Levels of Domain: What They Are and How They Can Benefit Your Business

Website Development
Levels of Domain: What They Are and How They Can Benefit Your Business
Article by Maria Martin
Last Updated: August 20, 2022

With the current noise in the digital space and e-commerce websites being consumers’ new way to shop, creating an online presence is vital.

With 367.3 million domain name registrations worldwide, firms experience fierce competition to find the right one for their business.

Your domain name is where your website resides on the internet, marking its place among innumerable websites. And hence there is a lot to consider when creating your brand’s digital footprints than what meets the eye.

Let’s dive deep into the levels of the domain below.

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What is a Domain?

Domain names are the face of the website and are its address on the web. Accessing the website or an online store through a browser will connect a visitor to the individual domain address. More straightforwardly, they are a shortcut to reaching the website rather than remembering the complicated IP address. Reproducing a string of texts and alphabets isn’t feasible; it will be complex and time-consuming.

A domain name can lead visitors to a website by just entering the brand's name. This is possible with the prototype stack TCP/IP and DNS (Domain Name System).

Typing the IP address might not help either, as it will lead the visitor to the server where the site is stored.

A domain name includes 2-3 names, separated by dots. The minimum length of the domain can be one character, and the maximum can be 63.

Types of Domain Name

Since there is no one-size-fits-all, finding a website address that aligns with the brand can be challenging.

However, it’s essential to have comprehensive knowledge about domains before taking the leap.

The quest goes beyond picking just a unique name. It needs to be SEO and budget-friendly. Businesses can use a close enough domain even if it's not exactly similar to the brand values.

Domain names are managed by ICANN (Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers). It also governs the internet protocol numbers and the DNS (Domain Name System).

This organization can list the available domain names. They also have an extensive database of each location the domain name points to.

Generic Top-level Domains

Generic Top-level domains refer to generic domain extensions. They are usual, recognizable, and have fewer restrictions in terms of applicability. This ensures liberty for businesses to register and use them.

The gTLD may not satisfy the domain requirements, but those as .mil and .edu may.

According to data, usps.com is the most visited government domain name.

Other generic names include:

  • .com
  • .org
  • .biz
  • .info
  • .net

Sponsored Top-Level Domain

Sponsored top-level domains are related to a specific niche and don’t allow general users to use it. This is because it requires an array of registration rules to follow.

For example, the .gov domain can be used by government organizations only; likewise .edu can be used by education institutes. To get this domain, the enterprise should be located and recognized by the United States.

Top-level Domain

Top-level domains, referred to as TLDs, are at the top of the internet hierarchy, although they always appear as the last part of the domain address, located towards the extreme right.

It is the extension of a domain that comes after the second-level domain. Besides the availability, brand alignment should also be considered.

Second Level Domain

The second level domain is the part that comes before ‘.com.’ It is below the TLD in the hierarchy, while its value remains the same.

This will help people easily find your website rather than scrolling through endless pages online.

The second level domain may look like this:

  • gov.au
  • gov.de
  • co.uk

Third Level Domains

They are just a portion of the domain name rather than the entire name.

A third-level domain name isn’t ultimately required to function successfully. It used to be a requirement but currently isn’t a necessity.

The only reason to add a third-level domain is to add a subdomain to the existing one.

Below are some reasons why subdomains are required:

  • Hosting a blog in your subdomain to create a separate section for the content
  • Creating a resource section such as tutorials or support teams.
  • Creating an online store may require specific software and programs, and ensuring other security protocols.
  • To create a web-based app.
  • To pursue a different mobile website or to differentiate branding and designing. While having it on a subdomain attaches the webpage to the brand, it can also create a different look.

Country Level Domain

These domain names are tied to specific countries. Each country has its ccTLD. These domains may differ from country-specific addresses, covering a thematic area rather than a geographic one.

These domain names also require firms to comply with language requirements, require the headquarters to be in a specific location, and adhere to the laws of that location before using their ccTLD. Guidelines for each country will also differ likewise.

Currently, there are 157.7 million ccTLD domain name registrations. These domains have no usability restrictions, which leads to wider adoption. For countries, .cn (China) has the second biggest market share of ccTLD at 24.4%.

This can be done when the website is built in a specific country and wishes to showcase that the visitors have landed at the right place.

Some ccTLDs are as follows:

  • .cn (China)
  • .br (Brazil)
  • .au (Australia)
  • .de (Germany)
  • .uk (United Kingdom)
  • .pt (Portugal)
  • .it (Italy)

How Domains and Web Hosts Work Together

The fundamentals of a website are the domains and the web host.

The Domain Name System works by converting a domain name into an IP address via a DNS server.

The web server hosts all the files, websites, domains, elements, and others on the website. In short, a web server is a rental space for websites.

What are the Domains Used For?

Domain names make it easy for visitors to find a website. Choosing high-quality web hosting can improve the website’s performance, search engine rankings, and more.

Here are the reasons why a domain is primarily used:

Strengthens the Brand

A domain name that aligns with the brand strongly impacts the audience.

As visitors don’t need to shuffle multiple pages can find the website easily. Consistency throughout the website gives it a professional look, boosting brand loyalty.

Helps Build Authority

Domain names can predict the rankings in the SERPs compared to the competitors.

Since older domains have collected a high number of quality content, backlinks, and internal links, they tend to be stronger for a long time.

Boosts Credibility

A domain name that matches the brand boosts credibility. This gives the visitors a professional message, building trust in your brand and making the prospects feel confident in taking further steps.

Whereas a templated subdomain might not be as trustworthy.

Helps the Website Stand Out

As the noise in the digital space grows, the need to differentiate your offerings grows.

A business can stand out from competitors with a unique and memorable name.

Allows Gaining Ownership

Since no entity can claim the ownership of the domain once it’s registered.

This helps with complete ownership of the website address. The hosting provider or domain registrar maintains the website, associated information, the administrator, or if you’d want to sell it.

Grabs Audiences’ Attention

Being memorable helps visitors recollect and search for the same whenever they need to check out the website.

This can easily boost traffic to your website.

How to Choose the Right Domain?

After being proficient with the basics, it’s time to choose the right domain type.

Here’s how to do it:

Step #1: Align With the Brand Objectives

As mentioned above, there is no templatized version for domain levels, and names can satisfy all the business requirements.

A domain name should align with the website’s topics and objectives. Detailed research about well-performing websites can considerably help.

Step #2: A Combination of Common and Fun

Endless options can leave you spoiled for choice. Despite fitting perfectly, chances are that your website may not benefit from it.

It is always a safe bet to go with a common extension rather than a niched one. A difficult-to-remember extension may make them search for a common one. Already picking an easy-to-remember name makes it easy to remember and find. Once a solid audience base is built, businesses may shift to other extensions.

Step #3: Related Extensions

After finding the relevant domain, the next step is to pick the right extension.

In case prospects search for the wrong domain, a relevant extension will still lead audiences to your website. This can also prevent competitors from picking up your domain with a different extension.

Running the domain name in the domain name checker can help check its availability.

Other businesses may divert all extensions to the primary domain.

Before you rush for registration, ensure that you seek professional help. You may also ask your friends and colleagues for a thorough assessment.

Levels of Domain – Key Takeaways

There is a lot that goes into selecting a domain level and name; businesses must check its availability, buy, register a domain, and do countless other steps in the midst.

Choosing the wrong one will make you shift to another or pick a new one altogether. We hope we’ve answered all your questions with an in-depth analysis of domains.

Professionalweb development agencies and business software solutions companies can also help you with this process, so we advise looking for the right agency to partner with for your project.

We’ll find qualified hosting agencies for your project, for free.
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