Domain Names Introduction
How you think of most websites is by their domain names. For example, "google.com" is a domain name which uses the extension ".com".
What is a domain name?
A domain name represents an address on the Internet. An address is a series of numbers. For example, the IP address 126.96.36.199 represent a computer or a series of computers connected to the Internet, also called a "server". Think of an IP address like your computer's home address.
Domain names make it so you do not need to memorize the IP address numbers of your favorite websites. Instead of typing in 188.8.131.52 into your browser, you can just type www.google.com and you will get to the same website.
Domain names also allow you to change servers or website hosts without needing to give everyone your new address. For more information on updating your domain name address, click here.
What is a "server"?
Servers are computers continuously connected to the Internet which 'host' your website files for the world to see. Servers have IP addresses so your computer knows where they are. Domain names are easy to remember names that point to that address.
Website hosting services are provided by this server and usually have a monthly fee.
Purchasing Domain Names
Domain names are purchasable from domain name registrars. 2Leaf is one example of a domain name registrar and you can purchase domain names through us. Another example of a domain name registrar is GoDaddy. Prices vary by domain name registrar. Be careful with high renewal fees from some registrars.
Domain name registrars are required to adhere to very specific standards when registering domain names. We are required to publish your registration information, listing you as the owner. (2Leaf and other domain name registrars will offer privacy protection on certain domain names for an additional cost. This cost is due to additional costs we must pay to a third party provider to list their information instead.)
Domain Name Extensions
A domain name extension, also called TLD (or top level domain) is the domain name ending, for example ".com", ".net", or ".org".
Country-Specific Domain Names
Each country is designated their own domain name extension for which that country can create their own rules. In the U.S., the ".us" domain name extension exists which can only be bought by U.S. persons (residents or citizens) or companies. In the U.S., most companies choose to use the default ".com" rather than the country-specific extension, but this is not the case in all countries.
Some other examples of popular country-specific domain name extensions are ".co.uk" for the U.K., ".com.br" for Brazil, ".au" for Australia, ".de" for Germany, ".ca" for Canada, and many many more.
In recent years, additional premium domain name extensions have been made available by third parties (such as ".xyz", ".boo", or ".blue"). There are hundreds of premium extensions. Some have specific rules required for registration, but most can be bought by anyone. Prices do vary. If you require a premium domain name extension not listed on our website, reach out to us and we may be able to make it available to you.
Who owns domain names?
After purchasing a domain name, you own it.
You must continue to renew your domain name each year, or it will go back to the public pool of domain names available for anyone to purchase. As long as you continue to renew your domain name, you are the legal owner of your domain name, not your domain name registrar. You can privately sell your domain name and/or transfer your domain name to other registrars.