Jan 252001
Part of the Deciphering Domains Series -         Next in series

The Bottom Line This is a simple glossary of terms relating to domain registration and will be updated regularly.

The following is a list of terms used when registering a domain name.

Country Code (ccTLD) –

All two-character Top Level Domains are country-code TLDs, so called because each represents a specific country.

DNS (Domain Name Service) –

The internet actually uses numbers, not words, to locate and retrieve data. DNS servers store the relevant number connected to the name of the domain so that other machines know where to look for your site.


Domain Name Supporting Organization. The DNSO is an advisory body that advises the ICANN Board of Directors on policy issues relating to the Domain Name System.

Domain –

Domains are the addresses of cyberspace. Just as the address on a letter tells the mailman where to deliver it, a domain typed into your browser’s address bar tells it where to find what you’re seeking.

Domain Parking –

Every domain must reside somewhere. Domain parking is a service offered free by most domain registrars that permits you to take a minimal amount of space on their servers to house your domain until you find a web host to give it a more permanent home. Domain parking does not store your web site, just your domain name.


The original organization that created, defined and distributed IPs. Most of its original responsibilities have been taken over by ICANN.


The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) is the non-profit corporation that was formed to assume responsibility for the IP address space allocation, protocol parameter assignment, domain name system management, and root server system management functions. In other words, they set the standards for the infrastructure of the internet.

IP Address –

An Internet Protocol Address is the numerical address by which a location in the Internet is identified. Computers on the Internet use IP addresses to route traffic and establish connections among themselves; people generally use the human-friendly names made possible by the Domain Name System (DNS).

ISP (Internet Service Provider) –

An organization or company that provides access to the Internet. Such as AOL, Earthlink, NetZero, etc.

Proliferation –

Once a new entry or modification to a domain name is registered it must be proliferated to all of the various name servers that service the internet. Until this proces is complete (usually 48 hours) your browser will be unable to locate the new domain.

Registrant –

The person who actually registers a domain name and the legal owner of that domain.

Registrar –

A company or organization responsible for assigning and collecting fees for the registration of domain names.

Registry –

The Internet Registry manages the Internet’s domain name system. It is, essentially, the master list of all domain names and their related IP addresses.

Second Level Domain –

The portion of a domain name directly before the TLD. This is the part that you as a user have the most control over. (for example, the epinions in epinions.com).

TLD (Top Level Domain) –

A TLD is the two or three character extension on the end of a domain name (.com, .uk, etc…).

This is part one of a series of articles on domain registration also published on epinions.com

Part of the Deciphering Domains Series -        Next in series

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