Domains: A Crash Course

Domains 101. History, Facts & Lessons.

What is a Domain?

The Definition

A domain name is an identification string that defines a realm of administrative autonomy, authority or control within the internet. Domain names are formed by the rules and procedures of the Domain Name System (DNS).  Any name registered in the DNS is a domain name.

FACT: The first domain name was registered on March 15, 1985.  It was a .com.  By 1992, less than 15,000 domain names were registered.

FACT: By the 3rd quarter of 2015, there were over 399 million registered domains, in all extensions

FACT: In March of 2016, there was a total of 882 domain extensions.

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Domains and Real Estate:

1) Think of a location, anywhere in the world.

This is the internet.

2) Now picture a piece of land at that location.

This is the neighborhood/subdivision, or extension (e.g. .com, .net, .org)

3) Next, imagine a house with many rooms that sits on that land.

The house is your web site's home page, and the many rooms are the additional pages of the web site

4) Like any house, this house has an address.

The address is the domain name, including the extension. (e.g.

5) No address is duplicated within those coordinates (city & state & zip code). (e.g: 123 Anywhere Street Anywhere, USA 11111)

No (term or word) is duplicated within each extension.  (e.g. the term "elbowroom" only exists once in the .com)

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Terms you need to know

ARPA: Infrastructure top-level domain
gTLD: Generic top-level domains
grTLD: Restricted generic top-level domains
sTLD: Sponsored top-level domains
ccTLD: Country code top-level domains
tTLD: Test top-level domains
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