Web101: Domain Names

Domain Names

Growing up, they always kind of confused me–well, they still do. I remember the www thing was a big deal as a kid, and then suddenly (not really sure when) you didn’t have to put the www! So yeah, if you’re still saying “www” when you’re telling people about your website, you are showing your age. Unless of course your website still requires the “www,” in which case I recommend you shoot me an email about a redesign.


We could get pretty complicated, but we won’t. Why? Because it’s called Web101. To get to the complicated stuff, you’ll just have to stick around a while.



When you invite someone over to your place, they’ll either ask you how to get there or they’ll ask you for your address. If they don’t know where you live, they could get in their car and drive aimlessly–or knock on everybody’s door until they found you. Hopefully no one would do this.


A domain name does the same thing an address does. It tells people where you live. One of the cool things about the internet is you can pick your address. If my street name is stupid–no problem–I can change it!


I like that.



Well, there’s this mysterious central hub of addresses at the InterNIC. It’s definitely a top-secret organization bent on taking over the world. Anyway–there are a number of what we call “registrars” who have permission to access the central database. They sell us domain names, and communicate with the central database about what has and has not been bought and sold.


Once we own an address, the only job that’s left is to make sure our address is pointing to our house, but that’s another article.


It’s been a pleasure. If you need a website–or any design help at all please contact us.

Would love to hear from you!


Nate Smith

Lead Developer and CEO

I am a web developer and designer, as well as a husband and father. I grew up in the Boston, MA area and will forever be a Bostonian. I'm passionate about building sites that look great, are easy to navigate, and that work really well on all devices. The languages I work with most are PHP and MySQL, Javascript, HTML5, and CSS--but I also have experience with Ruby, Linux and ASP. The applications I use on a regular basis are Adobe CC, Sublime Text, and PHPStorm.


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