Wikipedia defines a domain name as:

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. Domain names are used in various networking contexts and application-specific naming and addressing purposes. In general, a domain name represents an Internet Protocol (IP) resource, such as a personal computer used to access the Internet, a server computer hosting a web site, or the web site itself or any other service communicated via the Internet. In 2015, 294 million domain names had been registered. (See full definition here).

But let’s explain this in an easier way.

A domain name is like the address for your home. It’s unique to a city, state, and country. It identifies where you live and is readable and understandable by your friends, family, and even the cable guy. Programs like Google Maps can locate where it is and give directions to navigate someone to your house. Your address is a friendly name for people and even programs to understand how to find your house.

But if you wanted to get real technical, you could use GPS coordinates to define and pinpoint your home. You can plug in coordinates like 25.7713° N, 80.1919° W into a mapping program like a GPS handheld device and find your home. But who’s going to put GPS coordinates on a party invitation?  No one, that’s who.

So when your giving out your website address or email, domain names are used to make it friendly and easier for us to understand and share.

Thanks for reading!

This is our first in a series of “What is” articles where we help expand your domain industry knowledge. Come back by typing in  into your…nevermind, just enter in your browser and you’ll be all set.