Key Web Terminology Simplified: What You Need to Know Print

  • Key Web Terminology, Domain Names, URLs, DNS, DNSSEC, WHOIS, Website, Domain Registrar
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Embarking on your digital journey can feel like stepping into a labyrinth of terms and acronyms: domain name, DNS, website, URL, domain registrar, and more. While they all orbit the same digital universe, each term has its unique role. Fear not; we're here to decode the essentials. By the end of this guide, you'll navigate the web with confidence.

1. Domain Name: Your Digital Moniker

At its core, a domain name (or simply 'domain') is your website's name. It's what comes after the "@" in an email address or after "https://" or "www." in a web address. When someone asks how to find you online, you provide your domain name.

Examples of domain names:

The first step to establishing an online presence is registering a domain name. Anyone can do this by visiting a domain host or registrar, such as Rocket Domains, finding an available domain name, and paying an annual fee to own and register it. You can also choose from a variety of domain name endings (or "TLDs"), like .com, .agency, or .online. If you're contemplating buying a domain name, explore our tips on coming up with the perfect domain name.

Remember, a domain name, website, and URL are not interchangeable terms.

2. URLs: The Web's GPS

URL stands for Universal Resource Locator. It's the complete web address used to locate a specific web page. While the domain is the website's name, a URL serves as the navigational path to any page within that website. A URL comprises the domain name and additional components necessary to pinpoint the exact page or content.

Examples of URLs:

3. Website: Your Digital Home or Storefront

Purchasing a domain name doesn't equate to having a website. A domain represents the website's name, a URL reveals its location, and a website is the interactive interface that users see and engage with upon arrival. Think of a website as a virtual store with shelves of content—a place where users browse and interact.

Creating a website is now more accessible than ever, thanks to user-friendly website builders that require no coding or design expertise. To learn more about building your site, explore our guide on choosing a website builder.

To launch a website, you'll need:

- A domain name (e.g., yoursite.tld)
- A domain registrar and host (e.g., Rocket Domains)
- A website builder or web designer (e.g., WordPress)
- Digital content (text, images, videos, etc.) for your site.

4. Domain Registrar: The Gatekeeper of Domains

A domain registrar is a company that sells domain names that are available for registration. A simple search on a registrar's website reveals whether your desired domain name is up for grabs and its cost.

5. DNS Host: Managing the Digital Signposts

A DNS host manages your domain's configuration (DNS resource records), ensuring your domain name directs visitors to your website and handles email routing. Some domain hosts such as Rocket Domains also offer DNS. In fact, some Registrars either do not offer DNS so you have to buy DNS elsewhere for your domain to work, or they give you slow legacy DNS which can hamper your digital growth and expose you to online risks. Rocket Domains, on the other hand, offers you premium global DNS infrastructure, aka Planetary DNS, with lightning fast speeds, bullet proof security and 100% uptime for free with every domain name registration and transfer.

6. DNSSEC: Safeguarding Your Online Presence

The Domain Name System Security Extensions (DNSSEC) is a feature of DNS that authenticates responses to domain name lookups and prevents attackers from manipulating or poisoning the responses to DNS requests. In simple terms, DNSSEC protects your domain name, websites and online applications from attacks making sure your customers don't get redirected to malicious websites which in turn can cause damage to both your business and your customers.

Imagine the internet as a massive phonebook where every website has a phone number (IP address). To make sure you're calling the right number and not a fake one, serious online businesses use DNSSEC, like a digital security seal. Here's how it works:

a. Regular Internet: Without DNSSEC, it's like someone can easily mess with the phonebook, giving you the wrong numbers, and you wouldn't even know it. As a result, your website visitors can be hijacked and taken to malicious websites to steal their data and information.

b. With DNSSEC: Imagine every phonebook entry has a small, unforgeable signature. When a visitor wants to go to a website, their computer checks this signature to make sure it's legit, like verifying a signature on an official document. 

c. Peace of Mind: DNSSEC keeps your internet experience safe. You can trust that when you visit a website, you're really going where you intended, not some fake site trying to steal your info.

So, DNSSEC is like a digital notary for the internet, making sure you're always connecting to the right places online. Unlike other Registrars, Rocket Domains offers DNSSEC protections for free thanks to its premium global DNS infrastructure, aka Rocket Cloud Planetary DNS that comes free with every domain name registration and transfer.

7. WHOIS & RDAP Directories: Domain Name Listings

The WHOIS and RDAP directories are public listings of domain names and their associated individuals or organizations. These directories offer valuable information, including domain owners, IP addresses, mailing addresses, and telephone numbers as well as registration and expiry dates. Try the Domain Name WHOIS Search on Rocket Domains to understand what domain name listings look like.

By the way, some domain owners opt to hide their personal information from these directories, just as you might withhold your telephone number from a public phone book. Rocket Domains offers basic and advanced WHOIS Privacy protection with every domain name.

Now that you're armed with the knowledge of these fundamental web terms, you're ready to embark on your online journey. At Rocket Domains, we're committed to empowering businesses and brands to thrive in the digital world.

Ready to make your mark online? Start your domain name search at Simply enter your desired keyword below and hit go:

Already own a domain name elsewhere? Transfer your domain name over to Rocket and give it super powers.

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