A domain name is essentially your website’s equivalent of a physical address. In the same way that a GPS needs a street address or a zipcode to provide directions, a web browser needs a domain name to direct you to a website.
A domain name takes the form of two main elements. For example, the domain name Facebook.com consists of the website’s name (Facebook) and the domain name extension (.com). When a company (or a person) purchases a domain name, they’re able to specify which server the domain name points to.
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Domain name registrations are overseen by an organization called ICANN (Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers). ICANN specifies which domain name extensions are available and keeps a centralized database of where the domain names point to.
Every website that you visit effectively consists of two main elements: a domain name and a web server.
A web server is a physical machine that hosts the files and the databases that your website is made from and sends them out to people across the internet when they visit your site from their machine.
The domain name is what people type in to access your site, and it points the web browser to the server that stores those resources. Without a domain name, people would need to remember the specific IP address of your server — and that’s just not going to happen.