What is a Domain Name?

Domains and Domain Names

Domain names are hostnames that allow us to remember websites more easily than using an IP address. So, for example, instead of having to remember to come to this website, instead you can simply remember Domains.org.

Domain names are allowed to have letters, digits, and hyphens. No other characters may be used in a domain name. Domain names are also not case sensitive


The following example illustrates the difference between a URL (Uniform Resource Locator) and a domain name:

URL: http://www.domains.org/
Domain name: domains.org

In the past, domain names and server IP address were completely interchangeable. You could type in either and find the website you were looking for. Now, however, there are far more websites than there are servers, so servers now commonly use “virtual hosting” for websites. This allows multiple websites to exist on a single IP address.

For example, the server at could handle all of the following sites: