – SLD

The name that appears before the top-level domain, or TLD, is called the second-level domain. For instance, in neo.com, the TLD is .com, and the second-level domain is neo. SLDs are used by domain registries to structure their ccTLD hierarchy.

6. Third-Level Domains

Third-level domains identify specific servers for a website, such as a store or blog. For instance, en.wikipedia.org is the page that appears when you browse Wikipedia in North America. The third-level domain, "en." signifies that you are viewing the content in English. Additionally, HubSpot uses academy.hubspot.com to point users to its learning hub and blog.

How do you Register a Domain Name on Neo for free?

It can be difficult to locate an available domain name. However, you can utilize domain name generators offered by the best domain registrars to check availability. If your desired domain name is not available, these generators will provide closely comparable suggestions that might be useful to you. 

Neo is an excellent email provider and domain name generator, particularly useful for small businesses aiming to grow and build their brand. Neo is a unique domain name provider, offering a free .co.site domain, making it a great option for businesses without a dedicated domain.

Neo is one of the most popular services that allows users to pick their domain name for free (for the first year). The question now is, "What is the process to get a free host and domain with Neo?" To obtain a domain name for free, follow these steps:

  1. Visit Neo's official website
  2. Navigate to the right side of the website and click the 'Get Started' button.
  1. Indicate whether you own a domain name. Choose "I need a new domain name" from the available options.

  1. Use the search box to enter your desired domain name and determine its availability for registration.
  1. Create your customer account and begin your 15-day free trial after registering the domain name of your choice or a custom one. Input necessary details during the account setup, including your name, email address, and password.

By following the given steps, you have completed the domain registration process successfully. To communicate with clients and customers professionally, create a new email address linked to your domain name after creating your customer account: 

  1. Enter your password and account email address to log in.  
  2. Follow the instructions to create a new email address for your first mailbox.

Neo offers a free one-page website in addition to your free custom domain. You can launch your one-page website and use your free domain simultaneously. 

Neo provides an easy-to-use drag-and-drop website builder that allows you to personalize the website templates to reflect the style of your business. Additionally, you can include email-integrated forms to gather lead information and add social media handles to increase online visibility.

Wrapping up,

Customers cannot reach your website without a domain name. The fact that you cannot even construct a website without it demonstrates the significance of a domain. To make the most out of your domain name, it's important to understand its basic features and how it differs from protocols, URLs, and other website components. Remember what a domain is, how it operates, why you need it, and the steps involved in finding and registering a domain name. 

Neo's one-page website, which combines the significance of personalized email domain names with the essence of digital business cards, is a great way to build your online presence. Schedule a demo today and leverage the benefits of the limited trial period. 

Frequently Asked Questions

1. What is the importance of domain names for businesses?

Your company domain name is a crucial tool for building a brand identity and improving the quality and ease of the user experience. It is not just a name that people can type to reach your website.

Online marketing is no longer a possibility; it's a must for any business, whether it's new or old. Unfortunately, statistics show that nearly 46% of small businesses donʻt have their own website.

A domain name is a must for a website. Before making any purchases, people rely on the internet and search for everything from what they can have for lunch to what to put on at their wedding. As an entrepreneur, you must have a domain name for your website.

2. What is the duration of domain registration?

A domain name that you register with Neo or another registrar is yours as long as you keep up with the yearly registration fee. Typically, a domain name can be registered for a duration of one to ten years. Before it expires, you must renew the registration in order to use it going forward.  

3. How can I find the owner of a domain name?

Use ICANN Lookup to find out who the owner of a domain name is. Simply type the domain into the search bar to locate the domain's contact details. However, many domain owners choose to hide their personal information for privacy reasons. If the contact details are hidden, you can contact the registrar to inquire about more information.

4. What happens after a domain expires?

When a domain expires, it is parked and deactivated. This means it becomes available for purchase and stops resolving to the website. If it is not renewed during the grace period, the domain name will be set up for auction. After the auction, the domain will be open for public registration.

5. What does www stand for? Is that included in domain names?

The World Wide Web is abbreviated as WWW. Some experts began using it to denote that something was a web address in the early days of the internet. However, most websites no longer use www in their website addresses, as it is not a requirement. 

In a technical sense, www is a subdomain of your primary domain name. A subdomain is any domain name that appears before your primary domain and is followed by a dot, such as videos.neo.com.

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