What is a domain name and why is it important?


A domain name is simply the unique name or address of your website on the Internet. There are millions of websites online all competing for client and customer  attention. Your domain name is what gives your website its own 'domain' or space online and identifies your site from among millions of others.  Furthermore, your domain name not only identifies you or your business but it is also a vital marketing and promotions tool.


Therefore, when creating your website the most important initial consideration is your domain name. You should consider whether the name you choose will adequately represent your personal or business profile, and what audience it will be intended for.


Example: in the URL the domain name refers  to This means that the website belongs to company called Imaginet. the rest of the domain name, indicates that this domain is a commercial concern in South Africa ( ZA).


More correctly a domain name has two parts. The first part refers to the second-level domain, or SLD, that you create yourself (in our example this is ‘Imaginet’). The  second part of the domain name is referred to as the top-level domain, or TLD. This part of the domain is less creative as it has to be selected from a list of pre-defined TLDs offered by your domain registrar.


Example: in the domain name, the word Amazon is the Second level domain and .com  is the top-level domain.


At present there are more than 100 different TLDs on the web; for example the common TLDs such as .COM, .NET, .INFO, .ORG, .BIZ, .NAME, .MOBI, etc. These are also known as  generic top-level domains (gTLDs) and they are open to anyone in the world. The following is a brief explanation of some of the most common  gTLDs.

 .com is obviously intended for use by commercial sites.

.net refers to network companies

.org is used mainly for non-profit organizations

.biz for business

.mobi for mobile device optimised sites

.edu is used by accredited educational institutions

.info is used by organizations that provide useful reference information

.museum is restricted to use by museums



To find out if your name is available you can check out WHOIS; Imaginet staff and support will help you register your domain name as part of our service. Go to


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