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Domain Name Registration - Glossary



Technical terms and jargon got you confused? Below are some commonly used terms and their definitions in the domain name registration industry. If you have questions on additional terms, please email us and we will add them to the list.

.aero: The TLD designated for the air transport industry, available only to aviation community members.

.biz: The .biz TLD is a designated suffix for businesses. Domains using the .biz extension must be used for business or commercial use.

.com: Short for .commercial. Domain names with the .com extension are the most popular and can be purchased by any individual or business in any country.

.coop: This TLD is available to cooperatives, cooperative service organizations and wholly owned subsidiaries of cooperatives.

.info: .info domains are available to the general public.

.museum: This TLD is available only to museums, museum organizations and individual members of the museum profession.

.name: Available to the general public, .name email addresses are listed as firstname@lastname.name or lastname@firstname.name. Web sites are listed as www.firstname.lastname.name.

.net: Short for .network. This domain extension was originally designed to be used by technical web sites. However, this extension can be registered by anyone.

.org: Short for .organization. Originally for non-profit organizations that did not fit under the .com or .net extension. However any individual or business may now register a .org domain name.

.pro: The .pro suffix was created for certified professionals including lawyers, doctors and accountants.

Administrative Contact: When registering a domain name, the administrative contact must be provided to the registrar when completing the registration form. The administrative contact is the individual who is responsible for acting as the primary contact. The administrative contact does not necessarily need to be able to manage the technical aspects of the domain.

Appraising: The process of evaluating a domain name and determining its market value.

Bandwidth: The amount of data that can be transmitted at a given moment to a server. The higher your bandwidth the larger amount of traffic your site can handle at one time.

Billing Contact: When registering a domain name, the billing contact must be provided to the registrar when completing the registration form. The billing contact is responsible for receiving the bills and paying the registrar any fees.

CGI: Short for Common Gateway Interface, a small script that processes data taken from the user such as from a form application or guestbook entry.

Country Code Top Level Domain (ccTLD): Each country has a unique domain extension, usually a two letter abbreviation for the country. IANA is the organization responsible for overseeing the ccTLDs.

Cybersquatter: The illegal act of buying up domain names and “sitting” on them with the intent of making a large profit off the sell. Cybersquatters will often buy out large quantities of names, trademarks, or highly marketable names to try to make a buck or prevent others from lawful use of the name.

Contact Record/Contact ID : Contact Records or Contact IDs (sometimes called Agents) are individuals or groups who represent a registrant on matters related to the registrant's domain name(s). There are three types of Contacts: Administrative, Technical, and Billing. The entity listed as the Administrative, Technical, or Billing Contact is an individual or 'role' that is contacted in matters relating to the domain name. They also have the ability to Modify information pertaining to a domain name. A Contact may be a single person, a company, or organization.

Country Code Top Level Domain: A top-level domain containing a 2-character abbreviation as defined by ISO 3166-1 (Codes for the Representation of Names of Countries and Their Subdivisions). As of November 1999 there were 243 country code top level domains (ccTLDs) registered. Some examples are .us for the United States, .ca for Canada, .jp for Japan, .de for Germany, etc. ccTLDs are often contrasted to generic top level domains (gTLDs). ccTLDs often have more restrictive registration requirements including regional requirements whereas gTLDs tend to be open to all registrants around the world.

Domain Host:See also web host. The business or registrar responsible for a domain name’s server and keeping their web site “live.”

Domain Name: A domain name is the core of your company's online identity. It is the address your customers will use to find information about your products and services on the web. Your domain name is yours entirely because once registered, no other party may use that identity online in that Top Level Domain. Domain Names always have 2 or more parts, separated by dots. The part on the left is the most specific, and the part on the right is the most general. A domain name can simply be thought of as your Internet address. The Internet uses Internet Protocol (IP) numbers to locate other computers. Internet users would typically have a hard time remembering these long strings of numbers to find sites. Domain names were developed to allow users to name these (IP) addresses with easy to remember names or phrases. Our domain name - Domain Bank.com - for example is part of the Internet address for Domain Bank.

Domain Name System (DNS): The DNS maintains a relationship between IP addresses and domain names. DNS is composed of a set of database servers which maintain the relationship between IP addresses and domain names and facilitate the lookup between the two. Computers use the DNS system to electronically transmit data with other computers through the internet.

Domain Parking: Registries require the use of name servers or hosts for every domain registered. In other words, every domain name has to be linked to a name server for it to be valid. Some people do not have their own name servers, therefore Domain Bank offers 'domain parking' (name parking) on its servers. It is a convenient way to hold or 'park' domain name(s) for an extended amount of time.

Escrow: A third party service that will essentially hold on to the buyer’s payment when selling a domain name, thereby protecting both the buyer and seller.

Email: Electronic mail, electronic files that are transferred quickly from an outbox on one computer, to the inbox of another.

Expired Domain: A domain that has not been reregistered by the owner in the grace period allotted eventually becomes expired, or unusable by the owner, and is placed into the pool of available names again.

FAQ: Short for frequently asked question.

File Transfer Protocol (FTP): A communication method for transferring data between computers on the Internet. FTP servers store files that can be accessed from other computers. FTP provides security services so only authorized access is allowed.

Forwarding: The process of redirecting email from one inbox to another (email forwarding), or redirecting traffic received at one web address to another. (URL forwarding)

Generic Top Level Domain (gTLD): The top level domain represents a category, and is found at the last part of a domain name. For example the .com in www.mysite.com, is the gTLD. The three completely unrestricted gTLDs are .com .net and .org.

Hold Status: A domain name that has not been reregistered by its owner, but not yet in the pool of available names may be said to be on hold status.

Hypertext Markup Language (HTML): Web sites on the internet are stored or presented as documents which web browsers can interpret. These document files are designed using a specific tagging language.

Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA): An organization who oversees core internet infrastructure management parameters, including port assignments.

Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN): The not for profit organization responsible for managing the internet’s domain name system, including IP address space allocation.

InterNIC: InterNIC was originally started as a joint effort between Network Solutions and AT&T, to perform many of the functions now performed by ICANN. The InterNIC is no longer functioning, but hosts an information site regarding domain name registrations.

IP Address: All computers across the internet are assigned a unique identifier called an IP address. They are used like street addresses so other computers can find them. An IP address could look something like this: 87.242.211.23.

Internet Service Provider (ISP): An ISP is a business that provides an individual with access to the internet. Some methods of providing this service are through dial-up telephone, cable, or high-speed DSL circuit.

Name Server: A name server, or domain name server, maintains the cross-reference between domain names and their corresponding IP addresses. Name servers are used so that people don’t have to remember long numerical IP addresses.

NIC Fee: This is the fee you pay to your registrar when registering for a domain name.

Parking: Term used for temporarily placing a record in a name server for later use. Many registrars while park your domain at no cost until you are ready to build a web site.

Primary Server: On Domain Bank's Domain Name Service Agreement, the section where the registrant indicates the host name and Internet Protocol (IP) number of the name server that will contain authoritative information for the domain name and will be used to resolve that domain name to its corresponding IP number(s). The designation of "primary" means that this name server will be used first and will be relied upon before any of the other name servers that may be listed on the Domain Name Service Agreement. The primary server section of the Agreement is a required section and the domain name registration will not be processed unless this section of the Domain Name Service Agreement is completed properly.

Registrant: The individual or business who registers a domain name. The registrant is accountable for the fees and conditions specified by the registrar.

Registrar: A business that is given permission to register domain names on behalf of anyone wishing to obtain one. Registrars must be accredited by ICANN, and are only given permission to registrar certain top level domains. Registrars collect fees, maintain record information, and manage registration, re-registration, and expiration of domains.

Registry: A database that contains information about every registered domain name. Different registries exist for different TLDs. When you register a domain name, all the information for that domain, including registrant, name, expiration, etc. is stored in the registry’s database.

Renewal: When the original domain name registration period is over the owner will be given the opportunity to renew the domain name for subsequent years. This is called a renewal, and is done through the registrant’s current registrar.

Reseller: A company/person that sells domain names through registry services provided by an ICANN approved registrar.

Resolve: The term used to describe the process by which domain names are matched with corresponding Internet Protocol (IP) numbers. "Resolution" is accomplished by a combination of computers and software, referred to as name servers that use the data in the Domain Name System to determine which IP numbers correspond to a particular domain name.

Second Level Domain: The domain names system is organized as a hierarchy. After the root, the top level domain is the highest in the hierarchy, followed next by the second level domain. The second level domain in www.mysite.com, would be the “mysite” portion.

Secure Sockets Layer (SSL): Short for Secure Sockets Layer, a protocol developed by Netscape to handle and protect confidential/sensitive information required for e-commerce transactions (like credit card numbers). SSL address usually begin with 'https'.

Subdomain: Typically known as a "domain within a domain", subdomains are individual Web addresses built upon a pre-existing domain name (such as clientname.yourhostingcompany.com). As a reseller, you will have the option of assigning subdomains to clients if they do not choose to have a domain name.

Secondary Server: On Domain Bank's Domain Name Service Agreement, the section where the registrant indicates the hostname and Internet Protocol (IP) number of a name server that will contain authoritative data for the domain name being registered and will resolve that domain name to its corresponding IP number(s). The designation of "secondary" indicates that the name server will be used in addition to and as a backup for the primary name server that is listed on the Domain Name Service Agreement.

Technical Contact: When you register a domain name you must specify a technical contact for that domain. This individual will be responsible for any technical issues regarding the domain name. The technical contact may be the same as the billing or administrative contact.

Top Level Domain (TLD): TLD is the last part of the domain name. For example, the .com in www.mysite.com is the top level domain. (‘mysite’ would be the second-level domain). In the Domain Name System (DNS), the highest level of the hierarchy above second level domains. Our domain name - DomainBank.com - for example is part of the Internet address for Domain Bank, Inc. The Domain Bank part is the second level domain while the .com is the Top Level Domain. Second level domain names are what you register by or on behalf of registrants (or name holders) in a Top Level Domain registry. There are two types of Top Level Domains. The most common type is Generic or gTLDs, such as .COM, .NET, .ORG. New gTLDs such as .NOM, .INFO, or .WEB may be introduced sometime in the near future. The other type of TLD is the ccTLD (country code top level domains) which are assigned to all countries and their dependencies. Every TLD registry - generic or country code - has its own prices, policies, and procedures that registrants (name holders) in that registry are subject to. It is important to know and be prepared to accept these before registering name(s) in a particular registry.

Transfer (Domain Name transfer): Domain names can be sold to another organization or sometimes the name of a company might change. Most registries require a process by which permission from the old owner to hand over control to the new owner is authorized. The procedure for change of ownership is known a Transfer. Policies and procedures on domain name transfer can vary from registry to registry.

Uniform Resource Locator (URL): Also called the web address. A URL may include the http:// or just the www at the beginning. URL is an identifier for locating objects on the internet.

Web Page: A document containing text and graphics that can be accessed through a web browser on the internet.

Web Site: A collection of web pages that reside on a web server.

Web Host: A business that share its servers with clients so their web sites can be accessible at any given time A networked computer dedicated to providing a certain kind of service. Usually refers to a computer that stores the website files and has a web server running on it.

Whois: Whois is both a database and a tool. A whois database is maintained by a domain registry which contains pertinent information about domain names and their registrants (technical contacts, expiration date, etc.) Whois is also a tool used for accessing the various databases. Registrars offer the use of the whois tool to see if the name you would like is still available.


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