Your domain name is a key part of your online address and is what your visitors will use to find you easily. For example, First Idea’s domain name is firstidea.ie. Your domain name is unique to you; once you have registered it, nobody else can register the same one for as long as you continue to renew it.
Are URL and a domain name the same thing?
A domain name is often confused with a URL, but they are different things.
URL stands for Uniform Resource Locator and refers to the entire address used to visit a website, including all those colons and slashes. This address includes the domain name.
The URL for the First Idea Web & Marketing website would be ‘http://www.firstidea.ie’. This contains the ‘hypertext transfer protocol’ (http), telling the browser that you are using a domain name instead of an IP Address. This is followed by the domain name itself (www.firstidea.ie or firstidea.ie — both are valid). This points to the server where the website is hosted and the particular files on that server to be accessed.
Domain & Email?
Email also relies on domain names to work. Once you have a domain name, it is short work to create your own email address of email@example.com. This has many advantages for branding and professional communications. Many people register domain names purely to have their own email address instead of relying on Hotmail, Gmail or any other generic service.