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Domain Names, July 2003
Before delving into the qualities that make a domain name great, we should first explore just what a domain name is. It really isn't a name at all, it's a numerical address. For instance, Google.com is really 22.214.171.124 for one of their IP addresses. So, depending on your browser configuration, instead of going to http://www.google.com to get there, you could go to http://126.96.36.199 . Go ahead, try it. I'll wait.
I'm sure you'll agree that remembering Google.com is much easier than 188.8.131.52. The creators of the internet realized this, as well. By the way, Al Gore wasn't one of them. The numbers are an IP (internet protocol) address. When you enter a name such as DrTandem.com, it is translated (resolves) into its IP address by a domain name server (DNS). The name and address are located in routers that are loaded with the information to direct your request to the proper web server. Without getting into technical detail, it's just a convenience. Imagine trying to remember all of your friends by their Social Security number!
Now, that we have a better understanding of what a domain name is, what makes it a good one? Well, from what we have just learned, it's important that it be easy to remember. You may have also noticed that at the end of a domain name is a suffix such as .com, .org, .net, .gov, etc. Continued>>>