What a domain name isn't, and why

Misconceptions about what a domain name is

An Internet domain name isn't any of the things mentioned below. However, improper usage of the term or improper reference to a domain name often indicates that someone is struggling to properly describe some web resource that is somehow related to a domain name. Most techies will politely attempt to clarify with something like, "Do you mean....?"

An Internet domain name is not a web site.

Although domain names are most often used to point to name servers for web sites, they can also serve other, non web site purposes. A domain name will still point to a name server, but the function of the server at the end of the data path could be much different than a web site, such as:

  • Dedicated use of a domain name for accessing an Email server which does not also have a web site sharing the same domain name
  • Dedicated use for an FTP server which could have neither a web site or an Email server associated with it

An Internet domain name is not a data base

Web site scripts can link to a data base, and the web site scripts [web pages] can then also be used as an interface to the database. This can be done with or without a domain name.

It's not a Blog, either

A blog is really just a web site, usually with enough simplicity so that the user doesn't need to understand web site coding. Popular blogging software uses a database and scripts to maintain your configuration setup and customization, blog entries and blog responses.

Next: Structure of a domain name

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