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What is a domain name?

What is a domain name and how does it work? Basically, it’s a website’s home address. For example, if you look up at the address bar (URL) right now, you’ll see https://instantdomainsearch.com/domain/ — we’ve highlighted the domain name part. That’s where our website lives. It also helps people like you to find us quickly, and that’s what we want and what you want for your business, right? It’s not just about the business name; choosing the right domain name can be a game-changer. Read on and pick up some handy intel on how to choose the best domain name and extension for you.

Why do you need a domain name?

In short, you can’t have a website without one. It’s your website’s home address. Domain names were invented because websites’ original addresses were just IP addresses and they look like this 130.211.25.142. Now, for instance, Instant Domain Search you can remember, but a series of numbers and dots? Your domain name connects your website to your IP and helps people find you.

What makes up a domain?

Each component of a domain serves a unique function. Together, they anchor your site, direct navigation and can help users to understand what your business or service is.

The components of the domain "https://www.instantdomainsearch.com/domains/" explained: "https://" is the protocol, "www." is the subdomain, "instantdomainsearch" is the domain, ".com" is the extension, and "/domains/" is the path.
An illustrated magnifying glass placed over a list of domain extensions

What does a solid domain name do?

A great domain name is easy to find and attracts your ideal market. It also helps establish a healthy web presence, so you don’t end up lost in cyberspace. As a marketing tool, it can reinforce your brand and credibility. A great domain name with a website is even more potent, as rankings increase with quality content.

See hot domains 🔥

Fun with domain names and extensions

Your domain name + your extension can be witty = memorable. For instance, a .me extension could lead to “itsfunnyto.me” or “votefor.me.” In the same vein, .de (“of” in romance languages), or .in can also create top-of-mind addresses.

See list of extensions

How to choose a domain

So many names. There’s a lot to consider. What do you do? What are you selling? If you are selling one thing, will that stay the same in five years? Ten? Being too specific can limit you, but being vague’s no help either. Many spend time brainstorming solo or with business partners. And although most people may type it, how does it sound out loud? How will talk-to-text butcher your particular favorite? Will you be active on social media? If so, do your picks have similar options there? Then you need to check if it’s available. If the extension you want is not, would another work?

imavailable.com
imforsale.com
imregistered.com
A stylized store front, with the window being a list of domains to purchase

How do I purchase a domain?

So glad you asked! Searching available domain names is a great place to start. We have real-time searches that populate as you type. Find out if your top pick is available. We also advise you what other similar versions or extensions are up for grabs if your preference is not and can connect with services to purchase a domain from someone else. Sometimes a name you hadn’t thought of pops up, and there it is! Your perfect domain name.